It’s true. They want Hamas to treat its hostage better. But they pointedly do not ask for his release.
I am going to reproduce this incredible document and the list of signatories in full:
Hamas: Human Beings are not Bargaining Chips
End Inhumane and Illegal Treatment of Gilad Shalit
June 24, 2011
Marking five years since the capture of Gilad Shalit, Israeli, Palestinian and international human rights organizations state:
Hamas must immediately end inhumane and illegal treatment of Gilad Shalit.
Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit has been in captivity for five years. Those holding him have refused to allow him to communicate with his family, nor have they provided information on his well-being and the conditions in which he is being held. The organizations stress that this conduct is inhumane and a violation of international humanitarian law.
Hamas authorities in Gaza must immediately end the cruel and inhuman treatment of Gilad Shalit. Until he is released, they must enable him to communicate with his family and should grant him access to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
Bimkom: Planners for Planning Rights
Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement
Human Rights Watch [HRW]
International Federation for Human Rights
Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Gaza
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel
Rabbis for Human Rights
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights
On Friday, these so-called “human rights” advocates opened their minds, stunted by greed and egotism, and let the world see their unspeakable contents. Here a few obvious items on display:
- The practical effect of their position is to support Hamas’ demands for a hugely unbalanced ‘prisoner exchange’ in which more than a thousand prisoners, including murderers, will be released. A demand for Shalit’s immediate release would work against Hamas’ plan to extract a ransom too high for Israel to safely pay.
- By calling for this young man to be treated ‘humanely’ but not calling for his release, they affirm that by their lights it is an acceptable policy to take a hostage and keep him in a hole for five years (so far) as long as he is allowed to correspond with his parents and meet with a Red Cross representative.
- They rightly call for an end to his ‘torture’. But isn’t it torture enough to imprison an innocent man for an indeterminate time and keep him from his family, torture for both the prisoner and his family? And isn’t that, too, a “violation of international humanitarian law?”
- They most likely rationalize their acquiescence to his captivity by finding equivalences — between Gilad Shalit the hostage and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, and between Israeli authorities and Hamas leaders. Only their enormous contempt for Israel — and the rewards it brings them — makes these absurd comparisons possible.
Israel is a legitimate, democratic nation and Hamas is a terrorist gang whose primary goal is to commit genocide. Sometimes there aren’t any shades of gray. One man’s terrorist may still be a terrorist even if someone finds it profitable to call him a freedom fighter.
These are the same organizations who, funded to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars by the European Union, the New Israel Fund, the Ford Foundation, and private donors (including some in Saudi Arabia), collected the ‘evidence’ used in the dishonest Goldstone Report (for example, see here) to accuse the IDF of war crimes. They are leaders in the campaign to demonize Israel in order to make it harder for her to exercise her right of self-defense.
The “Human Rights” industry is now a big business, and some of its biggest ‘customers’ are those who are dedicated to ending the phenomenon of Jewish self-determination — Zionism — for various reasons. Some are naive, some have fallen under the spell of postmodern left-wing politics, some have a financial interest — and some are the old-fashioned enemies of Israel and the Jewish people.
This has distorted the human rights movement’s focus and disconnected it from the initial idealism that animated its founders (like HRW’s Robert Bernstein). Bernstein said this about HRW and Israel:
Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields. These groups are supported by the government of Iran, which has openly declared its intention not just to destroy Israel but to murder Jews everywhere. This incitement to genocide is a violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Leaders of Human Rights Watch know that Hamas and Hezbollah chose to wage war from densely populated areas, deliberately transforming neighborhoods into battlefields. They know that more and better arms are flowing into both Gaza and Lebanon and are poised to strike again. And they know that this militancy continues to deprive Palestinians of any chance for the peaceful and productive life they deserve. Yet Israel, the repeated victim of aggression, faces the brunt of Human Rights Watch’s criticism.
All of these organizations demonstrated this week that they have no special status as apolitical observers interested only in human rights. They are political tools, bought and paid for by Israel’s enemies.