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Human Rights Watch Report: Palestinians Meet the Real Enemy

Human Rights Watch Report: Palestinians Meet the Real Enemy
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By and Yitzchok Adlerstein
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 12:37 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Fyodor Dostoyevsky is often cited: "You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners."

A recent study by Human Rights Watch presents a damning picture when it comes to the two governing Palestinian entities — Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas.

Here is the opening of "Two Authorities, One Way, Zero Dissent: Arbitrary Arrest and Torture Under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas," a 149-page report:

“In the 25 years since Palestinians gained a degree of self-rule over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, their authorities have established machineries of repression to crush dissent, including through the use of torture."

"Both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza have in recent years carried out scores of arbitrary arrests for peaceful criticism of the authorities…As the Fatah-Hamas feud deepened despite attempts at reconciliation, PA security services have targeted supporters of Hamas and vice versa….The PA and Hamas use detention to punish critics and deter them and others from further activism. In detention, security forces routinely taunt, threaten, beat, and force detainees into painful stress positions for hours at a time.”

Elsewhere in the report: “The torture as practiced by both the PA and Hamas may amount to a crime against humanity, given its systematic practice over many years.”

HRW’s deputy program director, Tom Porteous, blasted the hypocrisy of Palestinian appeals to the world for assistance. “Calls by Palestinian officials to safeguard Palestinian rights ring hollow as they crush dissent.”

Until now NGOs (non-governmental organizations), self-proclaimed gatekeepers of human rights, have given Palestinians a moral free pass for such behavior by swallowing whole the claim that any actions, including violence and terrorism committed in the name of Palestine, are a “natural” response of a frustrated people seeking to overcome a hated enemy.

And it’s not only international groups. Many on the Israeli Left mute or silence criticism of Palestinian outrages in the delusional hope that it would help build an environment of mutual trust.

As this searing report confirms, the world’s failure to hold Palestinian governing bodies accountable to basic norms of human decency has only encouraged criminal actions by the PA and Hamas against the very people they are supposedly committed to “free” from the yolk of Israeli "occupation."

It’s a damning indictment of leaders who treat their own worse than the detested Israelis. It is the value of human life — not just Jewish life — that too many Palestinians in power have come to trivialize.

The moral rot impacts other areas governed by the PA and Hamas. Donor nations, with the exception of the United States, continue to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into UNRWA — without any demand for change in a curriculum that teaches hate, not tolerance, that prepares students for violence, not peace. The result: Terrorist Hamas controls UNRWA in Gaza, actually, and the PA uses international funds to reward terrorists and their families for murdering and maiming Israelis.

Will HRW’s breakthrough report change anything? Maybe not. It probably won’t impact true believers who hate the Jewish state and promote rabid anti-Israel campaigns on our nation’s campuses and in many churches. It may not serve as a wakeup call to world leaders like Germany’s Merkel, Japan’s Abe, and Canada’s Trudeau to stop treating Palestinians like spoiled children in the mistaken hope that more money will help tamp down the hate or violence. Quite the contrary. Those big bucks pay for terror tunnels and embed a crippling culture of corruption.

But the report could contribute to the Palestinians’ future because it gives voice to an unstated truth: It’s not the Jews who are their main problem. It is leaders who far from delivering them to ‘the promised land,’ have and will do anything to keep themselves in power and in the money.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization. Abraham Cooper has been a longtime activist for Jewish and human rights causes. His extensive involvement in Soviet Jewry included visiting refuseniks, helping to open Moscow’s first Jewish Cultural Center, and lecturing at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Sakharov Foundation. In 1977, he came to L.A. to help Rabbi Marvin Hier found the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and for three decades Rabbi Cooper has overseen the Wiesenthal Center’s international social action agenda including worldwide antisemitism and extremist groups, Nazi crimes, Interfaith Relations, the struggle to thwart the anti-Israel Divestment campaign, and worldwide promotion of tolerance education. Widely recognized as an international authority on issues related to digital hate and the Internet, Rabbi Cooper was listed in 2017 by Newsweek among the top most influential Rabbis in the United States. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Interfaith Affairs.

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A recent study by Human Rights Watch presents a damning picture when it comes to the two governing Palestinian entities — Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas.
human rights watch, palestinians, israel
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2018-37-30
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 12:37 PM
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