Sunday, December 12, 2010

U.S. State Department Recognizes Palestinian Rights on Human Rights Day

(Washington, DC) December 10—In response to a question posed by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation at today's Human Rights Day Town Hall held by the State Department, the Obama Administration acknowledged that Israel should be held to the same human rights standards as every other country, and that Palestinians are entitled to their full human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This video shows the question, raised by National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, and the answer, given by Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner.
Posner rejected the idea that Israel should be held to a lower standard of accountability to human rights than other countries, stating that there is a "single universal standard that applies to every country, including our own. We apply it to Israelis." Posner also affirmed that the State Department views "Palestinians as being human beings under the Universal Declaration [of Human Rights] and entitled to these rights."
Ruebner stated that, "Now that the United States finally recognizes that Palestinians are entitled to universal human rights, and that Israel should be held accountable to these human rights standards, it should be relatively easy for the United States to broker a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace based on these principles."
Ruebner added: "For far too long, U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine has been based on Israel's perceived security interests to the detriment of Palestinian human rights. The Obama Administration should be applauded for its newfound commitment to Palestinian human rights, which will serve hopefully as the new basis for a revamped U.S. strategy to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace."