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Human Rights Vs The Lobby

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  • World View
    The Zionist Lobby Feigns Interest in Human Rights By Aimee Smith http://web.mit.edu/thistle/www There are three strategies for doing human rights work. The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 18, 2005
      The Zionist Lobby Feigns Interest in Human Rights
      By Aimee Smith

      There are three strategies for doing human rights work. The first is
      based on a moral principle of looking first at the knowable
      consequences of your own actions and the actions of the society you
      contribute to by your work and fund through your taxes. The Thistle
      strives to live by this strategy. We focus on the crimes committed
      and/or funded by our government or communities. The second strategy
      balances pragmatism with morality and is a kind of blanket approach.
      Organizations like Amnesty International form networks that attempt to
      document abuses in all corners of the globe and in doing so, avoid
      political pressure as they expose information that others would rather
      be kept hidden. The last approach is one driven purely by pragmatism
      where an entity looks solely at the crimes taking place within a
      different country or community in order to demonize the people of that
      country or to deflect criticism from one's own country or community. A
      classic example of this last shameless strategy was George Bush
      suddenly pretending to care about the treatment of women under the
      Taliban in Afghanistan when he needed an excuse to invade Afghanistan,
      whereas just a few months earlier this same climate for women was not
      an issue as he negotiated with the Taliban for a natural gas pipeline

      We see the same shameless claim for concern about human rights being
      used by the Zionist lobby in the US. In order to deflect criticism of
      the racist colonial nature of the state of Israel, "supporters of
      Israel" seek to deflect criticism to other countries in the region and
      sometimes even seek to demonize Arabs and Muslims as a class in order
      to somehow "justify" the genocidal campaign against Palestinians that
      has been ongoing since 1947.

      MIT is a microcosm of the US political scene. We have organizations
      such as the Social Justice Cooperative who use a moral basis for their
      political work. We have an Amnesty International Chapter who uses the
      blanket approach. And we have MIT Students for Israel (MITSI) that
      seems to be driven by pure pragmatism in its zeal to promote the
      Zionist vision. Last Fall, MITSI hosted Right Wing extremist and
      Minister of Knesset Benny Elon who openly advocates the forced
      transfer of Palestinians out of all of historic Palestine and into
      Jordan. He justifies this by saying God gave the land to the Jews.
      Sadly, this view represents 46% of Israeli Jewish opinion, according
      to a poll carried out by Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, and
      equally sadly, Minister Elon received a warm welcome and applause from
      the audience in 10-250 as well as from his MITSI hosts.

      One very enthusiastic MITSI member, Michelle Kaufman, wrote two
      columns for the Tech (MIT's pro-corporate student newspaper) that same
      fall. The first was very concerned about propaganda in Palestinian
      schools, but showed no interest in Israeli propaganda, or even US
      propaganda. The second asks us to turn our attention away from Israeli
      human rights abuses cited in the MIT/Harvard divestment petition and
      instead focus on human rights abuses in Arab countries. She seemed to
      have no concerns about the organization of which she was on the
      officers email list inviting an open proponent of ethnic cleansing to

      Kaufman must have been very concerned about human rights because she
      took the time to join the MIT chapter of amnesty international and
      become treasurer of the group. She took the lead in organizing the
      spring event that was to be on child soldiers in warfare and had other
      organizations co-sponsor the event with AI, including, you guessed it,
      MIT Students for Israel. One of the three guests was Rafael Israeli
      who was to speak about recruiting of Palestinian youth into militant
      struggle. The Amnesty chapter was alerted to the fact that Mr. Israeli
      is a member of the advisory council of the Ariel Center for Policy
      Research, an organization that is blatantly anti-Muslim and boasts a
      logo of historic Palestine in front of the Star of David - an image
      Benny Elon would surely appreciate. The following summary appears for
      a book on the ACPR website:

      "the new fundamentalist Islam is more dangerous: It is found in many
      states throughout the world, and has a population of more than one
      billion Muslims who are widely distributed geographically.
      Fundamentalism is based on a totalistic religion, which has no
      commitment to modern society. Indeed it aspires to utterly destroy
      modern society. It is more threatening, in combination with states
      having extremist regimes, and has both the means and powerful motives
      for purchasing and obtaining unconventional weapons; its ideology is
      uncompromisingly murderous and nihilistic; and it is supported by
      millions of frustrated, poverty-stricken people who seek to restore
      the humiliating present to the magnificent past."

      "...the new fundamentalist threat is so vital, so dangerous, so
      horrifying and so lacking in human feeling, that worldwide actions
      must be undertaken against it and against the regimes that support it,
      in the form of a total war of extinction. This is a war of the Sons of
      Light against the Sons of Darkness, against the new Huns, the
      destroyers of modern civilization. If they are not overwhelmingly
      overcome, the 21st century will be bloodier than the 20th."

