Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations (1948)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a remarkable document drafted after the atrocities of WWII. The document should constitute the real road map to peace (instead of the fake "road map" that Bush is pushing and that in 2218 words does not even mention "Human Rights" and "International Law").
I took the time to note very briefly Israel's violations of just about every article of the declaration. For further documentation of these violations, readers can google for data from Israeli and International human rights organizations and International agencies (e.g. Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, B'Tselem, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for human Rights, UN Human Rights Commission etc). My brief notes are in brackets below the articles of the Universal Declaration.
Please note that many countries including the US and Israel adopted this document yet many violate it (to varying degrees). The reason we highlight Israel is because it gets billions of dollars of our tax money (the largest recipient of US foreign aid). Note also that Congress passed a law to prohibit aid to countries that persistently violate human rights and yet thanks to the Israeli-apologist lobby, we are not enforcing US law. We can do it by education, action etc. Lighting a candle is better than cursing the dark. And silence is complicity.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
December 10, 1948
Mazin Qumsiyeh comments in italics on Israel's violations
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Israel does not recognize this. Instead Zionism (here meaning Political Zionism, see note at end on my use of this term) is built on the foundations of exceptional rights (presumed available to members of one religion). Zionism claims that Jews are chosen, have suffered exceptionally, and that they are chosen to go live in Palestine, take land from native people and treat them as subhuman. Of the 10 million Palestinians in the world today, 7 million are refugees and displaced people and millions suffer as tenth class citizens or as non-citizens under illegal Israeli occupation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem and Gaza strip.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Zionism from its inception declared its interest in promoting exceptionalism. Israel is unique among the nations in not being a country of its citizens but of “Jewish people everywhere”. No other country defines itself as a country for members of a particular religion (including converts) regardless of where they live. No other country has supranational entities that have authority superceding state authority and native people rights. For example, the JNF is not a state agency but it has on its own website the amazing statement that “The Jewish National Fund is the custodian of the land of Israel on behalf of its owners Jewish people everywhere.” 91% of the land (most taken from the 530 Palestinian towns and villages depopulated between 1947-1949) is not privately owned but turned over from the custodian of “absentee property” to the JNF (Jewish Agency before) for lease by Jews. More recently some of this land was turned over for “management” by the Israel Lands authority. I am very familiar with the latter group’s “work” with the Israeli government in reclassifying Palestinian lands (including near my own village) to “Green areas” (or taking over areas classified as military Zones) and then reclassifying them as “residential” and then building Jewish only settlements/colonies on them.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians were killed in the past few decades. In trying to terrorize all the natives into leaving between December 1947-1950 over 35 massacres of civilians were committed. Terrorism was actually initiated in Palestine not by Palestinians but by Zionist underground forces in the 1920 and 1930s. These forces actually set the stage for International terrorism by being the first to use letter bombs, the first to detonate bombs on civilian buses, the first to bomb markets, etc
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Israel forced Palestinian political prisoners to do hard labor in its prisons for many years only discontinuing the process relatively recently. But on e could also talk of economic slavery as Palestinian means of livelihood was slowly eroded with land confiscation and economic strangulations forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to work over decades for substandard wages to build Jewish colonies and settlements and to work to service their Zionist masters.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Israel engaged in massive inhumane treatment of Palestinians and collective punishment of civilian populations for decades. See palestineremembered.com. See human rights reports on humiliation, degrading treatments, and punishments of Palestinians on the internet (search "Israeli human rights violations"). For torture issues and its history in Israel, see the Public Committee against Torture in Israel http://stoptorture.org.il For other relevant issue examples by video, see http://hub.witness.org/en/seeit/browse?keyword=palestine&kinds=
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
After ethnically cleansing most Palestinians in what became Israel in 1949, Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 and for 40 years refuses to recognize these residents as "persons before the law." Jewish settlers in the West Bank (including Jerusalem) are subject to common Israeli law where as Palestinian Christians and Muslims are subject to another set of Israeli laws that deny them basic rights. Gaza, still Israeli occupied per International law, is treated as an "enemy entity" and is basically a large open air prison.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Israel clearly violates that with regards to Christian and Muslim Palestinians under its jurisdiction. See above and search for Israeli discrimination against Palestinians.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Israeli Knesset laws were passed that forbids Palestinians from suing Israeli armed forces or the Israeli state for damages including loss of life, home and property. Blanket immunity is given to acts committed by Israelis. Many Zionists wanted for murder and terrorism became Israeli prime ministers and other leaders (e.g. Shamir, Begin).
