[R-G] Why do you single out Israel?
shniad at sfu.ca
Sat Mar 21 16:42:00 MDT 2009
Mondoweiss March 21, 2009
Why do you single out Israel? (Falk and Cohen answer)
Lately I did a post on the question, Why do we single Israel out for indictment in a sea of man's inhumanity to man? It's the Dershowitz question, implying that we do so because we're anti-semitic. Well here is a very smart response to that post from Ilene Cohen, who describes the question as "the ultimate whine":
Perhaps you'd seen this last summer, but in case not, here's UN rapporteur Richard Falk on the subject from the Nation. Falk's response:
"The Human Rights Council is often accused of being overly selective, too critical of Israel, too lenient with respect to a variety of Third World countries. There is no doubt that any political institution will establish priorities based on the concerns of its membership. From this perspective it's not surprising that a focus should be placed on Israel and the Palestinian plight. After all, the UN has a special responsibility for Palestine that goes back to its effort to partition the mandate for the territory in 1947. From the UN perspective this unconsummated effort to address the future of both Palestinians and Israelis is, in a sense, the greatest unresolved issue on the UN agenda. [Weiss emphasis.] Beyond this, the prolonged Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is unprecedented in international experience and has produced immense Palestinian suffering. It should also be noted that the HRC has appointed special rapporteurs for other situations of severe human rights concern, including North Korea and Myanmar."
I would add the following to the case: Israel bills itself as a Western democracy, so the idea that expectations should be the same as for the Congo or N. Korea or China, for that matter, is absurd. And, of course, were we not paying for Israel to do these things, it couldn't do them.
Weiss: I'd add that Falk's point was echoed last fall by the UN General Assembly president, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, when he said that the failure to deliver on Palestinian statehood was the body's "greatest failure" in 60 years. This is for me the bottom line. And the Israel lobby has always stood in the way. Enough already. History is standing at the door.
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