So the New Republic published the most thorough critique to date of Human Rights Watch’s record on Israel this week. Contrary to its typical belligerency, HRW has not responded [beyond this tepid and largely unresponsive letter to TNR from a co-chair of HRW's Middle East advisory committee, who is not an employee of HRW, but not from HRW itself--thanks to a reader for pointing this out]. That’s unusual, but not too strange; given how often HRW spokespeople get themselves into trouble when they defend the organization’s record on Israel, they are clearly better off keeping quiet.
What is very strange is that members of the left blogosphere who have previously vigorously (and reflexively) defended HRW have all been silent. Where is Matthew Yglesias? Andrew Sullivan? Daniel Levy? Aryeh Neier? Adam Horowitz? Even Kevin Jon Heller has blogged not a word about the TNR story.
I’m not given to conspiratorial thinking, but it’s almost as if “headquarters” has sent out word to ignore the TNR piece in the hopes it will go away. [...]