Thursday, November 14, 2002

Israelis’ right to life
Amnon Rubinstein is right to the point, as usual, in his article in Haaretz in which he denounces human rights organizations' inability to get priorities right. This is the reason, he says, that the "Human Rights Watch"' report that condemned Palestinian terrorist suicide attacks was so surprising.

The surprise stems from the difference between the behavior of Human Rights Watch and that of similar organizations that have distorted the concept of human rights in two senses: First, they did not distinguish between a primary right and a secondary one. A person has a right to life, as well as a right not to have his letters opened. Both rights are important, but they are not equally important. The right to life precedes all else; since without it, there are no other rights.

This elementary distinction has been forgotten, such that many reports focusing on human rights - including those from the UN Human Rights Commission - make no distinction between the primary and the secondary, between countries in which human life has no value, and countries that do not strictly enforce all the eavesdropping laws. A large number of these organizations suffer from a total conceptual confusion, which has been intensified by the modern viewpoint that there are no absolute truths, there is no hierarchy of values, and everything is relative.

The second mistake of these organizations - in Israel and abroad - is that their position was not determined by the extent of damage to human rights, but rather by the identity of the party causing the damage. Strong whites are subject to condemnation, weak non-whites are immune to it.


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