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ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 05:59 AM
Original message
Action, not words
The noble spirit of the universal declaration of human rights is betrayed by a lack of help for Gaza

The Guardian, Friday December 5 2008

As we approach the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the steadily rising death toll in Gaza highlights the painful gap between its peaceful rhetoric and the desperate reality for Palestinian people.

The declaration was a pivotal statement in which the world community recognised the "inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world". True to its nobility of spirit, it declares "the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom from fear and want as the highest aspiration of the common people".

Sixty years on, the fate of the Palestinian people should be a cause for universal soul-searching. The need to give substantive meaning to the protection of Palestinians has never been greater. The former high commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson has said that in Gaza, nothing short of a "civilisation" is being destroyed. Desmond Tutu has called it "an abomination". The humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Maxwell Gaylard, said that in Gaza there was a "massive assault" on human rights. Most recently, the European commissioner, Louis Michel, described the blockade of Gaza as a "form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians, which is a violation of international humanitarian law".

Fatality figures for the occupied Palestinian territory must surely make us question our commitment to upholding the right to life, that most fundamental of all rights, protected by a broad range of international legal instruments. More than 500 Palestinians, 73 of them children, have been killed this year alone as a result of the conflict - more than double the figure for 2005. Eleven Israelis have lost their lives this year... (snip)

The right to freedom of movement enshrined in article 13 of the universal declaration also remains a distant hope for many Palestinians. The inhumane blockade of Gaza - which, as many senior UN officials have said, collectively punishes 1.5 million people - and over 600 physical obstacles to movement in the West Bank are a sad reminder of the world community's failure to stand by that article.

With an estimated 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including some 325 children, the declaration that "everyone has the right to liberty and security of person" and that no one shall be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment has a sad resonance today... (snip)

This is a humanitarian crisis, but one that is deliberately imposed by political actors. It is the result of policies that have been imposed on the Palestinian people. Is it not time to look again at those policies and search for a new approach? Is it not time to question afresh our commitment to the noble tenets of the universal declaration?

read on...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/05/isr...
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Vegasaurus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:30 AM
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1. A country must protect its citizens first and foremost
It's unfortunate that the terrorist government of Gaza does not feel the need to protect its citizens, the way that Israel will protect hers.

There would be no restrictions on freedom of movement, no humanitarian crisis, no "massive assault on human rights" if the Palestinian terrorists put the needs of their own people above the destruction of Israel and her people.

History bears this out.

This kind of one-sided biased article isn't worth the bandwidth.
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