Selective Human Rights

I have always noticed that the so-called human rights organizations normally react to a terror attack in Israel with silence. For example, see here and here.

However, this time around, Human Rights Watch have issued a statement in the wake of yesterday’s attack. That is, a statement denouncing Israel’s security fence.

Today the International Court of Justice, the United Nationsí main judicial organ, begins hearings on the barrier in The Hague in response to the U.N. General Assemblyís request for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the barrier. The Israeli government has argued that the separation barrier is necessary to prevent Palestinian suicide bombingsóand other attacks against civiliansóoriginating in the West Bank.

The construction, route and operation of Israel’s separation barrier inside the West Bank violate international human rights and humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today.

“Israel has a right and duty to protect its civilians from attack, but it must not use means that entail indiscriminate punishment of entire communities,” said Joe Stork, acting executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. “Israel’s separation barrier seriously impedes Palestinian access to essentials of civilian life, such as work, education and medical care.”

They end their statement with the following words:

Human Rights Watch takes no position on the Israeli-Palestinian territorial dispute, but monitors abuses against civilian populations by all sides in the conflict. The organization has condemned Palestinian suicide bombings and other systematic attacks that target civilians as crimes against humanity.

But try as I do, I cannot find one reference to yesterday’s attack on their site, let alone a condemnation.

Silence is bad enough. But ignoring the attack and criticizing Israel’s attempt to prevent more of the same is nothing short of shameful.

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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