Tuesday, January 11, 2011

U.S. Needs to Match Words to Action on Palestinian Rights

Our National Advocacy Director has published the following excellent analysis on IViews.com:
by Josh Ruebner
Last month, the State Department held a town hall for Human Rights Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the event, Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs P.J. Crowley, Legal Adviser Harold Koh, and Assistant Secretary of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner took questions from the audience and shared their thoughts on the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy.
Given that the United States provides Israel with nearly unconditional diplomatic support and military aid to sustain its illegal 43-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip and to commit systematic human rights abuses while doing so, I asked the panelists if the State Department holds Israel to a lower standard of account on human rights than other countries, and if Palestinians were entitled to equal human rights.
Posner responded unambiguously that there is a "single universal standard that applies to every country, including our own. We apply it to Israelis." He also affirmed that the State Department views "Palestinians as being human beings under the Universal Declaration [of Human Rights] and entitled to these rights."