Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Who is Watching the Human Rights Watchers?
Omri Ceren at Mere Rhetoric is. It seems as though Human Rights Watch, an organization that makes it their business to scold Israel's Defense Forces have been relying on the judgement of someone who appears to have some very dark ulterior motives. NGOs like Human Rights Watch make a very rich living out of clucking in disapproval from self-appointed perches. They trade upon the widely held perception that they are "impartial and non-political". So what are they going to do now that it is coming to light that a very prominent staff member has a major-league fascination and a personal identification with the erstwhile Nazi war machine.
Ceren, using only public material, easily available through Google searches, has turned over a rock and found a very slimy side of the self-promoting, widely quoted, media trollop Marc Garlasco. Garlasco has worked on many projects in which he has presumed to call Israelis to task for the ways in which they defend themselves from the new genocidal threat and has appeared as a military expert on many of the anti-zionist media (CNN, ABC, BBC, etc..) networks.
All the while he has, rather openly, been a well known nazi-phile and collector of Nazi paraphernalia. Of course, he has been careful not to publish anything that identifies him with Nazi ideology per-se. He fawns and giggles in his posts on Nazi memorabilia web sites about historical value, elegance, design and manufacturing expertise but I, for one, don't buy it. Even if some one who collected child pornography covered the obsession with self-serving obfuscation about the "beauty of the human form" and "the ancient heritage of love between mature adults and pubescent children" does it make the obsession less dark and abusive? I think not.
Garlasco uses the moniker Flak 88 on his favorite Nazi memorabilia website and as a vanity plate on his (German made) car.
Flak 88 (pictured at the top of this post, above), for those of you who do not know the literature of World War II was the designation of a German artillery piece that was dreaded by allied soldiers on the battlefield and aircrews in their warplanes. The story he tells is that his grandfather was on a Flak88 crew during the war and that his choice of hobby and nickname is a result of this personal history. That would all bel very well for someone who makes his living judging cabbages in a sauerkraut factory but this person is actively engaged in limiting the ability of Jews to protect themselves from an incipient new holocaust while he is still venerating (at the very least) the symbolism of the last one. The icing on the cake to me is that online moniker and the license plate on the car. What would we feel if sixty years from now, Mohamed Atta's nephew was found driving around lower Manhattan with the license plate "Boeing 767"? Would he be considered impartial and non-political?
What is going on at Human Rights Watch? Who is watching the human rights watchers?