The United Nations Human Rights Council.
Two ironic stories over the weekend dealing with how the Israeli government deals with human rights investigations on itself and how pro-Israel supporters praise others for looking into the PA’s record.
Calev Myers, of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice traveled to Brussels on Thursday to hand the European Union a report urging future aid be based on the Palestinian Authority improving the human rights of Palestinians. According to their website:
Myers traveled to Brussels to personally hand the EU a 35-page report that his organization, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, compiled on human rights in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
It urged the EU to hold the PA and Hamas accountable for its human rights obligations under international law, which are only marginally influenced by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Asking donors to look into the human rights conditions and accountability is a good thing. No matter who it is. The Palestinian Authority, like all governmental entities should be held to account for how it treats it’s citizens. It’s also good to be held accountable to international law. But one must remember a simple fact. The Israelis are the ones in power in the West Bank. Is this taken into account as well? Are the human rights abuses perpetrated by Israeli polices accounted for in Mr. Myers report? More on that later.
However, back in Jerusalem…Haaretz reported on Sunday that:
Israel is considering sanctions against the Palestinian Authority after the United Nations’ Human Rights Council decided to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called it “diplomatic terror” and on Sunday evening Foreign Minster Danny Ayalon tweeted that the UN team would not be allowed into Israel.
No matter what you think of the UN or it’s different bodies, Israel’s human rights record in the occupied territories needs more attention. According to B’tselem’s 2011 Human Rights Report on the settlements:
The settlements violate numerous human rights of the Palestinians, among them the right to property, the right to an adequate standard and living, and the right to freedom of movement.
So while Israeli Human Rights lawyers are in Brussels asking that any future funding be contingent on the Palestinian Authority’s human rights efforts. The Israeli government calls such actions “diplomatic terror” and shuts the doors to any international accountability looking into it’s human rights record and the settlements.
You can’t demand accountability from others while rejecting calls for the same on yourself.