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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

NY Officials Claim Chasidic Dress Code Violates Human Rights

Monday, April 29th, 2013

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights has served notice on owners of seven Chasidic stores in Williamsburg that posting a sign that does not allow service to women with “low-cut necklines” is a violation of their human rights.

But what about all the “no shorts, no shoes, no service” signs that are a favorite among the snob crowd?

That’s okay because it is a dress code, the commission general counsel Cliff Mulqueen explained to the Jewish Week.

And prohibiting low-cut necklines is not a dress code?

Of course not, he reasons. That is a religious decree, and telling someone they have “to abide by certain rules of the Jewish faith crosses the line into [establishing] a protected class,” according to his logic.

God says that the Jews are the Chosen People, but now New York rules we are the “protected class.” Maybe human rights officials also think that the designation of a Chosen People denies human rights to others.

Regardless, a restaurant presumably can post a sign telling patrons not to enter with immodest dress without worrying about a human rights violation, but if an orthodox Jew, especially a Chasidic Jew, puts out a sign like that, he is in trouble.

The New York Post pointed out that no one really is refused service in a Chasidic-owned store because of his religion or gender. A Christian, a Muslim a Buddhist and even an atheist could enter, so long as he or she obeys the sign stating, “No Shorts, No Barefoot, No Sleeveless, No Low Cut Necklines Allowed in the Store.”

The commission last summer told the newspaper that the signs are legal, but now seven stores have been cited for violating human rights. A top law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, is representing the shop owners on a voluntary basis.

What would the city say if a snotty WASP country club were to post a sign, “No shtreimels?

It probably would say nothing because, after all, that is only a dress code.

European Report Says Greece Can Ban Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

A report released by the Council of Europe says that Greece could legally ban the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party, but Greece has rejected the idea.

The Council of Europe is based in Strasbourg, France and runs the European Court of Human Rights.

The 32-page was issued Tuesday by the council’s human rights commissioner Nils Mutinies, who said he was “seriously concerned by the increase in racist and other hate crimes in Greece,” and that “a number of the reported attacks have been linked to members or supporters, including MPs, of the neo-Nazi political party ‘Golden Dawn.’” The party has been linked to a number of violent, racist attacks and is openly anti-Zionist.

The reports said that under existing Greek legislation and under treaties signed by Athens, Greece had the legal means to take steps against Golden Dawn, including banning the party.

“The Commissioner calls on the Greek authorities to be highly vigilant and use all available means to combat all forms of hate speech and hate crime and to end impunity for these crimes,” the report added.

Golden Dawn emerged on the political scene last year, winning 7 percent of the vote or 18 seats in the 300-member Greek Parliament. Recent polls have indicated the party, which runs on a fiercely anti-immigrant platform, now has 14 to 18 percent of the population’s support.

A statement on the party’s website dismissed the report, saying the Council of Europe was a “Zionist institution.”

Greek media said the Greek government had sent the council a response indicating they were unlikely to ban Golden Dawn.

Human Rights Watch Turns on Hamas for Executions of Collaborators

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Human Rights Watch, which usually has Israel in its crosshairs, has turned its fury on the Hamas terrorist organization for failing to investigate the gory public execution of seven Gaza Arabs accused and sentenced to death without a trial for helping Israel.

Hamas rejected the criticism, saying it was biased and adding that it has investigated the killings four months ago. Armed Hamas goons murdered the suspects and dragged their bodies through Gaza streets to the cheers of passersby.

The Hamas regime has executed at least 38 people since seizing power in 2007 after a deadly terrorist militia clash with its rival Fatah faction, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Dershowitz: I Challenge Carter to Human Rights Debate at Cardozo

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard Law School, has challenged former president Jimmy Carter to a debate on his human rights record.

Dershowitz spoke by telephone to a reporter with The Jewish Press, on Monday, April 8, in response to the news that the Cardozo School of Law’s Journal of Conflict Resolution will be honoring Carter with the “International Advocate for Peace” Award this Wednesday, April 10, as reported that morning.

