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UN Human Rights Council Invents Some Human Rights Abuses, Ignores Real Ones


This essay was written by Hadar Sela, and published at The Propagandist

Image courtesy of NewsRealBlog

The United Nations Human Rights Council addressed the subject of the dire state of the human rights of Syrian citizens this week. The discussion did not, however, relate to the Syrians being shot at , murdered or imprisoned by their own regime in the town of Dara’a in southern Syria even whilst the council session took place. The resolution – proposed by Cuba, North Korea, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Venezuela – related solely to the human rights of “Syrian citizens” of the Golan Heights.

Whilst we are by now regrettably familiar with the UNHRC’s practice of sidestepping the issue of the human rights of millions of people who live under some of the oppressive regimes which also hold seats in that institution,  here we have an instance in which what should be an internationally respected body is fabricating supposed abuses for purely political ends. Sadly, some nations on the council which should know better – including the UK, France and Belgium – chose to abstain from the vote rather than opposing it. Only the US voted against the resolution.

In the wording of the resolution the Human Rights Council declared itself to be:

“Deeply concerned at the suffering of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan due to the systematic and continuous violation of their fundamental and human rights by Israel since the Israeli military occupation of 1967.”

This statement of course refers to the 20,000 or so Druze citizens of the four villages in the north of the Golan; Ein Kinya, Majdel Shams, Bukata and Massade, as well as around 2,000 Alawite citizens of Ghajar.  In December 1981, with Israel’s enactment of the Golan Heights Law, all these people were offered Israeli citizenship. The residents of Ghajar took up the offer en masse whilst in the Druze villages, some 10% of the residents opted to take Israeli citizenship.

Those who chose not to accept Israeli citizenship have the status of residents, and whilst having rejected the offer of an Israeli passport (they travel on a Laissez Passer document) or the right to vote in national Israeli elections, they otherwise have rights equal to those of other Israeli citizens including education, healthcare and social services. They also elect and run their own local councils and enjoy freedom of expression and assembly.

In recent years Israel has helped the Druze of the Golan to export some of their agricultural produce to Syria: the only trade which exists between the two countries which are technically at war. Druze elders are also allowed to visit their religious sites in Syria on holy days: they are the only residents of Israel who can travel between the two countries.  Whilst the Druze of the Golan are entitled to study in Israeli universities just like all other residents, and often do, they also received financial aid from Syria for many years and a high proportion studied abroad, making them one of the better educated groups within Israel.

Read the rest of the essay, here.

6 replies »

  1. Washington Post Editorial:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-united-nations-human-rights-council/2011/03/25/AFSRyPeB_story.html

    The Iran and religious tolerance resolutions, meanwhile, were not the only ones approved by the council. There were, in all, 14 resolutions on individual countries — and six of those were attacks on Israel. In all, 41 of the 65 resolutions dealing with individual countries since the council’s founding have singled out the Jewish state.

  2. I seem to have got these proceedings absolutely wrong. I thought the USA, UK and French abstentions were good but I assumed that the resolution was anti-Israel.

    Sorry!

  3. Itzik, yes, it’s beyond disgusting. I am so pleased that Israel annexed the Golan and ignored the UN. I’ve read some of the UN jihadists’ whinings.

    But I believe Israel also annexed the rest of Jerusalem. I think Israel should keep it.

    Syria is very strange. The government is obsessed by Libya and the BBC is obsessed by Syria. I had thought that this resolution was anti-Israel rather than pro-Syria if you see what I mean.

    So our UN representative is anti-Syria? It makes my head ache!

    A contact pf mine who lived in Israel for ten years until about 2003 reckoned that Israel would give up Gaza and the northern part of the Golan.

  4. Argentina maintains the principle of inadmissibility of annexation of territory by force, in accordance with Council resolution 242 (1967).

    The actual wording:

    “Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,”

    Syria went to war against Israel and UNSCR 242 does not relate to territory lost by war.

    How those jihadis rewrite what they don’t want to face!