Op-ed: Human rights organizations may be annoying, but they perform an essential function.
Israel’s main mishap is that human rights have become a radical Left monopoly. If only the Right had been wise enough to develop a serious alternative, examine our combat morality based on a desire to help the IDF, and look into the attitude to the Palestinians – not because the world hypocritically criticizes us, but rather, because of our inner moral compass.
Human rights groups are not terror organizations, regardless of how outrageous their political involvement is. Leftist groups are not a luxury item of average liberals; rather, they are an existential must in a democratic state such as ours.
We need someone to consistently and determinedly raise the banner of human rights, even if en route to the target he sanctifies all means. We need the people who would place a mirror before us with moral dilemmas, who would tease and bother us – reminding us that reality is complex.
They’re annoying, they twist the facts, and at times they are hypocritical or blind. In my view, in certain cases they even cause damage. Yet nonetheless, they are essential.
Precisely those who believe that we must create clear rules of play, that we must create transparency regarding funding sources, that we must define what is disallowed in a democratic state – cannot accept statements like the one made by Lieberman. The debate over borders is too serious for us to swing like a pendulum between those who view every law as the end of democracy and those who view human rights organizations as terror activists.
I want them to be under supervision, just like any organization that operates on the edge in the State of Israel – yet I want this because they are vital, not because they are banned.
Problems do exist and we must not deny it. Lieberman is right about that: Human rights groups dedicate much of their time to slamming Israel and undermining its legitimacy, instead of dealing with human rights.
Leftist human rights monopoly
The Adalah group, which was meant to boost the rights of Israel’s Arab minority, is devoting time to harming the Jewish majority of all things. Breaking the Silence, which was formed with the aims of improving the morality of IDF soldiers, has dealt from the first moment with nurturing the de-legitimization of Israel at prestigious universities abroad. Physicians for Human Rights engage in political protest rather than in medicine, Rabbis for Peace engage in quarrelling with anyone who doesn’t share their views, and of course the people at the margins of the peace camp, who in order to care for Palestinian rights engage in war and mostly produce malicious hatred among all parties involved.
Problems exist, as Lieberman noted, yet this is the meaning of democracy.
I already wrote in the past that the State of Israel’s main mishap is that human rights have become a radical Left monopoly. If only the Right had been wise enough to develop a serious alternative, examine our combat morality based on a desire to help the IDF, and look into the attitude to the Palestinians – not because the world hypocritically criticizes us, but rather, because of our inner moral compass.
Had it been possible to separate hollow peace politics from the need for minority rights, we would not need radical leftist groups. However, in the absence of such groups in the Right and Center, only these leftist organizations remain, the annoying us. That’s all we have (at this time.) There is nobody else.
One cannot hold the stick on both ends – on the one hand say that we need regularization by law, look into funding sources, limit activity that harms Israel and legislate limits for human rights groups (and rightfully so) – yet in the same breath say that what we have there is illegitimate; that they are terror groups.
The discourse produced here in recent weeks brings the dangerous margins from both sides to the center – and that’s ill-fated. Those who are in favor of supervision and rules that would limit borderline activity against Israel are not fascists, and those who criticize Israel harshly or even engage in libelous activity against it are no terrorists.
So let go of this needless rhetoric. If we fall, it will be on this front.
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