Wednesday, March 20, 2013

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is very interesting:

Yoaz Hendel, chairman of the Institute for Zionist Studies, has set up the first rightist human rights organization of its kind. The organization intends to monitor the violation of Palestinians’ human rights at West Bank checkpoints, collate testimonies of apparent war crimes by IDF soldiers and provide medical assistance to Palestinians and African asylum-seekers.

Hendel, former head of the National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office, quit his post a year ago.

The new organization, dubbed BlueWhite Human Rights, started operating under the IZS about a month ago as the rightist version of leftwing watchdog groups such as Machsom Watch, Breaking the Silence and Physicians for Human Rights.

Hendel announced the organization’s establishment in his Facebook page this week. Unlike the leftist organizations, the new group will act in cooperation with the IDF authorities to make sure the complaints are investigated and acted on, he wrote.

The new organization currently consists of some 20 volunteers, most of them Hendel’s friends and acquaintances including reservists of the 13th squadron, activists of the Likud’s Liberal Forum and students from Bar-Ilan and Ariel universities.

Many of the activists wear knitted kippas, with their political views ranging from Habayit Hayehudi to Yesh Atid.

In recent weeks the new organization’s activists have stationed themselves at the Qalandiyah roadblock north of Jerusalem, where, alongside the women volunteers of Machsom Watch, they monitored the passage of Palestinians.
From the IZS website:
The Institute for Zionist Strategies will establish the Blue and White Human Rights Association which will be an umbrella for three organizations, each of which is involved in a different aspect of the defense of human dignity and freedom. The Association will project a non-political, “national liberal” orientation with the goal of: safeguarding human rights; focusing on improving the efforts of our authorities through the application of constructive criticism; creating discourse about the role and conduct of human rights organizations today; and preventing the exploitation of human rights issues to promote geo-political aims.

In recent years, two erroneous axioms have been internalized: The first is the exclusive correlation between Zionism and the political right: The second is the exclusive correlation between human rights and the political left. The IZS believes that human rights are a democratic and moral imperative that overrides all agendas in the political spectrum from the right through the left-- just as the values and goals of Zionism belong to and instruct all of us--left and right alike.

Several human rights organizations operate today in Israel and are engaged in important activities for human rights relating to the Arab-Israel conflict and to the safeguarding of the rights of the Palestinian population. However, at the same time, these organizations reject Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish State and are actively engaged in the boycott of Israel (BDS) and in other defamatory efforts. Most of these organizations are financed by foreign governments which have pro-Palestinian agendas.

The IZS has established the Blue and White Human Rights Association, out of a true and sincere concern for human rights in the belief that this is a moral imperative, regardless of political orientation, and out of the desire to create an alternative to the organizations which aims and practices confuse the cause of advocacy for human rights with political action to vilify, demean and delegitimize the State of Israel before the world. 
The Blue and White Human Rights Association is an umbrella for three entities:

A. The Blue and White Crossings Organization is to be operated by volunteers from all over Israel, including Judea and Samaria, and it will monitor IDF soldiers and the strict enforcement of moral principles at the checkpoints. The organization will record the activities that occur at the IDF checkpoints in order to prevent, as much as possible, friction between the army and the people crossing at the checkpoints. It will maintain regular contact with the IDF and the Civil Administration and will report to the appropriate bodies any case in which IDF soldiers acted illegally

B. The Morality in Warfare Organization based on the concept of purity of arms in the IDF, will focus on the challenges faced by soldiers on active duty. We understand that unintended, terrible consequences are a foreseeable occurrence in army operations, but we believe that they must be avoided to the extent possible. The Organization will work with the IDF-not against it. We believe in the moral superiority of the IDF, and we will, therefore, collate data and incidents of improper action and regularly transmit this information to the qualified investigative agencies within the IDF (e.g., the Military Advocate General) so that the IDF can better achieve its goal. The Organization will also engage in education and will promote moral values in warfare to the general public in Israel. It will review adverse incidents involving IDF soldiers and the individual handling of each case, to help advance the remedy, and to prevent or reduce the deliberate perpetuation of anti- Israel generalizations in the foreign media and universities. We are mindful that false and unfair accusations against military personnel serve only to weaken commitments to the purity of arms. Where our investigation reveals that there was no violation of principles, and where we feel appropriate, we will publicize these findings.

C. The Ethical Medical Access Organization will be established in the belief that it is the duty of the State of Israel to ensure the right to healthcare on an equal basis to (i) Palestinian and other Arab individuals who reside in Israel and who have state health insurance, (ii) to Bedouins living in unrecognized villages in the Negev, (iii) to people with no civil status, such as refugees and asylum seekers.
I have long argued that there is no contradiction between Zionism and human rights for non-Jews. in Israel. This organization is exactly on the right path.

Instead of using "human rights" as a weapon to delegitimize Israel, as most so-called human rights organizations do, the Blue and White Human Rights Association wants to extend human rights to all because it is Zionist and Jewish. It truly wants to improve human rights, something that one cannot easily say about many of the others.

I hope that this one also safeguards the human rights of Jews.

(h/t Yoel)

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