During the course of the interview, the law professor recounted the widespread death and devastation caused by Carter’s efforts at “human rights.”

“What should be discussed is not Jimmy Carter’s role as a peacemaker, but instead it should be his role as a deal breaker,” said Dershowitz.  He then proceeded to tick off the bases for his reasoning.

“First, it was Carter who advised Yassir Arafat not to accept the peace deal offered in 2000-01.  That failure led to the deaths of more than 4000 Israelis and Arabs.”

“Secondly, by encouraging and supporting Hamas, and always placing the blame on Israel, Carter has guaranteed the continuation of terrorism.”  Indeed, “Carter has embraced Arafat, he’s embraced Mashaal, why, he’s never met a terrorist he didn’t love, and never met an Israeli whom he did.”

“And third,” the professor said, “it was Carter who was responsible for not acting to prevent the death of two million Cambodians at the hands of Pol Pot.  Carter was the president of the United States and yet he did not intervene in that slaughter, he did not lead and prod the United Nations to take action.”

Dershowitz paused, to sum up, “Carter has prevented peace, encouraged terrorism and done more than anyone else to isolate and demonize the Middle East’s only democracy, Israel.”

But Dershowitz wasn’t finished.

“Jimmy Carter has distorted the very meaning of human rights, he has turned the concept on its head, what he does should be called ‘human lefts.’”

What does that mean?

“The way human rights should be addressed is based on ‘worst, first,’ you deal with the most egregious wrongs, the worst kind of abuses committed by governments first,” Dershowitz explained.  “He’s turned everything upside down.  Instead of Israel, just look over a little to the south, “Saudi Arabia is the worst human rights violator in the world: sex segregation, gender preference discrimination, religious discrimination,” that’s where a real human rights activist would focus, said the law professor.

“But Jimmy Carter was bought and paid for by the Saudis.  The Carter Center stopped criticizing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when the Saudis started funding it.”

So what should be the plan of action with respect to the Cardozo award?

Dershowitz started out by suggesting that when Carter comes to Cardozo, leaflets should be distributed to everyone, including the former president, detailing Carter’s human rights records.  But his thoughts continued to develop as he spoke further about the many “failures Carter has orchestrated.”

Turning again to talk about Yassir Arafat, Dershowitz, more slowly this time, explained how Arafat had gone to seek advice from Jimmy Carter, in the run up to Camp David.  “And Jimmy Carter advised Arafat not to accept the peace accord.”

“We’d be celebrating 10 years of peace already had Carter not given that disastrous advice to Arafat.  Jimmy Carter is primarily responsible – along with Arafat – for the deaths since that time.”

“What’s more,” Dershowitz continued, “Jimmy Carter has not only sown death and destruction by inserting himself in global conflicts, his actions themselves are illegal.” Dershowitz was referring to the Logan Act, passed in 1799 in the wake of the XYZ Affair, which made it a crime for private citizens to conduct foreign policy.

Finally, Dershowitz settled upon the best course of action.

Dershowitz said:

I will come, at my own expense, to debate Jimmy Carter on Carter’s own human rights record.  If Cardozo will have me, I will come and provide the students, the administration and anyone else that is interested, with a first rate debate about the meaning of human rights and they can decide whether what Jimmy Carter has done, constitutes human rights or human wrongs.

So, Dean Diller, other administration and faculty, and students on the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution: here is your opportunity to resolve this particular conflict.  Jimmy Carter, by all means! come to Cardozo and talk about human rights, but be prepared to have a full discussion, a debate even, with Alan Dershowitz on the topic.

UN to Adopt Syrian Text Damning Israel for ‘Violating Human Rights’

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

At the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, Syria accused Israel of violating the human rights of children in the Golan, while diplomats met in another chamber on the same day to discuss a Syrian-drafted resolution, to be adopted next week, entitled “Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan.”

There will be five other resolutions targeting Israel, and about the same number combined covering the rest of the world.

While this year Syria did not officially present the text, its delegate sat on the dais next to his Pakistani colleague who chaired the session on behalf of the Islamic group. Not a single diplomat called out the sheer lunacy of the exercise. Rather, the EU commented that it was “committed to the protection of all, including those in the occupied Golan.” It was willing to “constructively engage on the text,” even as it noted that its proposals last year were not implemented.

