[Opinion] Missing in action: Antisemitism and human rights
In December 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the shadow of the Holocaust and the failure of the international community to prevent the Nazi genocide. Since then, the institutions that claim to promote the values in the declaration have issued grand proclamations and held ceremonies patting themselves on the back.
But reality is far removed from their public relations, and in comparison to the lofty goals of 1948, many of these institutions are dismal failures. The dictatorships, closed regimes and murderous war lords that constitute the many members of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and similar international bodies are among the worst offenders.
Perhaps the biggest failure is resurgent antisemitism – an issue that, at best, the human rights industry ignores – and in many cases contributes to. In the “enlightened” countries of Europe and North America, assaults on Jews and Jewish institutions are frequent occurrences. Synagogues, kosher stores, and individuals who are visibly identifiable as Jews have faced horrific and sometimes murderous attacks. In Britain, some in the Labour Party as well as its head, Jeremy Corbyn, have been exposed as hard-core antisemites, combining both the old forms of hate with the new “progressive” and anti-Israel versions. They were soundly defeated in the recent elections, but the hatred remains. On university campuses, visiting Israelis and students who identify with Israel are bullied, harassed and, in some cases, physically attacked.