Shawan Jabarin, director of Al Haq, talks on the phone at his office in Ramallah last March. A grant given to Al Haq has raised ire at Rights & Democracy. (Nasser Shiyoukhi/Associated Press)
From The Daily Beast:
A Palestinian whom Israel’s Supreme Court has described as a “Jekyll and Hyde” of international terrorism has been appointed by Human Rights Watch (HRW) to its advisory board that oversees the sensitive reporting on Arab-Israeli affairs.
The man at the center of the dispute, Shawan Jabarin, runs the human rights organization Al Haq in Ramallah on the occupied West Bank. In 1985 he belonged to a Birzeit University student group associated with the PFLP, indicted as a terror group, by 30 countries including the U.S., the European Union, and Canada. He was convicted of recruiting members for terrorist training outside Israel and served nine months of a 24-month jail sentence.
Calls over several days to [HRW's Sarah Leah] Whiston were not returned. In a telephone conversation, [HRW's Ken] Roth at first said it was “not true” that Jabarin had been a member of PFLP, then added: “And if he had been, it’s ancient history.” He would not discuss the Supreme Court judgments. In an email, Roth defended the appointment saying Jabarin had had no association with the PFLP or any other political organization since joining the staff of Al Haq in 1987.In fact, Jabarin was arrested by Israel in 1994 for heading the PFLP - while he was already working for Al Haq.
And in 2003, Israel allowed Jabarin to travel to Jordan - and Jordan refused to let him in because of his terror record.
Al Haq is hardly an unbiased "human rights" organization either. It engages in "lawfare" against Israel. One of the papers on its website justifies terrorism as legal:
[R]esistance against occupation and its arbitrary practices is legitimate under international law, and these acts are considered a part of the Palestinian people‘s resistance and struggle against occupation in order to achieve their right to liberation and independence, the occupation forces call it “terrorism”...
So not only is HRW trying to appoint a terrorist who has been shown to be a credible current threat by Israel's Supreme Court, but they are using his service to a "human rights" organization that supports terror as their main proof that he is not a terrorist!
No wonder that HRW's founder, Robert Bernstein, said, "I am of course shocked but even more saddened that an organization dedicated to the rule of law seems to be deliberately undermining it."