Let us imagine for just one moment that an Iranian official penned a damning report on human rights in Sweden, or a member of the American far-right wrote about the Democratic Party in the U.S.
Would anyone take such a document seriously?
But we are expected to all take heed of "A Threshold Crossed," a new report criticizing Israel written by Omar Shakir, who heads the Israeli-Palestinian desk at Human Rights Watch.
Shakir is a provocateur and a quarrel-monger, who has spent more than a decade campaigning to deny Israel's right to exist.
He actually resided in Israel until the Supreme Court revoked his residency permit when the scale of his actions against the very existence of the State of Israel was revealed.
He was also denied entry to Bahrain when he wanted to attend a FIFA conference solely to persuade the organization to boycott the Israeli national soccer team.
Shakir's abysmal hatred of Israel is evident even when compared to the established hostility of other bodies branding themselves as "human rights organizations."
As far back as 2010, Shakir was urging the Palestinians to abandon the right to self-determination and instead adopt the terminology of apartheid and universal rights in order to make a single binational state a reality.
In 2015, he signed a petition opposing a visit to Israel by a group of Muslims who were supposed to be guests of the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
It goes without saying that Shakir is a clear supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, an organization whose leaders do not try to disguise the fact that they are working for not peace but for the elimination of Israel.
With this stellar anti-Israel record, Shakir's services were engaged by HRW in 2016 for more of the same.
This new report authored by Shakir is pure fiction. It is the same old tired political position he has been touting for years.
He published a similar report on behalf of HRW in December 2019 and continues to deliver the goods.
Another report from HRW in May 2020 even led Hamas (yes, Hamas!) to quickly issue a congratulatory message the group. Hardly surprising.
The positions of Shakir and his organization are supported by a coalition that extends from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas to "human rights organizations" that have allowed themselves to become the propaganda wing for some very dark groups.
Indeed, the harshest criticism of the organization came from the very man who founded it, Robert Bernstein, who wrote in a 2009 piece in the New York Times that, "Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields."
In fairness, one should deal not only with the author and the organization behind the report, but with the report itself. The problem is that this is not really a report. It is a systematic collection of anti-Israel material emanating from those same organizations that Shakir already supports.
In reality, Shakir did no fact checking or investigations of his own, and the concept of fairness does not even come into it. He pored over anti-Israel publications that pretend to be objectively critical and gathered anything that matched his preestablished hostility. The outcome was decided in advance.
Even worse, Shakir does not bother to hide the fact that he is undermining the very legitimacy of self-determination for the Jewish people.
According to the HRW report, the prevention of Palestinian immigration to Israel after marriage is another manifestation of apartheid.
Can Shakir name one democratic nation that does allow immigration by the members of a hostile entity following marriage? Of course not.
In fact it is Shakir's report that practices apartheid, for at its heart it is grounded in one law for Israel and one law for the rest of the world.
The report also deals with the Gaza Strip, mentioning the closure dozens of times – of course.
And what is problematic about that? Well, there is not a solitary word in the report about the repeated proposals that the rulers of the Gaza Strip received from the international community, in particular the Mideast Quartet, to end the closure in exchange for honoring previous agreements signed by the Palestinians.
Nor is there a single word on EU proposals to rehabilitate the enclave and lift the embargo in return for demilitarization.
Israel did not want this closure. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 to turn it into a jihadist base, with Iranian assistance, as part of the struggle to eradicate the State of Israel.
Israel was forced to impose the blockade to block the supply of missiles from Iran and to prevent further injury to its civilians.
But Shakir does not let himself be distracted by the facts; after all, the outcome was decided in advance.
Is all criticism leveled against Israel by "human rights organizations" a lie? Absolutely not. For decades, there has been a sharp debate within Israel itself over the Palestinian issue.
Peace Now's reports on West Bank outposts are an important component of the public debate.
Israel is not exempt from criticism. But it also does not need hostile organizations such as HRW preaching morality to it.
Criticism so biased and so hostile, compiled by someone who denies the very legitimacy of Israel, undermines the factual critique that should be and is voiced.
It is important to remember that while Israel has controlled the Palestinians for nearly 54 years, primarily because of their refusal to accept a two-state solution, this does not justify the expansion of the outpost industry or the hooliganism of a handful of settlers. It does not justify Israel's inaction for too many years on working towards a diplomatic solution.
While such reports by hostile organizations are indeed a problem, the bigger problem is Israel inching towards a binational state, both with or without granting rights to the Palestinians.
If those rights are granted, Israel will cease to be a Jewish state and without those rights it will indeed become an apartheid state.
These two situations should be avoided at all costs.
For no report, however hostile, should deter Israel from taking unilateral measures to ensure its continued existence as a Jewish and democratic state.