NGO Hypocrisy Makes "human rights" a Tragic Joke
One of these bodies unfairly criticizing Israel was the so-called "Human Rights Watch." This led to a criticism of HRW's position in the Jerusalem Post, written by Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor. Then Kenneth Roth of HRW sent his dishonest rebuttal. Links to these opinion articles are found here on the Augean Stables blog. Rather than get bogged down in the specific charges and countercharges regarding Israel's just defensive operation in Gaza against the Nazi-like Hamas, it is more important now to take up the basic problem represented by the NGOs. First is the comment by "Nelson," otherwise anonymous, on the Augean Stables. Following that is my response to Nelson.
It’s time to admit it: the so-called era of human rights is over. The UN, HRW, Amnesty International, the Red Cross, hundreds of NGOs and so on have, with their hipocrisy, their willful blindness, their selective rhetoric transformed the whole idea of human rights into a tragic joke. They have shown, for instance, that they cared more for the fate of the Rwandan Huttu génocidaires than for their hundreds of thousands of Tutsi victims. They have much more time for the terrorists imprisioned in Guantánamo than for the relatives of the victims of 9/11.Here is my response to Nelson with some changes and amendments:
The whole talk about human rights has become little more than a empty slogan, a whip with which to blackmail Western democracies and a shield to be used in order to protect the perpetrators of large scale crimes from the punishments they richly deserve.
With human rights reduced to a sorry farce, there’s no option but to return to old fashioned concepts of justice, of crime and punishment, things that can only have any kind of meaning within the borders of really functioning national states.
Like socialism, social justice, internationalism or the brotherhood of men, the very concept of human rights, a utopic dream to begin with, became its opposite: a pathetic nightmare.
[Comment by nelson — January 26, 2009 @ 3:36 pm]
Nelson said the important things about the “human rights” and “humanitarian” and “peace” NGOs that have to be said. I agree with just about everything that he wrote.
Now, these NGOs are not really “non-governmental” for the most part. Most are funded by govts, or groups of govts [like the EU] or by very wealthy individuals. For instance, the ICRC [international committee of the red cross / Comite International de la Croix Rouge] is a Swiss govt agency that decided --during WW2 & the Holocaust-- not to broadcast the early information that they had about the Holocaust [especially from Swiss physicians who had cared for the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front]. They claimed then that they had no legal mandate to interfere in such matters. Then --during the Holocaust-- they were legalistic against the Jews. They’re still legalistic against the Jews. Now, they take part in accusing Israel of war crimes, along with UN spokesmen, other NGOs, anti-Israel govts, hypocritical European politicians, Western and Arab psywar experts, etc. These accusations are usually based on false interpretations of international law.
Anyhow, NGOs serve political purposes. They are not meant to serve the abstract ideals and lofty ends that they profess. They are instruments –indeed weapons– of diplomacy, of what Lenin called “political warfare.” Now, we know what Clausewitz said about diplomacy and war. War is an extension of diplomacy, he said. I would turn that around and say that diplomacy is also an instrument of war, and so is the propaganda produced and disseminated by the NGOs.
In their book on the UN, A Dangerous Place [which preceded Moynihan’s book of the same title], Abraham Yeselson and Anthony Gaglione wrote that the UN has about as much relevance to peace as a battleship or an atomic bomb. The UN is a weapon of nations in conflict, they wrote. Likewise the NGOs. The propaganda emanating from them is often an insult to the intelligence and often produces results opposite to what they claim to work for. Everyone should explore the site of Steinberg’s NGO Monitor which reports –inter alia– on the sources of funding of many NGOs.
For instance, B’Tselem, mentioned in an earlier post by Richard Landes [of Augean Stables], has received funds from jimmy carter’s Carter Center in Atlanta. The Carter Center has in turn received funds from the Bin Laden Group [Yes, Osama’s family firm] and –years ago– from the BCCI bank, mainly owned by the Sheik and govt of Abu Dhabi. So these NGOs are not so innocent, although some of their activists may be truly naive and ignorant and/or deluded, indoctrinated, brainwashed. So Mr Roth seems to be playing a role in international diplomacy, whether or not he is aware of his role.
Abu Yussif, apparently an Arabic-speaking Christian commenting on the Roth-Steinberg exchange on Augean Stables, makes this comment:
i'm not getting why ken roth would want palestinian civilians to be condemned to subjugation under the worst cynical and callous islamic masters. it is one thing to microscopically contest military tactics, but another to serve as a “defender of human rights” to [= for] the worst abusers of human rights.- - - - - - - - - -
suppose mr roth gets his wish and israel is punished, censured, whatever. all he has accomplished is giving an extra meansure of breathing room and a freer hand to hamas to brutalize and terrorize their own population (and let’s not forget what they do to israelis at the same time). he has just cemented palestinians in more misery and removed any hope that the civilian population might experience any of the human rights mr roth and his group are supposed to be “watching”.
why does mr roth care so little about palestinian civilians in their day-to-day lives under terrorists who plainly admit they have no intention of doing anything other than enslaving the masses?
it’s not for the sake of “human rights”, i’m sorry to say. maybe it’s because he loathes the palestinians and wants to ensure their suffering is maximized. if so, he’s doing an excellent job.
[Comment by abu yussif — January 26, 2009 @ 9:29 am]
Coming: More on Zbig's schemes, Obama's dishonesty, the "Left's" lies, Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, archeology, propaganda analysis, peace follies, etc