December 10, 2006 marks International Human Rights Day. The UN-sponsored day commemorates the 1948 General Assembly adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a “Magna Carta for all humanity” and “one of the first major achievements of the United Nations”
Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, has chosen this day to visit the separation barrier. Her trip only exemplifies ongoing biases and human rights distortions in the NGO community, which stand in sharp contradiction to their mandates of upholding universal human rights.
These double standards have been highlighted recently by the extreme bias of the United Nations Human Rights Council and condemnations of Israeli defensive actions in the Lebanon war and in Gaza that ignore or erase the context of these conflicts.
Professor Gerald Steinberg, NGO Monitor Editor: “During the recent war, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty published incongruous claims to have found no evidence of Hezbollah activities in the areas struck by Israel. There is no reason to assume that their “researchers” and “military experts” bothered to check the allegiance of their sources, or their credibility. Nevertheless, HRW’s 49-page report – the largest PR effort during the war — headlined “Fatal Strikes” Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon”, was adopted without question by journalists around the world.”
Such blanket condemnation of Israel proves that beyond the facade of International Human Rights Day, NGOs promote radical political agendas at the expense of genuine human rights.