16 March 2008

16 March 2007 - Fire John Dugard, disband the HRC

Here's what John Dugard, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian [and only Palestinian] human rights, had to say about terrorism in his latest report--responding to complaints about his lack of attention to the subject in the past:

4. Terrorism is a scourge, a serious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. No attempt is made in the reports to minimize the pain and suffering it causes to victims, their families and the broader community. [A lie. - ed.]Palestinians are guilty of terrorizing innocent Israeli civilians by means of suicide bombs and Qassam rockets. Likewise the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are guilty of terrorizing innocent Palestinian civilians by military incursions, targeted killings and sonic booms that fail to distinguish between military targets and civilians.[Note the "immoral" equivalence between suicide bombs and the sound of an airplane. Outrageous. - ed.] All these acts must be condemned and have been condemned.3 Common sense, however, dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by Al Qaeda, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation. While such acts cannot be justified, they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation. History is replete with examples of military occupation that have been resisted by violence - acts of terror. The German occupation was resisted by many European countries in the Second World War; the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) resisted South Africa's occupation of Namibia; and Jewish groups resisted British occupation of Palestine - inter alia, by the blowing up of the King David Hotel in 1946 with heavy loss of life, by a group masterminded by Menachem Begin, who later became Prime Minister of Israel.[So Al-Qaeda doesn't want to "liberate" Iraq, Israel is to blame for Palestinian terror, Jews are like Nazis, and Israel can't complain because of the past actions (condemned by mainstream Zionists) by the Irgun. - ed.] Acts of terror against military occupation must be seen in historical context. This is why every effort should be made to bring the occupation to a speedy end. Until this is done peace cannot be expected, and violence will continue. In other situations, for example Namibia, peace has been achieved by the ending of occupation, without setting the end of resistance as a precondition. Israel cannot expect perfect peace and the end of violence as a precondition for the ending of the occupation.[Or even after the occupation ends, as the case of Gaza shows. - ed.]

5. A further comment on terrorism is called for. In the present international climate it is easy for a State to justify its repressive measures as a response to terrorism - and to expect a sympathetic hearing. Israel exploits the present international fear of terrorism to the full.[Another lie. You want to see exploitation of terror fears? See China, Saudi Arabia, and other member states of the Human Rights Council. - ed.] But this will not solve the Palestinian problem. Israel must address the occupation and the violation of human rights and international humanitarian law it engenders, and not invoke the justification of terrorism as a distraction, as a pretext for failure to confront the root cause of Palestinian violence - the occupation.

Also note the disclaimer Dugard adds to explain his failure to report on Palestinian abuses--slightly expanded from previous editions:

For this reason this report, like previous reports, will not address the violation of the human rights of Israelis by Palestinians. Nor will it address the conflict between Fatah and Hamas, and the human rights violations that this conflict has engendered. Similarly it will not consider the human rights record of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank or of Hamas in Gaza. The Special Rapporteur is aware of the ongoing violations of human rights committed by Palestinians upon Palestinians and by Palestinians upon Israelis. He is deeply concerned and condemns such violations. However, they find no place in this report because the mandate requires that the report be limited to the consequences of the military occupation of the OPT by Israel.

It's time to fire this guy, and get rid of the Human Rights Council, which has failed utterly in its mission, and cannot possibly succeed, given its structure and leadership.


At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi David Hoffman

On Wednesday, March 12, my wife and I were driving to a 1:00 pm appointment at the Jewish Museum-Cape Town Holocaust Center on Hatfield Street. Passing the IDASA Conference Centre, we made a right turn up toward Parliament, only to see traffic grind to a halt for a quarter of an hour to let thousands of mostly young Muslims walk away from a demonstration. My wife asked the demonstrators what gives, and a passerby politely responded that the demonstration was in solidarity for the Palestinians.

