04 November 09
As shown below, the three main themes repeated by HRW’s defenders are: balance, methodology, and “open” and “closed” societies. These responses are misleading and do not address Bernstein’s most serious claims, including HRW’s role in “turn[ing] Israel into a pariah state” and its loss of “critical perspective” on Iran’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah.
1) “They say we disproportionately focus on Israel, and neglect other countries in the Middle East... Israel is a small fraction of what we do.” 
This response from HRW greatly distorts Bernstein’s statement that “in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.” Bernstein specifically discusses Israel within the context of the Middle East, where even HRW’s misleading response admits a disproportionate focus.
HRW claims that “Israel accounts for about 15 percent of our published output on the region.” 
Assuming this were correct, it would mean that HRW’s Middle East division, which covers 17 countries, focuses significantly more than the proportionate level of resources (6 percent) on Israel.
But the data show that this claim of 15 percent is highly misleading. In 2009 (through November 2), HRW has published 284 documents on the Middle East and North Africa. 88 (31 percent) of these documents have dealt with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Gaza. In comparison, only 39 documents focus on Iran. Of the 88 documents on Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Gaza, 5 are full-length reports, versus only 3 on Saudi Arabia, 2 on the United Arab Emirates, and 1 each for seven other countries. ( HRW had completed and planned to publish yet another report, on “wanton destruction” by Israel in Gaza, in parallel to the Goldstone report. But the publication was shelved following the growing criticism. This is a tacit admission that the level of resources targeting Israel is excessive and unjustified.)