Champion of Human Rights?

Champion of Human Rights?
Tariq A. Al-Maeena, talmaeena@aol.com
The ruling US clique selectively ignores certain vital aspects when it comes to protecting and preserving human rights. They view even human rights from a religious or racist angle. That American lawmakers exhibit blatant hypocrisy in this matter is too obvious but rarely reported.

Take the case of the US State Department that recently released a report to the US Congress identifying any vocal criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism, warning that anti-Jewish attitudes and incidents were on the rise worldwide.

This was based on a study conducted by Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute. The study found an increase in serious anti-Semitic incidents across the globe, encompassing physical attacks and vandalism, from 406 in 2005 to 593 in 2006.

The report went further and talked at great length about the intensification of anti-Semitic rhetoric among governments and international elites. Assessing the report, the State Department did not think twice before declaring that attacks on Israel are anti-Semitism — a bold statement indeed from an organ of the government that generally refrains from making extravagant statements.

“Anti-Semitism has proven to be an adaptive phenomenon,” the report said. “New forms of anti-Semitism have evolved. They often incorporate elements of traditional anti-Semitism. However, the distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that — whether intentionally or unintentionally — has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character.”

In its introductory overview, the report singles out governments with whom the Bush administration has no relations (Iran for example), or Syria and Venezuela with whom Washington’s relations are in a parlous state.

The report, however, cites pronounced examples of anti-Semitism among the nations that the United States has cultivated as allies, including Russia, Ukraine and Iraq.

This report followed four years of research launched in 2004 after US lawmakers passed a bill commissioning it. The process was accelerated in 2006 when President Bush named Gregg Rickman the first US special envoy on anti-Semitism.

The 94-page report suggests at length that Holocaust denial is a vehicle for anti-Semitism, focusing on the role Iran’s government has taken in its propagation. It also targets the United Nations, suggesting that some of its constituents, criticizing Israel, promote a hostile environment for Jews.

“Regardless of the intent, disproportionate criticism of Israel as barbaric and unprincipled, and corresponding discriminatory measures adopted in the UN against Israel, have the effect of causing audiences to associate negative attributes with Jews in general, thus fueling anti-Semitism,” it says.

Naturally, Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, welcomed the report, as did some members of Congress. “All too often, legitimate criticism of the State of Israel can veer into naked anti-Semitism characterized by vile hate speech,” said Rep. Howard Berman, the chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. “When hate speech arises, we should call it what it is — and do what can be done to stop it.”

Considering how the Israeli-fueled Zionist lobby has throttled US legislative bodies, no US politician would dare say otherwise.

Now let me get this straight. Isn’t it Israel’s policy of land grabbing and ethnic cleansing that generates criticism of this country?

Isn’t the Holocaust being perpetuated against the Palestinian people during the last fifty years a cause for unflattering rhetoric against a country whose raison d’etre seems to be the illegal thievery of others’ land and oppression of its rightful owners?

If that is anti-Semitism, so be it. It will not stop those calling for justice to the Palestinians from cowing down in the face of such dim-witted conclusions from a government that has lost much of its credibility as a champion of human rights.

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