Stephen Zunes : Human Rights
Republican Right and congressional liberals join together to show support for Sharon government despite reports by Amnesty and Human Rights Watch detailing gross human rights abuses.
Last Tuesday, Israeli forces murdered Isaac Saada outside of his home in Bethlehem. He was the father of ten and a beloved teacher at Terra Sancta, a RomanCatholic school in that West Bank city. Saada was actively involved with the peace education program of the Israeli-Palestinian Center for Research and Information. The day he was buried, he had been scheduled to take part in a joint seminar with Israeli teachers on improving understanding and cooperation between the two peoples.
The decision by the U.S. Congress to withhold $244 million in dues owed to the United Nations only builds upon the growing global perception of U.S. arrogance. In recent days, both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have placed themselves to the right of even the Bush administration in their sharp anti-UN rhetoric….
Peace Review 2000 East Timor’s Tragedy and Triumph (PDF)
Nonviolent action campaigns have been a part of political life for millennia. History records many instances of groups rising to challenge abuses by authorities, demand social reforms, and protest militarism and discrimination. In recent years, however, the number of such movements has increased, as has their success in advancing the cause of human rights and toppling or dramatically reforming repressive regimes. In the twentieth century, nonviolence became more of a deliberate tool for social change, moving from being largely an ad hoc strategy growing naturally out of religious or ethical principles to a reflective and, in many ways, institutionalized method of struggle.
The muted reaction of Clinton administration officials on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to two human rights activists from East Timor is not simply due to the seeming obscurity of that small Southeast Asian nation. No choice could have been more embarrassing for the United States government.