To read this article, click here.
"Most shockingly, human rights groups have become the unwitting accomplices of the United Nations as almost every mainstream human rights group has ignored hate speech and incitement to genocide, not only against Israel but against all Jews. The call to genocide has been accompanied by a sophisticated arms buildup along Israel’s Lebanon border over the past five years, defying Security Council Resolution 1701, which called in 2006 for an end to hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel. Even after the 2009 war in Gaza, particularly since the Arab Spring has opened up the Sinai, thousands more rockets continue to pour into Gaza, circumventing the Israeli blockade. Human Rights Watch, which I founded 33 years ago, continues to attack many of Israel’s defensive measures during war, yet it says nothing about hate speech and incitement to genocide. To cite just one example, the speaker of the Hamas parliament, Ahmad Bahr, called in April 2007 for the murder of Jews, “down to the very last one.” Imagine what leading human rights groups would say if this same speech and incitement were coming from Israel, aimed at the Palestinians. Human rights groups, which could be highlighting the crimes of Arab dictatorships against Israel and each other, have instead chosen to focus primarily on Israel. They continually discount the extraordinary steps Israel takes to protect civilians on both sides — steps approved by military experts, such as using pamphlets, phone calls and even noise bombs to scare people away from a location before a bombing — while whitewashing Hamas’s desire to eliminate a whole country as just bluster and meaningless words. One would think that, of all organizations in the world, human rights groups would particularly believe that words matter. Words inform intent and influence action. Words and actions need to be taken seriously, especially when they are sponsored by governments. The real obstacle to long-term peace is the endless and overwhelming words of hate and incitement to genocide effectively spread to Arabs and Palestinians. One example is the textbooks given to millions of children in Saudi Arabia, distributed in the Arab world and beyond, that label Jews “monkeys and pigs.” This continues to foment discord, radicalism and violence. The absence of criticism by the United Nations and human rights groups is more than just a lack of judgment and fairness. It is proof that the Arab Spring has yet to thaw the old thinking that has stymied progress toward peace for far too long. There will be no peace between Israel and the Arabs while hatred and incitement to genocide continue. Sixty years of spewing hate won’t be undone in a day. Human rights groups should be leading this battle — not ignoring it."