Israel’s Deplorable Human Rights Record
by Stephen Lendman
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) conducts Universal Periodic Reviews. It calls doing so “a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all (193) UN Member States.”
It’s an “opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations.”
It’s “designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.”
In January, Israel became the first country to opt out. It no-showed disgracefully. It calls legitimate criticism anti-Israeli bias.
It got a second chance. On October 29, it showed up in Geneva. Complicit EU allies rigged the process. Doing so gave Israel special treatment. It’s the only UN member state so afforded.
Its internal human rights record was evaluated separately from occupation harshness. Its presentation turned truth on its head. Fiction substituted for indisputable facts.
Israel denies Arab citizens fundamental rights. Activist Jews face harsh treatment. Israeli viciousness reflects official policy.
Occupied Palestinians fare worst. Militarized occupation harshness brutalizes them ruthlessly. Netanyahu exceeds Sharonian evil.
Palestine is an isolated prison. Besieged Gaza is the world’s largest open-air one. An entire population is being suffocated out of existence.
Since 1948, Palestinians endured virtually every form of indignity, degradation and crime against humanity. They face daily abuses too great to ignore.
Israeli viciousness is unrelenting. Its HRC presentation mocked reality. It made painful listening. In text form, it ran 25 pages. It includes one lie and distortion after another. It bears no relation to truth.
On September 30, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel prepared a “Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Israel 29 October 2013.”
Israel has no constitution. Basic Laws substitute. No Israeli law “guarantees the right to equality and/or prohibits direct or indirect racial discrimination,” said Adalah.
Israel’s 18th Knesset (2009 – 2012) was its worst ever. Racist laws passed routinely. In March 2013, the 19th Knesset convened.
In its first March – July session, 35 new discriminatory laws were introduced. Doing so exceeds the worst of the previous body. Human rights are systematically violated. Core international laws are spurned.
Israel discriminates against its Arab citizens. It does so in virtually all ways imaginable. Equality is verboten. Arabs are treated like fifth column threats.
Doing so is longstanding Israeli policy. Being Arab means being denied fundamental rights.
According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI):
“Arab citizens face entrenched discrimination in all fields of life. In recent years, the prevalent attitude of hostility and mistrust towards Arab citizens has become more pronounced, with large sections of the Israeli public viewing the Arab minority as both a fifth column and a demographic threat.”
“There are glaring socioeconomic differences between Jewish and Arab population groups, particularly with regard to land, urban planning, housing, infrastructure, economic development, and education.”
“Over half of the poor families in Israel are Arab families, and Arab municipalities constitute the poorest municipalities within Israel.”
ACRI struggles legally and other ways to overcome these inequities. So does Adalah and other Israeli human rights organizations.
Challenging Israeli ruthlessness takes commitment. It requires longterm struggle against injustice. It demands staying the course no matter what.
Israel’s contempt for rule of law principles and ruthless use of force make things tougher.
Zionism is the enemy of Jews and non-Jews alike. It endangers world peace. It threatens humanity. It’s corrosive, destructive, racist, extremist, undemocratic and hateful.
It claims Jewish supremacy, specialness and uniqueness as God’s “chosen people.”
It violates fundamental human and civil rights. It deplores peace. It chooses confrontation over diplomacy. It espouses violence.
It seeks dominance through militarism, intimidation and naked aggression.
In his book “Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine,” Joel Kovel said it turned Israel “into a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses.” It rages out-of-control.
If you accept “the idea of a Jewish state,” you mix its twin notions of “particularism (and) exceptionalism (that are) the actual bane of Judaism (and give) racism an objective, enduring, institutionalized and obdurate character,” he explained.
“(T)he world would be a far better place without Zionism(‘s)” corrosive effects. Israeli state terror is called self-defense. Palestinian freedom fighters are called terrorists.
Israel is a classic rogue state. It’s all take and no give. Core international law principles don’t matter. Israel violates them unaccountably. Occupation harshness persists.
Jews alone have rights. Palestinians suffer horrifically. Israelification aims for:
- total control of Palestine;
- encouraging Palestinians to leave;
- confining remaining ones to isolated cantons;
- stealing all valued land;
- dispossessing its Arab inhabitants;
- exploiting its water and other resources;
- co-opting a quisling Palestinian leadership;
- using it to enforce Israeli diktats;
- terrorizing ordinary Palestinians into submission; and
- denying them all fundamental rights and privileges.
Law Professor Michael Mandel said:
“Israel’s West Bank and Gaza settlements are war crimes in Canada.”
“Under the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act 2000, c. 24, Israel’s settlements in territories taken in the June 1967 war constitute war crimes punishable in Canada.”
Mandel cited Section 8, paragraph 2 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Item viii prohibits: “The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory.”
Although “Israel denies it, there is no question (it’s) an Occupying Power for the purposes of the Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, and the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.”
Law Professor Francis Boyle said since the 1987 first Intifada erupted, “the world has seen heinous war crimes inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian people.”
They include “willful killing.” Israeli security forces and extremist settlers bear full responsibility. Fourth Geneva breaches persist daily.
They include “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated,” Boyle explained.
Israel policy mirrors what Nazi Germany did to Jews. Crimes against humanity “are the historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention,” said Boyle.
Michael Mandel explained how America gets away with murder in his book by that title. Israel operates the same way. Palestinians suffer horrifically.
Whitewashing Israeli crimes won’t absolve them. Decades of pain and suffering persist. Don’t expect Palestinians to forgive or forget. Liberation remains a distant dream.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.