Topic: Joe Stork

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Joe Stork is an American political activist and Deputy Director for Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch. He holds an M.A. in International Affairs/Middle East Studies from Columbia University.

Before joining Human Rights Watch in 1996, Stork co-founded the Middle East Research & Information Project (MERIP) and was editor of its flagship publication, the Middle East Report. Stork served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkey. "He presently serves as chair of the Middle East Studies Association's Committee on Academic Freedom and sits on the advisory committees of the American Friends Service Committee, Foreign Policy in Focus and the Iraq Revenue Watch project of the Open Society Institute."

Stork's involvement with MERIP and anti-Israel activism before joining HRW have made him the object of criticism. Maariv reported that Stork was a "radical leftist" who had attended an anti-Zionist conference hosted by Saddam Hussein in 1976, and that MERIP had praised the murders of Israeli athletes in the Munich massacre. Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW, has defended Stork by saying that these events took place thirty years ago, Stork was only one of several editors of MERIP at the time, and he later became a staunch critic of Hussein.

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