...So all the people worldwide who truly need humanitarian assistance – in Syria and “other places where many more civilians are dying” – will continue having their pleas for help go unheard, because the only “human rights” activists raising their voices are the ones obsessed with Israel. The others are too busy proving, yet again, that all that’s needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Analysis from Israel..
11 May '15..
It’s not hard to find examples of double standards against Israel; COMMENTARY has published two examples, from academia and sport, just in the last two days. But it’s worth reiterating that such incidents are made possible not by the rabid Israel-haters, who remain a small minority, but by all the “good” people who know better yet are too intimidated to speak out. Nowhere is this more evident than in the so-called human rights community. And Exhibit A is the exception that proves the rule: Jacques de Maio, who heads the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in “Israel and the Occupied Territories.”
The ICRC has produced its share of Israel-haters, but De Maio certainly isn’t one of them. Not only does he realize that Israel isn’t the Great Satan it’s generally portrayed as by “human rights” activists, but he’s even willing to say so occasionally – which makes him far braver than many of his colleagues. Yet even this braver-than-average member of the human rights community feels so intimidated that whenever he does says something positive about Israel, he feels the need to apologize. So you get astounding statements like this tweet from last November: “It may seem provocative, but I would contend that humanitarian access in Israel & OT is, comparatively, outstandingly good.”
The mind simply boggles. It’s “provocative” to state the simple fact that Israel, like any Western democracy, allows humanitarian aid groups relatively unfettered access? In his next tweet, De Maio added, “I can think of no other context where we operate worldwide where access for humanitarian organizations is as good as it is here.” Yet if that’s the truth, why should it be “provocative” to say so? Shouldn’t it be as natural for human rights organizations to praise countries for enabling their access as it is to criticize them for not doing so?
But of course, when it comes to Israel, it isn’t. After all, in the “human rights” community to which De Maio belongs, the loudest voices are people like Human Rights Watch director Ken Roth, who famously criticized Israel last month for sending the world’s largest medical team, 30 percent of all foreign medical personnel, to help victims of Nepal’s earthquake. In a world where “human rights activists” slam Israel even for providing humanitarian relief – though Roth has yet to explain how he thinks the world would be better place had Israel failed to do so – it’s clearly not a given to praise it for enabling humanitarian access. So De Maio apologizes for telling the truth. And untold numbers of his less courageous colleagues choose the easier route of not telling it at all.
Nor is it Israel alone that pays the price for their silence – something else De Maio understands quite well. “Why is there so much more focus on Israel than on Syria [and] other places where many more civilians are dying?” he demanded in December. “In other ongoing wars, more civilians die in one week than in Israeli wars in a full year.” Yet even the braver-than-average De Maio made that statement at a conference in Israel, the one place it’s relatively “safe” to say such things. And untold numbers of his less courageous colleagues will never say it at all.
So all the people worldwide who truly need humanitarian assistance – in Syria and “other places where many more civilians are dying” – will continue having their pleas for help go unheard, because the only “human rights” activists raising their voices are the ones obsessed with Israel. The others are too busy proving, yet again, that all that’s needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Originally published in Commentary on May 11, 2015
Original Link: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/2015/05/11/when-the-icrc-feels-it-must-apologize-for-telling-the-truth/