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Most Palestinians live in exile or in internal displacement. Over 10% of Palestinian men in the West Bank and Gaza have spent time in Israeli jails. Today 11,000 Palestinian Christians and Muslims are held in Israeli jails, many in administrative detentions without charges. Most for simply rejecting the illegal occupation of their land, hundreds perhaps thousands for non-violent resistance (BTW even violent resistance to illegal occupation is actually supported and encouraged by international law). See http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/prisoners.html
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Obviously violated by Israel. There are no impartial tribunals. Palestinians are judged, when and if they are, by Zionist Jews who are raised to think that Palestinians are Arabs who do not belong in this "land of Israel." Also Israel engaged in hundreds of extra-judicial executions just in the past few years alone, and thousands more before.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.
See above. This has been violated regularly and as a matter of law. From arrest and torture for months without trials to extrajudicial execution, Israel is violating this article. See reports over the past 20 years by Btselem as examples.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
Palestinians living on their land for hundreds of years were considered guilty of living on Jewish lands supposedly owned by Jews 2000 years before. They were punished by being removed and prevented from returning. Their lands confiscated and turned over to the "Jewish Agency" to use to settle European and other Jews.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Need we mention the hundreds of ways in which Israel and Zionists in general violate this? Israeli soldiers regularly ransacking thousands of Palestinian homes without cause let alone warrants. Israel has no laws to prevent warrantless wiretapping, spying, or violating privacy of any Palestinian (such laws do exist for Israelis). To the contrary laws exist that encourage and promote such violations (see Israeli laws bundled under the rubric of "security").
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
Palestinians even from Bethlehem cannot visit or pray in Arab East Jerusalem, a mere 7 miles distance. They cannot even travel freely from any one of the 10 remaining Palestinian Ghettos (Bantustans) to the other ghettos.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Israel's basic laws deny Palestinian refugees the right to return to their lands and confiscates land without compensation (so called “absentee property law”). So far 2/3rds of the native Palestinians are refugees and displaced people (all simply for being of the wrong religion). This is a continuing process since just in the past 6 years alone 35,000 more Palestinians were made homeless by home demolitions and land confiscations.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
Israel routinely rejects asylum for persecuted people (unless they are Jewish). We are not even talking about the obvious persecuted Palestinians. Even when Zionists led the efforts to demonize the government in Sudan for Darfur, Israel deported Darfur refugees who managed to sneak into its borders from Egypt.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
Palestinians were expelled from their lands and those who tried to sneak back in where shot in the hundreds. All were denied the nationality and remained as refugees without nationality. For example, 350,000 Palestinian refugees are in Lebanon without nationality because Israel refuses to give them their inalienable right to return to their homes and lands.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
Israeli Knesset passed a unique law that prevents Israeli citizens who marry Palestinians from living together in what they consider Israel (including East Jerusalem). But even Israeli citizens who marry non-Palestinians face two standards: Israeli Jews have simple and automatic family reunifications whereas Christians and Muslims wait years and have to wade through much more bureaucracy.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
See above. Suffice it to quote Moshe Dayan, famous Israeli General "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu'a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population." See also on looting http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story680.html
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Freedom of though was and is regularly violated by Israel. In the occupied areas, all manner of communications is controlled by the Israeli authorities including access to airwaves etc. Freedom of religion is regularly prohibited by Israel. Hundreds f mosques and churches were demolished (among the 530 villages and towns depopulated and well after that). Palestinian Muslims and Christians in the West Bank (with rare exceptions) are denied the right to go to Jerusalem to pray at their holiest sites. The Islamic Holy sites in Jerusalem are the third holies to Islam and yet Muslims from around the world are also denied the right to visit (even many US Muslims are denied entry at Israeli borders). Jewish anti-Zionists or those Jews deemed supportive of Palestinian rights are also denied entry to visit even if they are religious.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
See above. Israeli apologists in the US frequently silenced free speech and caused people who speak out to lose their jobs, e.g. Cynthia McKinney, Norman Finkelstein etc.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Peaceful assembly was routinely attacked. During the first Intifada even clandestine assembly by students to attend schools was busted. Associations and non-governmental organizations were routinely disbanded and their leadership thrown in jail. There are also many more recent examples. Take the weekly peaceful Bil'in demonstration that is regularly attacked by the Israeli occupation forces with many peaceful demonstrators injured and arrested See http://www.bilin-village.org/english/discover-bilin/
