Is Israel being singled out?
Is Israel being singled out?
- Why is Israel so often criticized in the UN? Aren’t other countries just as guilty of human rights violations?
- Does the world judge Israel more harshly than it does other countries?
According to Phyllis Bennis in her book Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict – A Primer, “There are many countries in the United Nations which commit human rights violations. Israel is criticized by the international community more than many other countries because its violations of Palestinian human rights are also violations of international law and a host of specific UN resolutions. That is because the specific violations often targeted by UN resolutions – building settlements, demolition of Palestinian houses, military attacks on civilians, closures and curfews, etc. – all take place in the context of a military occupation that is itself illegal.
Other countries – Algeria, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, many more – commit massive human rights violations against their own population, but only Israel carries out those actions against a population that is supposed to be protected by the Geneva Conventions, which guarantee safety for people living under occupation.”
In a 2009 document, the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions responds, “The Israeli/Palestine conflict gets disproportionate attention because it is a global rather than merely local conflict. Its destabilizing effect over the entire global system is significant. The US announced in mid-2007 that it was pouring $63 billion of military hardware into Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, in addition to the billions spent each day in Iraq. The Israel-Palestine conflict is emblematic to the Muslim world and must be resolved, as James Baker has stated, before the international community can prevail in its struggle with terrorism and get on with business-as-usual. Still, other conflicts – Darfur, for example, Tibet, Chinese violations of human rights, Burma, Guantanamo, Columbia, the civil wars in Central and West Africa, human rights issues in Russia and Eastern Europe, plus many more – vie for attention…
There is a need for more concentrated attention and action. It seems true that more attention is paid to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than many other serious and pressing issues in the international community, but the fact that criticism of Israeli policies has not led to Palestinian self-determination means that insufficient pressure is being applied. Raising the profile of other international issues is important, but it has no bearing on campaigns to pressure Israel over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
 Bennis, Phyllis. Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict – A Primer. Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2007. p. 104. Print.
 Halper, Jeff, Johnson, Jimmy and Schaeffer, Emily. “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Challenging Slogans through Critical Reframing.” Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. 2009. Web. p. 32 and p. 27 (http://www.kopi-endederbesatzung.de/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/SlogansRhetoric-icahd.pdf)