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  KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted:
March 15, 2006 - ט"ו באדר, תשס"ו
 
 

The UN & Human Rights
Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

 
Counseling people on the issue of self-esteem, coaching them on acknowledging their strengths and helping them reach their potential has brought me to think about the issue of collective self-esteem. Is there collective low self-esteem which does not allow a whole group to reach their potential or collective high self-esteem allowing a group to reap the benefits of a “can-do” feeling and thereby become accomplished?
 
After reading a March 10, 2006, article by Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), the majority leader of the U.S. Senate I decided that not only does collective low self-esteem exist, but unfortunately the USA suffers from it. In his article, Mr. Frist pointed out that as a member of the UN Human Rights Commission the USA is part and parcel of a body “where one dirty hand calls the other dirty hand clean.” Mr. Frist suggested that the USA should develop a back bone and if the “United Nations doesn't agree to major reforms of its Human Rights Commission, the U.S. should stick to its principles and withdraw from the body.”
 
When the UN Human Rights Commission was created on the heels of WWII, there was great hope that it would be able to defend the virtuous and override the evil. However, it has such a ridiculous record of failure, that would the UN be a private business it would have failed long ago.
 
Mr. Frist writes, “It (the UN) failed to speak out against communism, failed to act against Rwanda's genocide and failed to condemn nations that sponsor terrorism. Instead, it has singled out Israel--the Middle East's only democracy--for continued criticism while overlooking serious human rights abuses throughout the Arab world. Today, emissaries from Cuba's communist dictatorship, Sudan's genocidal military rulers and Zimbabwe's kleptocratic regime sit on the commission and cast judgment on other nations' human rights records.”
 
Let’s think about Mr. Frist’s comment and understand its truth. Of course the UN Human Rights Commission failed on all accounts. Every nation, regardless of its own record on human rights, is allowed to be part of and lead the commission. Over the past few years, the nations leading the Human Rights Commission have “very dirty hands.”
 
Sudan, was in the middle of its ethnic cleansing of the Darfur region when it was elected to the Human Rights Commission by a majority vote of the General Council. The Human Rights Watch group has called China - which is run by a Communist government - a “highly repressive state.”Cuba’s prisons are full of old and new political dissenters 45 years after Castro’s bloody rise to power. Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is notorious for ordering racist anti-white violence, expelling foreign journalists, and rigging his own reelection. Saudi Arabia tramples on free speech, crushes political parties that don’t fit its narrow-minded political view, permits wife-beating, and absolutely prohibits practicing any religion other than their own.
 
This commission has been after Israel, the one democracy in the Middle East, but has ignored countries in the Middle East - and all over the world - with outright abuses. Which Middle Eastern country, other than Israel, has freedom of religion or equality for men and women? In an action that almost adds insult to injury the Hamas have come up with a new horror that can be added to their list of human rights abuses. They have created a web site to encourage children to become suicide bombers. There is a web site originating from the Middle East encouraging children to kill themselves and the UN Human Rights Commission has a problem with Israel? Where is the Human Rights Commission worrying about the children who are encouraged to commit suicide? Where are they when countries put a price on a human head because of a lack of freedom of speech as was done recently to Dr. Wafa Sultan, an Arab American Psychiatrist from Syria?
 
Now would be a good time for the USA to raise its collective self-esteem, take Mr. Frist’s idea and insist on change in the UN Human Rights Commission. If change is not implemented, the USA has enough allies without human rights abuse issues to create a new Human Rights Commission that would be independent of the weak and decadent UN which is run by dictators and despots.

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht  

 

 
     
 
 
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