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Israel defines itself as a "Jewish" and "democratic" country. The problem is that there is a contradiction. Non-Jews were thinned out by ethnic cleansing when Israel was established. Israeli law was then extended from the Jordan to the Mediterranean after Israel occupied the remaining 22% of Palestine. Laws were introduced to keep things in limbo so that Israe continues to import new Jewish immigrants and hope to expand its Jewish majority while denying the Palestinians their basic rights. When Palestinian birth rate and failure of Israel's policies of economic strangulation to cause massive additional Palestinian decrease in population, Israel and its allies pushed for a two state solution (really a state and Palestinian Ghettos called "state"). But this talk has now dragged on for 17 years and in the meantime Israel continues to violate the provisions of this article.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
Palestinians ethnically cleansed and those in the West Bank and Gaza obviously have no such right. The Palestinian minority within the Green line (those who managed to stay and eventually get Israeli citizenship) suffer discrimination in social and health services. See Association for Civil Rights in Israel http://www.acri.org.il and Israel Legal resource center http://www.stopisraeliapartheid.org
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
Israel confiscated and destroyed most Palestinian ways of making a living. The few jobs that remains are inaccessible to Palestinians because of drastic movement restrictions, checkpoints etc.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
When Palestinians were allowed to work for Israelis for example in settlement constructions, their employers were exempt from complying Israeli minimum wage laws and other worker protection laws
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Israel busted Palestinian trade unions on numerous occasions in the past six decades
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Palestinians can't even get a day of peace from Israeli incursions, extrajudicial assassinations, land confiscations, settlement expansions etc...
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
Per Capita income for Jewish Israelis $19,000, Israeli Arabs $6000 and Palestinians under Israeli occupation <$1000. 60-70% of Palestinians live below the poverty line of $2/day. This is not accidental statistics but a result of deliberate policies.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Over 970 Palestinian Children were killed by the Israeli army and Jewish settlers just in the past seven years (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/children.html ). Dozens of Palestinian women delivered at checkpoints and/or lost their babies because of refusal to pass. Israel holds hundreds of Palestinian child/youth prisoners according to Defense of Children International.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
Schools are regularly closed or made inaccessible due to walls and checkpoints. Explore this website for facts, figures, and lots of information on this issue: http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Palestinians do enjoy the arts and have a rich cultural heritage. Many times Israel attacks arts and artists and disrupts all forms of artistic expression that touches on political themes.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
see violations above that are translated to International and social orders. For example the International court of justice ruled that the Apartheid wall Israel is building is illegal by International law. Yet Israel (thanks to its main patron and under the power of its lobby in the US) is not being forced to comply.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Israel violates 65 UN Security Council resolutions, over 150 general assembly resolutions, the UN Charter, and just about every provision of this declaration as noted above. In imposing limitations and collective punishment on Palestinians, Israel always uses the lame excuse of security for its self-defined "citizens" in a way analogous to the use by the white South African government of such excuses under Apartheid.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
See above. Zionism is claimed as being simply "Jewish self-determination" and aiming to create a state in Palestine for Jews from around the world (who are nationals of these different states). But even if one accepts the notion that a particular religion can gather its members in one country, Article 30 states clearly that the rights of others cannot be trampled. Hence Zionism and Human rights are incompatible something that many Zionist leaders including Vladimir Jabotinsky realized and continue to realize. Note: throughout the above I am speaking of political Zionism not cultural and religious Zionism which may be compatible with human rights but which have been supplanted and defeated by political Zionism early in its history. For example see writings by Martin Buber and more recently Marc Ellis among others. Zionism is not Judaism. There is also an insidious form of Christian Zionism that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus (see http://www.christianzionism.org/ )
See also John Dugard: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967, United Nations, Human Rights Council, A/HRC/4/17, http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/4session/A.HRC.4.17.pdf