West failing a crucial test of upholding human rights

Ruth Hazeldine and Alan Melkman (H&H Broadway letters, November 26) attempt to normalise Israel s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory, and imply that Israel is somehow unfairly singled out. It is instructive, therefore, to read what John Dug

Ruth Hazeldine and Alan Melkman (H&H Broadway letters, November 26) attempt to normalise Israel's decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory, and imply that Israel is somehow unfairly singled out.

It is instructive, therefore, to read what John Dugard, former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, wrote in his 2007 report to the UN.

''There are other regimes, particularly in the developing world, that suppress human rights, but there is no other case of a Western-affiliated regime that denies self-determination to a developing people and that has done so for so long.

This explains why the Occupied Palestinian Territories has become a test for the West, a test by which its commitment to human rights is to be judged. If the West fails this test, it can hardly expect the developing world to address human rights violations seriously in its own countries, and the West appears to be failing this test.''


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This is why it is important for civil society to boycott illegal settlement produce. It is one of the few ways in which we can bring pressure to bear on Israel to abide by international law, of which it is in serious breach.

Ruth Hazeldine further complains that Israel is an easy target. It is, however, painfully evident that the opposite is true: the West has tip-toed around the issue of the abuse of Palestinian human rights for decades for fear of offending the Israelis.

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Eleanor Kilroy

N19

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