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Reader Feedback on the Jewish “Rosa Parks”

Beth's post on Miriam Shear has generated a lot of reader feedback, including one post from the blogger she cited. Here is Manila Ryce, the voice behind The Largest Minority: Thank you for posting my article. I see it's raised … Read More

By / December 21, 2006

Beth's post on Miriam Shear has generated a lot of reader feedback, including one post from the blogger she cited. Here is Manila Ryce, the voice behind The Largest Minority:

Thank you for posting my article. I see it's raised a few eyebrows and pitchforks. If anyone doubts the human rights abuses of the Israeli government, they merely need to visit the sites of Israeli groups like B'Tselem, or international ones like Amnesty Int'l. I feel no need to defend that declaration as many before me have done so successfully. I stated that Israel was "the biggest" violator of human rights, in part because of Israel's actions in the occupied territories over decades, and the abuses the IDF has caused outside of Israel's borders.

I quote Shamai Leibowitz, an Israeli human rights attorney. "For years, American taxpayers money has funded the occupation ­ the torture chambers, the military apparatus, the bulldozers used in house demolitions, the building of settlements and now the construction of the West Bank wall, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ)."

Simply put, Leibowitz says Israel is not held "accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments." As ashprintzen said above, Iran and Saudi Arabia are two large violators as well, but do we really want to use those countries as the measuring stick for progress? The reason I consider Israel to be a bigger threat to human rights is because of its American-backed policies. It has the luxury of imposing its will on other nations, and is only second to America in doing so.

Not sure I "agree" with the use of "biggest" in this context, but Manila's point does beg the larger question of using American taxpayer money to finance illegal settlements, the Western Wall and bulldozers used to raze Palestinian houses (not all of which contain terrorist-transporting tunnel entrances). An American Jew certainly has the right to call out Israeli citizens on sexist, medieval behavior, and to do so with more authority than that of an offended tourist.

This was the one of the powerful ironies lost on the Mearsheimer/Walt brigade, namely that by the grace of AIPAC and the supposed influence of the "Israel Lobby," Americans do have more of a say in how the Jewish state should conduct itself. There's no guaranty that say must amount to tacit (or not-so-tacit) approval of every policy crafted in Jerusalem any more than of how some peremptory frummy comports himself in public.

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