Human Rights Shrug

When Ahmadinejad calls Israel a “a regime based on evil”, a “cancerous tumor”, a “stinking corpse”, a “filthy bacteria”, a “dead rat”, “a rotten, dried tree”, and “a mosquito” that “must be wiped off the map”; or that “one of the biggest lies was the Holocaust”; or that “Zionism is the modern times plight of the human society” and “basically a new [form of] fascism”; and that Zionists are “a group of blood-thirsty savages”, who “act like Hitler and behave worse than Genghis Khan”, and “have no faith in religion or even God”, and who are “are lying about being Jewish”, and “are the true manifestation of Satan”, and “have imposed themselves on a substantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural and media sectors”, and none of whom died on 9/11 because “one day earlier they were told not to go to their workplace”, why do you have to take it as a bad thing?

You Jews are so sensitive!

The head of New York-based Human Rights Watch refused to label as genocidal Iranian calls to obliterate the Jewish state and compared Iran’s mullah leadership to the Shas party.

The Wall Street Journal’s David Feith, as assistant editorial features editor with the paper, obtained internal HRW emails and published last week a report, headlined “Dancing around genocide,” about alleged HRW bias against Israel and an internecine conflict within HRW’s top leadership about the group’s head, Kenneth Roth, and his failure to take Iran’s calls to destroy Israel seriously.

The Journal reported that Sid Sheinberg, HRW’s vice chairman, wrote in an email, “Sitting still while Iran claims a ‘justification to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel’ is…a position unworthy of our great organization.”

According to the newspaper, Roth wrote in one email, “Many of [Iran’s] statements are certainly reprehensible, but they are not incitement to genocide. No one has acted on them.”

Did no one act in Buenos Aires in 1994? In Lebanon over and over? In Gaza just weeks ago? Iran’s DNA is all over those “acts” and myriad others, either directly or through its agents, Hizb’allah and Ham’ass.

Yet:

The Journal report noted that “while Hamas started indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli towns a decade ago, Human Rights Watch took years to issue a report. From 2000 to 2010, it published about as many reports condemning Israel as criticizing the tyrannies in Syria, Libya and Iran combined. In 2009, the group’s top Middle East official went fundraising in Saudi Arabia – that human rights paragon – where she spoke proudly of her disputes with ‘pro-Israel pressure groups.’”

The online Jewish magazine Tablet obtained a separate set of emails, in which Roth compared Shas’s Rabbi Ovadia Yosef with Iranian leaders.

According to Tablet, Roth wrote, “Would you suggest that Human Rights Watch denounce these statements as incitement to genocide? If not, what is the difference between these statements and the ones by Iranian leaders that you consider incitement to genocide? After all, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s statements are arguably more direct than those made by Iranian leaders, and Israel, unlike Iran, has the means to carry them out.”

What is the difference? How about Shas doesn’t have hundreds of centrifuges whirling like demonic dervishes, refining uranium to weapon grade; or a missile program to deliver the resultant weapons? Just for starters.

Oh yeah, one other: while both the Islamic Republic of Iran and Shas deplore homosexuality, the next gay person stoned or hanged in Israel will be the first. Ahmadinejad boasts that there are no gays in Iran, and who’s to say he’s wrong? How it got that way, however, is open to discussion.

In an email to The Jerusalem Post on Saturday, Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, the head of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, wrote, “This is a blatant example of Roth’s indifference to genocidal threats and human rights abuses when these target Israel.”

“Roth, who has controlled Human Rights Watch since 1996, has consistently demonstrated a obsession with attacking the Jewish state, and the people he selected to lead HRW’s Middle East and North Africa division are also infected with this deep bias,” Steinberg wrote.

“While Gaddafi was ranting against the Zionists, HRW embraced the regime as ‘human rights reformers.’ HRW’s studied silence in the face of Iran’s genocidal threats further demonstrates this organization’s moral bankruptcy.”

Steinberg added that “George Soros, who now provides HRW with most of its budget after many donors withdrew support, shares responsibility for enabling such immoral behavior under the facade of human rights.”

Plenty more on HRW, AI, B’Tselem, et al, at NGO Monitor. And of course the daily, hourly, minute-ly evil of the UN.

What this story and these briefs against such so-called human rights organizations remind me is that not only has the Left been corrupted, but that the Left has corrupted language. When I hear someone on the Left espouse “social justice”, I confess I inwardly spit (not a pleasant thought, I grant you). Not that “social justice” is a bad thing, but that it has become degraded into a tattered shopping list of Leftist causes. Whereas once “social justice” may have been synonymous with the brave, noble, and high-minded American civil rights movement, now it descended to the lower colon of the Occupy Movement, as symbolized by the gentleman having a bowel movement on the police cruiser.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and went to the mountain top. The Occupiers had a dump and took to the gutters. The symbolism of each defines them.

1 Comment »

  1. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    December 9, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    BTL,

    HRW and Amnesty International, (AI), are the two organizations that introduced me to the fact that the American and European Left are deeply antisemitic. Yes, the Jew hatred was obvious on college campuses and in religious institutions, but for whatever reason, the deep bias in the groups like HRW bothered me the most. I think it is because they only exist to stop or at least impede hatred of the majority toward the minority, and because they are so self-righteous and condescending about their “goodness”. At one point, years ago, I engaged in a long conversation with one of the Upper Pooh-Bahs at HRW. This individual was quite defensive about the information I had acquired, insisting that they did, indeed, criticize Palestinian terrorism.

    I have learned a few things about the motivations of groups like these, and of course about the individuals that work there. First of all, it is entirely possible that they receive significant funding from individuals or groups who hate Israel – perhaps directly from Iran, from Saudi Arabia, or from a group or group that is funded by them. This is the case at Harvard. What this means is that the reports are issued (or not issued) according to pocketbook considerations.

    Secondly, guilt is a powerful motivator, and not always in the way one would assume. I believe that guilt is so painful that it often causes anger at the source of the guilt, and more hostility results. It is circular. For example, taking Harvard again, we know that in the 30′s and 40′s, they were supporters of Hitler, going to far as to invite representatives to campus and throwing at least one rabbi off campus when he tried to directly inquire as to the fate of the German Jews. And today they take a lot of money from the Saudis.

    Thirdly, there is a well-documented tendency among some members of a given out-group to hate the group to which they belong, and to try to distance themselves from that group. Examples from our own history would be the Black Is Beautiful movement of the 60′s, which was created to teach Black Pride to African Americans. In Germany in the 30′s, there were many Jews who detested the Polish Jews because they thought that they were the cause of German Jew hatred.

    A combination of financial considerations, rage against the oppressed “other” and group shame is very dangerous. But what is truly lethal is the apathy of the rest of us.

    - Aggie

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