Egypt said it aligned itself with the Islamic group.



Later in the day, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer took the floor in the plenary. Here are his notes:

Mr. President,

This Council is charged with promoting and protecting the guarantees enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Today we ask: is the Council fulfilling its mission?

Let us consider the most basic right: the right to life.

As we heard this week from Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia is preparing imminently to execute seven alleged child offenders including Sarhan Al Mashayekh—who was also sentenced to be crucified over three days. Why is the Council refusing to address this in any resolution, urgent session, or even debate? [Ed. note: the Saudis executed them today by firing squad.]

Three other countries known to execute juvenile offenders are Yemen, Sudan and Iran—yet none of these situations is being addressed by any resolution.

And while there is a resolution on Iran, it is silent on child executions—and indeed the text is devoid of any documentation whatsoever of the regime’s other massive abuses, including against women, religious and ethnic minorities, and dissidents.

Finally, the Council must do far more about the thousands of children subjected to violence and death in Syria.

Now, today we just heard from the Syrian representative about human rights in the Golan Heights. This was a transparent attempt to change the subject from the dire, catastrophic human rights situation in Syria.

Sadly, this has been going on for decades. The United Nations has allowed Syria to present itself as a champion of human rights.

Indeed, a resolution was circulated today—presented by Syria—the same one that has been adopted each year by this Council, on purported human rights violations in the Golan Heights.

This text embodies all that is wrong with giving Syria a free pass. Year after year, the UN enabled Syria to portray itself as a champion of human rights.

- While Hafez al-Assad was murdering 20,000 people in Hama, in 1982, Syria was sitting here, as an elected member of the human rights commission. Two years later, it was reelected.

- A year and a half ago, Syria was elected to two human rights committees of UNESCO.

- A few weeks ago, Syria was elected Rapporteur of the decolonization committee dealing with human rights.

Mr. President,

Let us be clear: the situation in Syria today was allowed to develop, and the Syrian regime was allowed to remain in power, in part because the United Nations granted false legitimacy to this murderous regime.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Anti-Semitism as ‘Civil Rights’

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

A New York City department called the New York City Commission on Human Rights has sued a group of religious store owners in Brooklyn. What terrible “crime” have these Torah Jews committed? They require modest clothing to be worn in their stores and do not allow shorts or bare feet, etc.

As with recent state aggression in other countries against shechita and b’rit milah, this lawsuit is anti-Semitism under the guise of lofty social interest. Instead of “animal welfare” or “children’s rights,” the state’s claim is now “equality” and “anti-discrimination.” The bottom line is it’s anti-Semitism in each instance because the government seeks to crush the fulfillment of Judaic values and duties.

Concerning the New York lawsuit, there is also a broader attack against a cornerstone that transcends any religious context: the rights of private property. Simply put, those store owners in Brooklyn could just as well require cowboy boots as prohibit shorts; it’s their business and corresponding right to transact based on these proprietary preferences. As James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, “Government is instituted no less for protection of the property, than of the persons of individuals.” As former attorney Rabbi Steven Pruzansky similarly notes in a discussion of the 2005 Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London, “It’s well-established that private property…is respected and even celebrated in Torah life.” (See 21:50 here.)

Such protection goes both ways. If wealthy Jew haters want to exclude us from their yacht clubs, it’s both obnoxious and ridiculous to pursue state action against them.

In 2013, America is acutely alienated from these founding principles. “Civil rights” today has become a mechanism by which federal, state, and local governments trample on property rights to further assorted ideological ends. As the legal scholar Richard Epstein has observed vis-a-vis the aftermath of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act:

In the modern context it [civil rights] has become a term that refers to limits on freedom of  association. It has thus repeated the fundamental official mistake of earlier generations  [imposing segregation, for example] by sanctioning active and extensive government  interference in private markets. Civil rights  quickly assumed an imperial air. It now allows the  state (or some group within the state) to force others to enter into private arrangements that  they would prefer to avoid.