We left our windows open, and my obviously Jewish head covering was not removed, and do you know why? Because I believe that in a democracy where free speech is exercised thoughtfully and lawfully it makes for a less violent and more peaceful society. My wife and I did not have one moment of fear because Muslims venting their feelings and concerns at a legally authorized demonstration at the South African Parliament is now part of the ebb and flow of life in Cape Town. Their exercising their right of free speech definitely makes for a more peaceful society. The question I have is whether Zapiro’s political cartoon in the Cape Times of the same day doesn’t do the opposite.

When I arrived for my appointment at the Jewish Holocaust Center the Jews there, like me, were not particularly disturbed about the Palestine solidarity demonstration that had just finished, but they were all deeply upset by Zapiro’s political cartoon published on the op-ed page of that morning’s Cape Times which they felt was needlessly inflammatory. In that cartoon, Zapiro likens the sufferings of today’s Palestinians to the sufferings of Jewry over centuries and then concludes by saying “Israel gives thanks for the end of oppression,” the implication being that Israel is thankful for no longer being oppressed, while it is simultaneously oppressing another people.

Unfortunately, reality is not so simple. At a recent medical appointment with an Iranian Jewish doctor in Los Angeles, the young doctor, born and raised in Iran, told me of his fear that with a single word from an Iranian Ayatollah the 40,000 Jews remaining in Iran would be slaughtered. Some of these same Iranian Ayatollahs have stated that a nuclear strike upon Israel is strategically viable because whereas Iran will have survivors, Israel because of its much smaller size, will be completely wiped out. And the Islamic regime of Iran is the main ally and sponsor of Hezbollah and Hamas with their ever growing arsenal of missiles upon which can be placed chemical, biological and nuclear contaminants. It was only a few years back when an e-mailed query purportedly from Gaza asked consultants at a local poison center to inform them what the most lethal pesticides available were! But there doesn’t seem to be any consultation with the Palestinian people concerning who will be the willing shaheeds (martyrs) in the event of a chemical-biological-nuclear onslaught on Israel.

Zapiro’s cartoon conveys the impression that the sole motivation for these genocidal threats emanating from Gaza, Iran and elsewhere would be the sufferings imposed on the Palestinians by an allegedly immoral “Nazi-like” Israeli government.

The truth is that a significant collaborator with the original Nazi genocide against the Jews was the acknowledged political leader of the Palestinians at that time, Haj Amin El Husseini. He was known as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and was buried with great honor in Syria in 1974. The Grand Mufti has never been formally repudiated by the Palestinians or the Muslim Brotherhoods for his collaboration with genocide in W.W. II.

It is clearly more than just plausible that as with the Mufti, the current threat of genocide upon Israel is a further continuation and intensification of historic Arab oppression of Jews. Over the centuries the Jews, who were considered “dhimmi” - socially and religiously inferior - bore the brunt of the Muslim governments’ arbitrary policies which at times had deleterious financial consequences for both Muslims and Jews, but with the Jews being the scapegoats and sometimes paying with their very lives.

And now, so that a true order of society under the laws of traditional Islam is restored, there are those who insist that Islam’s alleged humiliation must be ended, and the Jews who were once dhimmi must be dhimmi once again, and Israel whether through political means or war, must be destroyed.

And so Zapiro, Israel is not “giving thanks for the end of oppression.” Quite the contrary, Jewry world wide feels itself threatened at this very moment with genocide, for very good reasons. The way to end the conflict then is to ratchet down this threat and not further feed the frenzy. The last thing Jews want is another Shoah, whether of Jews or Palestinians. But your cartoon, in a perverse version of holocaust denial, seems to indicate just the opposite.

Indeed, even if there is a fire, it is not advisable to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre. What is recommended is to find a way to keep the crowd calm and under control, as with the beautiful Muslim youth who loudly proclaimed their innermost religious moral convictions before the world as is their right. But you have a choice, Zapiro! You don’t have to further feed the frenzy with self-righteous moralism based on limited and distorted facts.

Ditto for Dugard

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS. I never had a submission remain unpublished ever in 17 years in South Africa. But this one will not be. Is it because I no longer live in South Africa? The Cape Times will be surprised in the future as to my continuing impact on events in South Africa.
Regards to all!


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