The struggle of Natan Sharansky and his fellow refuseniks for freedom in the Soviet Union was an inspiration to human rights activists around the world. But his recent article, “Breaking the Silence Is No Human Rights Organization – and I Should Know,” where he criticizes Breaking the Silence, reveals that his experience does not necessarily give him insight into the norms of democracy and human rights. Read more in Ha’aretz
Posts Tagged ‘human rights’
Posted in human rights, tagged B'Tselem, France, Geneva Conventions, Hagai El-Ad, Hebron, house demolitions, human rights, Israel, Moshe Ya'alon, Musa Abu Hashhah, Palestinians, Paris attacks, September 11, Terrorism, West Bank on November 25, 2015 | 1 Comment »
In the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris last week, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon remarked on the tension between security and liberty. “In the United States until the events of September 11, the balance between security and human rights favored human rights on the issue, for example of eavesdropping on potential terrorists,” he said. “In France and other countries in Europe, [a shift toward security] hasn’t yet happened. Countries fighting terrorism have no alternative in this other than shifting in the direction of security. I assume that we will see a large number of steps [to carry out] inspections: passport inspections, inspections at the entrance to public places.”
As in the U.S. this dichotomy between security and human rights is at the very heart of the debate in Israel. ”We believe not only are these not contradictory, but that human rights provides security,” said Hagai El-Ad, the Executive Director of B’Tselem, Israel’s leading human rights groups monitoring its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, on a recent press call. “Indeed, we think that human rights are the reasons for which we have security, they are why people have a society that must be protected. So one has to wonder what kind of society do we end up with (in Ya’alon’s framework) and would that society be worth defending if you take Ya’alon’s idea to extremes. I hope that idea will work differently in France. Time will tell.”
My friend, Sarit Michaeli, B’Tselem’s tireless spokesperson, was shot in the thigh with a rubber-coated bullet by Israeli Border Police
Friday during the weekly demonstration at a-Nabi Saleh, The Palestinian village has suffered from Israel taking parts of its land and the nearby settlement of Halamish stealing its already limited supply of water.
Sarit, in her account of the incident, which I’ve pasted below, makes it clear that there were no stone-throwers anywhere near her, that the police, as they regularly do, violated even their own rules of engagement, and that either she or some other non-violent civilians near her had to have been intentionally targeted: “In order to shoot at me, the soldier had to knowingly point his weapon in my direction, or in the direction of a medic and two Palestinian female protesters who were close to me. No one standing in my vicinity threw any stones.” (more…)
The Turkish people have come out in force to defend and expand their democracy. It’s important to understand the context of these demonstrations, which have at least as much similarity to the Occupy protests as they do to the Arab Awakening. I’d argue they actually are closer to the former. I explore these points at LobeLog.
Posted in Europe, tagged AIPAC, Barack Obama, Chas Freeman, Elliott Abrams, European Eminent Persons Group, human rights, international law, Israel, Israel Lobby, Jeremy Greenstock, Middle east, Occupation, Oslo Process, Palestine, Paul Pillar, pro-Israel, Settlements, Two-state solution, United States on May 7, 2013 | Leave a Comment »