(JTA) — Human Rights Watch suspended a senior official over his collection of Nazi memorabilia.
A pro-Israel blog had revealed last week that the human rights group’s senior military analyst, Marc Garlasco, is a major collector of Nazi memorabilia.
While the group gave Garlasco its full support when the news broke last week, on Monday night its associate director announced it was suspending him with full pay "pending an investigation," The New York Times reported.
The revelation comes at a time when pro-Israel groups have worked to discredit the organization, which has released several reports critical of Israel in the wake of its January military offensive in Gaza.
Garlasco has said his hobby is a result of his family history; his grandfather was conscripted by the Nazis.
He posted an essay Sept. 11 on The Huffington Post Web site that said, in part, "I’ve never hidden my hobby, because there’s nothing shameful in it, however weird it might seem to those who aren’t fascinated by military history. Precisely because it’s so obvious that the Nazis were evil, I never realized that other people, including friends and colleagues, might wonder why I care about these things."