Saturday, June 26

Human Rights and Human Rights Activists in the Middle East

Over the last three weeks we witnessed the flotilla debacle and condemnation of Israel for the deaths of 9 Turkish citizens because of Israeli Commando action in a botched operation to prevent the Nawe Marmara from entering the territorial waters of Gaza.

Israel had become the polecat of the world and hardly a country supported Israel's actions. Despite this, one can say that the motive was achieved - a partial easing of the siege on Gaza and the allowing of essential goods to enter. Ironically had there not been the Gaza bound flotillas, there would not have been the easing of restrictions on essential goods, let alone lifting of the siege.

Collective punishment against the citizens of Gaza never achieved the release of Gilad Shalit, the captive Israeli soldier; it only increased the price for his release. Apart from that, it also strengthened Hamas resilience. They also made a large profit from goods smuggled illegally via tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border.

A question mark remains as to whether the human rights activists on the ship were aware of the presence of the IHH terrorist group on the Gaza bound flotilla. This is not clear and there are many conflicting reports.

Nevertheless, most of these human rights activists aligned themselves with the left. The left is often associated with communism which has an anti-religious ideology. How does this fit in with Islamist fanatic religiosity with which they have aligned themselves. This is paradoxical as they see themselves fighting for human rights of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation as well as the lifting of the siege on Gaza and strengthening the legitimacy of Hamas. The former was partially achieved and time will tell as to its significance.

On the other hand, these human rights activists had also served the interests of Hamas, Hezbollah, IHH and the Ahmadinajad regime of Iran. These organizations are not concerned with human rights of the Palestinians - on the contrary, they are oppressive regimes who show no mercy towards people who oppose them. Hamas should end its attacks on political opponents and suspected collaborators in Gaza, which have killed at least 32 Palestinians and maimed several dozen more during and since the recent Israeli military offensive, Human Rights Watch called on Hamas authorities in Gaza to hold those responsible accountable.

The 26-page report, "Under Cover of War: Hamas Political Violence in Gaza," documents a pattern since late December 2008 of arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, maiming by shooting, and extrajudicial executions by alleged members of Hamas security forces. The report is based on interviews with victims and witnesses in Gaza and case reports by Palestinian human rights groups.

Beatings, abuse of women, shooting Fatah supporters in the legs as was witnessed in Gaza when Hamas took over are all part of their stock in trade to remain in power by eradicating opposition to their rule. The indefinite holding of Gilad Shalit is also human rights abuse and is illegal. He has been held for four years now and even the Red Cross has been denied visiting rights to see him. Why do these so-called human rights activists not mention this in their concern for human rights abuses?

How this dovetails into the human rights activists’ sense of morality remains a serious question that deserves an answer. Their "human rights" activities are playing into the hands of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East and are giving legitimacy to terror which is not only directed against Israel but also the West.

It makes one wonder as to the seriousness of their intentions when they have the support of these anti-democratic regimes in the Middle East. Has the world forgotten the ill-fated Iranian opposition to Ahmadinajad's forged election? A certain amount of legitimacy has been given to these Islamic terrorist organizations by human rights activists who identify with the suffering of the Gaza Palestinians by default.

Now there are threats of sending more flotillas from Lebanon, Iran and Turkey. It is not known for certainty whether these ships will carry arms and terrorist cells. The sweet coating on the Gaza bound flotillas will naturally be more naive human rights activists! It is sad that these people will once more be manipulated to bolster terrorism.

The terrorist organizations did not succeed in carrying out the "ethnic cleansing" of Israel by Quassam rocket fire, suicide, bombings and other forms of terror and have adopted a new tactic - manipulation of human rights activists to delegitimize Israel! They intend to do this by cynical propaganda based on lies and fantasies. It is not about concern for alleviating Palestinian suffering which does not interest them. The power players' circle is widening. The core is pseudo - Nazi Islamist, racist, terrorist organizations which are interested in dominating the Middle East. Naïve human rights activists with good intentions are excellent material that adds legitimacy to their evil intentions of domination. The siege on Gaza, as ineffective and morally questionable as it is, is a great starting point for these evil terrorist organizations to begin. Israel had created the blockade of Gaza as the starting point and because of international pressure has now rescinded it.

The capture of Gilad Shalit by Hamas and the high demands for his release is all part of their evil strategy. Even the Hamas prisoners sitting in Israeli jails have no chance of release in a prisoner exchange that does not materialize. Hamas also does not seem to be concerned about the Palestinian families who also wish to see members of their families released and returned to their homes in exchange for Gilad Shalit. It is a political power game. Gilad Shalit and the Palestinian prisoners are paying the price for Hamas folly.

If the Hamas regime really cared about the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, they would have clinched a deal for Gilad Shalit's release in a prisoner exchange long time ago.

Where are the human activists in East Jerusalem? Why are they not protesting the demolition of 22 Palestinian homes in Silwan in order to make way for a tourism centre? Their energies would be better spent there in protesting forced removals of Palestinian residents who have been living there for generations.

What about those Palestinian students who are citizens studying overseas for a profession? If they leave Israel for more than seven years they lose their right of return even though they were born in Jerusalem. Why are there no human rights activists to plead their justified cause for the right of return? On the other hand, Jewish Israelis and even Diaspora Jews can always return no matter how long they have been out of the country. Is this just? Even Israel has moral inconsistencies despite the claim of being the only democracy in the Middle East. Many Jewish immigrants (by no means all) arriving in Israel under the guise of the "Law of Return" have nothing to contribute and bring with them problems of alcoholism, drug addiction, trafficking in women, and broken families. Surely, educated Palestinians born in Israel, and whose families have lived here for many generations but were away for long periods of study overseas are a far more positive element. Why should they be denied entry?

These cases are in need of human rights activists rather than their alliance, unbecomingly or not, with extremist Islamist terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and IHH which is just a small step from Al Qaeda and their ilk.

These so-called organizations are viewed as champions of the Palestinian cause for freedom from the Israeli occupation. Nothing could be further from the truth than that assumption and its cynical use of human rights activists.

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