Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ACRI accused of ignoring violations to revenants' rights

The ACRI - Association for Civil Rights in Israel - is the local equivalent of the ACLU in the United States. Today, the day after the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ACRI stands accused of ignoring violations to the human rights of revenants who live in Judea and Samaria. As a result, the revenants are starting their own human rights organization.
State authorities have "trampled" on the rights of settlers in the West Bank and their supporters, according to the right-wing group, Human Rights in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The organization, in a paper issued to mark International Human Rights Week, on Monday also accused The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) of failing to protect these rights.

The paper presented eight areas in which the rights of settlers and their supporters were allegedly violated. High among them were the eviction of settlers from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria in 2005, and the failure to solve the problems of the settlers who were evicted. The group also claimed that civil rights were violated in the refusal of the government to return Jewish property in Hebron to its owners, and that the government suppressed the right of the anti-disengagement camp to protest.

"Over the years, the need emerged for 'our own' human rights organization that would regard the settlers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza as people with rights and not second-, third- or fourth-class citizens," said Orit Struck, the organization's spokeswoman.

As an example, she said the government had not made the necessary preparations to absorb the settlers from Gaza and northern Samaria after they were forced to leave their homes. She quoted the former chairwoman of the Knesset State Control Committee, Meli Polishook-Bloch, as saying at the time, "There is no doubt the government's handling of this matter was improper, to say the least."

Regarding Jewish farmers in the West Bank, the organization charged that the authorities protected Palestinian farmers, such as olive growers, from attacks by settlers, but did not protect Jewish farmers from attacks by Palestinians. It referred to a survey that allegedly revealed a situation in which "there are systematic attacks against Jewish farmers in Judea and Samaria," but the law enforcement authorities don't lift a finger to fight it.

According to the paper, the government is causing "systematic and continuous" harm to the rights of the Jews who fled Hebron after the 1929 massacre by not returning their property to them. It charged that the Custodian of Abandoned Properties treated this property as his own and "systematically prefers to act to advance the rights of Hebron's Arabs regarding [their rental rights to] these properties, even though in many cases it is legally and practically possible to end them."
It probably goes without saying that ACRI denies the charges. Who's right? Those of you who read Hebrew can find the ACRI's annual report here. I'll translate the section headings for you (I've added what's in the parentheses) and you will see that there is only one section that might even be remotely related to the rights of revenants in Judea and Samaria:

1. Right to health (for lower economic sectors - not for revenants)

2. Rights of independent contractors (labor rights)

3. Racism reaches new heights (they're talking about racism against Arabs, not against Sphardi Jews).

4. Unrecognized (Bedouin) villages in the Negev

5. Rights of foreign workers

6. Citizens' standing (a euphemism for the government's refusal to allow Arab families' 'reunification' so as to prevent sham marriages between 'Palestinians' in Judea and Samaria and 'Israeli Arabs,' a practice that was upheld by the Supreme Court last year).

7. Refugees and asylum seekers (like the Sudanese and other Africans who have been stealing into our southern border at the risk of being shot by the Egyptians because Muslim countries treat them so well...)

8. Right to privacy (wiretaps and email interceptions)

9. Police brutality - This is the only section that might relate to the rights of revenants. It's the shortest section in the report: one paragraph. Here's what it says:
Many complaints but isolated cases of trial and the police are still investigation themselves. In 2005 and 2006, the percentage of complaints that came to trial out of the complaints to the police department stood at only 3% against a much higher percentage of trials for civilians. Investigations were only opened with respect to 35% of complaints. In 2006, 57% of complaints were not investigated due to "lack of public interest." The process of giving civilians control over police complaints is still stuck after twelve years.
What they aren't telling you is that many of the cases of police brutality related to demonstrations against the Gaza expulsion in 2005 and Amona in 2006. And it's not ACRI that has been pushing to have those complaints investigated - it's the right wing organizations.

10. Detainees' and prisoners' rights

11. 'Undermining democracy'

12. Human rights in the 'conquered territories' (No, this doesn't relate to the revenants' rights either).

13. Rights of 'East Jerusalem' residents

In sum, unlike the ACLU in the United States, ACRI does not seek to defend revenants' rights, even when they would otherwise fit in with its agenda (e.g. the police brutality issue). Defense of human rights in Israel is provided on a discriminatory basis. Somehow, I'm sure none of you is surprised. If the revenants want someone to defend their human rights, they need an organization other than ACRI. That's why they've started their own human rights organization.


At 9:50 PM, Blogger Daniel434 said...

ACLU = enemy of the state

Seems ACRI is going the way of the ACLU. That is, a biased agenda driven agency with no real moral compass.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


It's worse. The ACLU is at least consistent even if I don't agree with everything they defend. ACRI discriminates between left and right.


Post a Comment

<< Home