New York’s lawsuit extends this imperial, coercive machinery. “The enemies of the Torah are working overtime,” Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt”l remarks in his perush to the Hovot HaLevavot. Now their hostility masquerades as human rights. Defense of both Torah and American values demands opposition to such tyrannical forces.

What Jonathan Kay Got Wrong

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

I disagree with my colleague Jonathan Kay’s recent article “American super-hawks demand to know: ‘Are you Jew enough?’”

First, let me thank him for referring to me as “a feminist-turned anti-Islamist” and not as “anti-Muslim” or as an “Islamophobe.” However, in becoming an “anti-Islamist” I did not check my feminist credentials at the door; my work on honor-based violence, including honor killing among Muslims and Hindus (mainly in India) is pure feminist work. The victims are primarily women of color, and yes, in the West, they are primarily Muslims. I am championing their cause just as I have championed the cause of non-Muslim Western women. I work with Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents who share my Enlightenment values, a single universal standard of human rights, and who, like me, have taken a stand against the persecution of girls, women, homosexuals, free thinkers and pro-Israel advocates in the Muslim world.

Second, my good colleague Kay is wrong about the early demise of conspiracy theories and blood libels against the Jews. There are so many late 20th- and early 21st-century varieties: Zionism=Racism, the Mohammed al-Dura blood libel, the Jenin massacre libel, not to mention claims that Israelis are sterilizing the Palestinians, harvesting their organs for profit, and killing babies.

Many people in North America and Europe, as well as in the Muslim world, still believe that the forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a true and accurate picture of Jews. Twenty first century European surveys, media coverage, cartoons, and direct verbal and physical attacks upon European Jews, Jewish Centers, and synagogues all document a rising hatred towards Jews and towards the only Jewish state (which is seen as controlling the world and the media). And, in 2012, a survey in the United States, found that 35 million American adults (or 15% of the population) believe that “Jews have too much power in the United States” and are “more willing to use shady practices.” More than 70 million American adults believed that American Jews are “more loyal to Israel than to America.”

I don’t know of any surveys that poll Italian-Americans, Polish-Americans, or Muslim-Americans on the dual loyalty question.

We also know that Canadian universities sponsor Israel Apartheid Week quite regularly and activists, students and professors call for boycott, sanctions, and divestment (BDS) from one country only: Israel. Not from Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or India where Muslim-on-Muslim, Muslim-on-Christian, and Muslim-on-Hindu violence and real gender and religious apartheid are epidemic. On Thursday, at Brooklyn College, in New York City, there was yet another hate fest, this time sponsored by an academic department and featuring Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler, who are both strong supporters of BDS. There are no opposing views being presented. Hate speech and falsehoods are now being granted the protection of academic freedom and, in America, the protection of the First Amendment.

Thus, I am worried — and Jonathan Kay should share my concern. Like me, Kay is a feminist and a civil libertarian. However, unlike myself, he is unable and unwilling to see how much anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism (today the two are twinned), is emanating from left-liberals: Western intellectuals, academics, artists, and journalists whose “politically correct” racism i.e. anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism has made common cause with Islamist forces who very clearly desire the extermination of one state only: The Jewish state, and who are at war with women and with Western values.

I welcome the support of Christian Zionists, Evangelicals, and conservatives. I will not mock them merely because we disagree on some other subjects any more than I would mock feminists because we disagree on other burning issues.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I did not label the Shin Bet or the filmmaker of “The Gatekeepers” as “suicidal and traitorous.” I wrote this: “To the extent to which this film is accurate I salute it. To the extent to which it is false, defamatory, biased, exaggerated — I consider it suicidal and traitorous.”

By the way, Kay should know that these Shin Bet heads went public in 2003, not in 2012, and that they are the ones who urged Prime Minister Sharon to pull out of Gaza. Which he did. Israel now has Hamastan and constant rocket barrages on her border. Does Kay believe this is actually good for humanity and for the Jews?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/phyllis-chesler-what-jonathan-kay-got-wrong/2013/02/09/

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