      Neither Israeli nor his ACPR colleagues have any concerns about
      publishing and promoting a book that calls for a larger genocidal
      project than the has ever been seen. Israeli has written a book
      himself entitled "Arabs in Israel: Friends or Foes?" (imagine a book
      called "Native Americans in America: Friends or Foes?") and
      contributed to another in progress called "The Strategic Threat of
      Islam." Clearly, Israeli is not a man interested in morality of any kind.

      These revelations were enough to convince the local Amnesty chapter to
      uninvite Israeli. MITSI agreed to host him at a time just after the
      Amnesty event.

      A second speaker for the Amnesty event on child soldiers was Charles
      Jacobs, a man who co-founded the American Anti-Slavery Group and
      simultaneously is founder and president of the David Project, a group
      that advocates for a "fair" understanding of the Middle East and works
      to combat the increasing "Defamation of Israel." The David Project
      includes on its speaker bureau Richard Landes, the man who
      enthusiastically introduced pro-ethnic cleansing Minister Elon at MIT
      last fall. The American Anti-Slavery Group also has been both
      controversial in its purchasing of slaves that serve to fund the
      militants warring with the Muslim government. Further, the group has
      been unusually efficacious at changing US policy in a matter of months
      to listing Sudan as a terrorist nation and barring all trade with the
      country. This divestment campaign launched by Mr. Jacobs is probably
      the fastest in US history. Again, the speaker clearly has an agenda
      when he talks about human rights, and it isn't one of
      self-improvement. Nevertheless, Amnesty went ahead with this speaker
      and the 3rd originally scheduled speaker, Amnesty International
      member, Adotei Akwei. Josh Rubenstein, director of the Regional
      Amnesty International, was comfortable with this decision.

      Unfortunately, the event seemed to turn as would be predicted from
      Jacobs background. One Muslim student, Fareeha Iqbal shared her
      experience of the event:

      "Dr. Jacobs' talk expressed blatantly racist and anti-Islamic views.
      In fact, I have never seen Islamophobia exuded so blatantly at a
      public forum at MIT, nor such racist views aired at a panel discussion
      on human rights.

      "Dr. Jacobs' topic was child slavery in Sudan and he started off by
      speaking about the Arab Muslims in Sudan's north conducting their
      interpretation of a jihad against the Black Christians in the south.
      He then offered a theory on why the situation wasn't receiving
      sufficient international attention. It was because a white race wasn't
      the perpetrator of this crime. The West tends to get more agitated
      about a human rights issue, he argued, when they feel that they are
      somehow responsible for it."

      "White people, he continued, tend to be more concerned in general
      about human rights abuses than others. Waving his arm around the room,
      he said, 'see, most of you at this event are white people.'"

      "After this Dr. Jacobs forgot about Sudan entirely and set into the
      Muslim world with gusto. He named a few Islamic countries and began
      elaborating on human rights abuses there. Now, ever since that
      ill-fated day two years ago, I (and many other Muslims) have been
      trying to come to terms with the bitter reality that it is becoming
      increasingly acceptable to publicly make negative, sweeping statements
      about Islam. According to Dr. Jacobs, however, it has become 'taboo'
      in the West to criticize Islam and the Muslims. Well, he sure smashed
      his imagined taboos to bits. The way he went on, it was clear he
      believed that human rights abuses occur only in Muslim countries - he
      didn't cite the example of a single non-Muslim country. At about this
      point I got so disgusted that I had to walk out, along with another
      Muslim student...I suppose Dr. Jacobs thought that being non-white, we
      were just bored of all this human rights talk."

      If Mr. Jacob's had only known that a good number of the people at the
      event were waiting for the even more blatant racism of Rafael Israeli
      for the event immediately following, it would have explained at least
      some of the melanin shortage in the room. The rest of the
      preponderance of palor can likely be explained by a combination of Mr.
      Jacob's own racist reputation preceding him and the systematic
      societal white privilege that skews the demographics to
      over-representation of whites at Universities such as MIT. People of
      color have been leading the charge for human rights in this country
      since the very beginning, which brings up to the last strategy for
      human rights advocacy, one that is based both in advocacy and
      morality, and that is struggle for liberation against an oppressor.
      Zionists will try to convince us that the European Jews are actually
      the oppressed group in Palestine, because as the website of the ACPR
      shows, Israel (colored white on their map) is a tiny country
      surrounded by all of these Arab countries (colored brown,) and as we
      learned on NPR June 2, the "Arab world" is "dominating" the world in a
      different way than the G-8, in numbers. But we at the Thistle believe
      that domination done via colonization, terror-induced ethnic
      cleansing, dispossession, and ethnic-based exclusionary laws can never
      be compared to others simply existing or choosing to having many children.

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