Wednesday, May 22, 2024

  • Wednesday, May 22, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

For months, I've been calling out the hypocrisy of  human rights organizations not calling for Egypt to allow Gazans to take refuge there. They are vocal about the rights of refugees in every other context, but silent about Gaza. 

Perhaps to avoid being called hypocritical, a director at HRW did write an article in The Hill last month that almost apologetically asked Egypt to accept Gaza refugees (while also demanding Israel allow Gazans to "return" to Israel:)

Neighboring Egypt’s borders are mostly closed, too. Only a relatively few Gaza residents have been allowed to enter Egypt through the Rafah crossing, including foreign passport holders, the wounded and their companions, and some who have paid exorbitant sums to flee via Egypt. Not wanting a wave of refugees flooding into his country, especially given the prospect that the Israeli authorities might bar them from returning, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared Egypt’s “vehement rejection of the forced displacement of the Palestinians and their transfer to Egyptian lands in Sinai.”  

But what about Palestinians in Gaza who feel their only chance to survive is to leave Gaza? How much longer can Israel and Egypt block desperate people from fleeing?

Palestinians in Gaza should be allowed to remain in dignity in their homes and to exercise the right to return, but they also have other treaty rights that must be respected by all states: the right to leave a country, the right to seek asylum, and the right of nonrefoulement, that is, not to be pushed back or returned to face persecution or other serious threats.

Palestinians, like everyone everywhere, have the right to live in dignity in their homes. They also have the right to leave for their own security and to return in safety and dignity. Stopping forced displacement and other atrocity crimes from occurring is the top priority at this moment. But when all other human rights are denied, the right to flee is the last remaining option. That option cannot be closed.

This is as mild a criticism of Egypt as possible. There is no demand or call for Egypt to open its border; only the passive voice that Gazans have the "right to flee." The word "Egypt" is not in the headline. Obscenely, he also insists that Israelis who live in communities that were ravaged October 7 allow Gaza rapists and murderers and those who cheered them to move in next to them. 

Notably, this article was not written by HRW's ,Middle East Director Lama Fakih, or by Ahmed Benchemsi, its Advocacy and Communications Director for the Middle East. No, it was written by Bill Frelick, HRW's refugee rights director who looks at the world through a refugee rights prism, not the obscene anti-Israel point of view of HRW's dedicated Middle East personnel.

As such, this article was buried. The media amplifies other HRW criticisms of Egypt, but no one picked up on this article,.

HRW did not turn this into a campaign.  Frelick's tweet about the article does not even mention Egypt by name. HRW itself did not tweet this article at all, as they normally do when their directors publish articles in major media. 

It seems that the issue of Palestinian rights to leave Gaza to save their families is seen as the lowest possible priority for HRW. 

More likely, they only want to use the article as a shield they can point to when their hypocrisy is noted, but they really believe that Egypt should not allow Gazans to flee there. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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