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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

UK's list of "countries of concern" for human rights includes Israel

The United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office came out with its Human Rights and Democracy:
The 2010 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report, where they list what the UK is doing to promote human rights worldwide.

It includes a detailed breakdown of the human rights situation in 26 "countries of concern."

And what are these countries?

Afghanistan
Belarus
Burma
Chad
China
Colombia
Congo
Cuba
Eritea
Iran
Iraq
Israel and the territories
Libya
North Korea
Pakistan
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Somalia
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Yemen
Zimbabwe

They explain their criteria:
[These are the] 26 countries where we have some of the most serious wide-ranging human rights concerns. When deciding on which countries to include, we also considered whether the country had been the target of a high level of UK engagement on human rights in 2010, and whether it would be likely to effect positive change in the wider region if its human rights record improved.

I don't need to go into why including Israel in this rogue's gallery of states is ridiculous and insulting. Israel compares quite well to Western Europe in its dedication to human rights, and the methods that the report uses to make Israel look bad could be used to make any nation look equally bad or worse. (It does give some lip service to looking at abuses by the PA and Hamas.)

It is worth pointing out that, in the few months since 2010 ended, we have seen uprisings and major protests regarding human rights in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait - but none of these are on the list. Neither is Turkey, that bastion of human rights, with its institutionalized discrimination against non-Muslims. Nigeria doesn't make the list either.

But hey, seriously. How could the UK even consider a list of human rights abusers without including Israel? There could have been riots!

(h/t Emet)