[Opinion] Human Rights Tragedies and Distortions
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[A]s concern for human rights has grown, rights-based language has been hijacked or “weaponized”: Many political advocates exploit human rights principles and terminology to advance narrow political goals and attack ideological adversaries, abandoning the universality of human rights. These campaigns, unsurprisingly, result in fewer human rights protections.
This troubling phenomenon is a visible part of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A powerful network of NGOs uses human rights and related concepts of international law to demonize Israel and advance campaigns of isolation and sanctions. While ostensibly aimed at promoting the human rights of Palestinians, these actions often weaken Palestinian rights while completely ignoring the rights of Israelis.
Amnesty International, one of the largest and most powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that claim a focus on human rights, with an annual budget approaching $100 million, is a case in point.
Amnesty played a primary role in the Goldstone process following the 2009 Gaza war, providing the list of incidents that Judge Goldstone discussed in his discredited report (none involved Hamas). Amnesty also campaigned publically in support of the mission and its skewed conclusions. With the Schabas Report (aka Goldstone 2) forthcoming in March 2015, Amnesty is actively working to construct a false narrative of Israeli guilt.
[F]or narrow-minded actors, including many NGOs, political abstractions are far more important than the concrete realization of human rights. Too often, their political considerations and agendas trump human rights and cause the very damage they claim to combat.