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On Israel and Human Rights

[name edited out]

September 03, 2006 12:52 PM

Declaration of Independence

Human Rights in Israel Proper

It is worthy to note that the Israeli Supreme Court not only has the ability to overrule decisions made by Knesset, they have frequently done so, forcing the Israeli Govt. to adhere not only the UDHR, but to Israeli Law as well. THis says a lot about the state of affairs in terms of the legal system’s Fredom from Government influences – one aspect of Society that is usually the first to “go” where there are HR Violations.

As a comparison one can take a look at

Human rights in the Palestinian National Authority

And note that the PNA’s Human Rights record superseed that of Israel’s in the Occupied Territories. In fact the Palestinian People would be by far way better off if they became Israeli citizens (which they actually have every possibility to become) than under the rule of their own PNA.

2/ The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was made on the 14th May 1948, nearly SEVEN months before the UDHR (10th dec 1948), so unless you can demonstrate some sort of extraordinary psychic ability among members of the Knesset ,I have to disqualify this as “evidence of Israel’s actions that prove it’s commitment to the UDHR”

Actually, September 04, 2006 6:50 PM

since the Declaration of Independence is the closest you get to what would be comparable to a Constitution, it is a legal document, which wasn’t only valid in 1948 as a nice speech. Besides, in the Declaration of Independence is says that: “it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” Article 73 of the UN Charter basically out-lines the contents of the UDHR. Also all those things enumerated in the Declaration are guaranteed for all citizens of Israel. So it doesn’t really matter that the UDHR wasn’t put on paper in May 1948 – it existed within the Charter, and therefore I don’t think your disqualification holds here.

Basic Laws

This is a very good Page

And under Israeli Law ALL Citizens have the right to:

Right to vote
Right to fair, free and democratic elections
Right to political opinion
Right to form parties
Right to candidate

One of the problems have been to get the Israeli Arabs to excercise their right to vote.

Israeli law provides for the right to a fair trial and an independent judiciary.

“All Israeli citizens – Christians, Muslims and Jews – have freedom of religion and the right to vote. Ten Arabs and 16 women serve in Israel’s parliament, and all Israelis have equal access to education, employment opportunities, and modern healthcare.”

Arab citizens of Israel

“One of the most prominent examples of governmental activity designed to meet the challenge of closing the gap between the Arab and Jewish sectors was the October 2000 decision of the Government of Israel to designate resources for all areas of socio-economic development in the Arab sector communities of Israel.

The decision stated that the Government “regards itself as obligated to act to grant equal and fair conditions to Israeli Arabs in the socio-economic sphere, in particular in the areas of education, housing and employment” and “to reduce the gaps between the Arab and Jewish sectors.” The total cost of the multi-year plan was four billion Shekels (approximately one billion US dollars) during the years 2001-2004. It was coordinated by an inter-ministerial team, headed by the Prime Minister’s Office, and was based on working in tandem with Israeli Arabs authorities.

Another notable highlight has been the establishment of the Knesset Caucus for Jewish-Arab relations in 2003 by MK Rabbi Michael Melchior and MK Issam Makhoul. Its ongoing aim is threefold: (1) to address vital issues concerning the complex power relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, (2) to advance civic coexistence on all levels, and (3) to make an impact on determining a fairer allocation of state resources. Currently, 30 MKs, representing most political parties, are members of the Caucus.”

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