I’ve got to shake my head when I see stories like this from the mainline church-supported U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. I mean, what parallel dimension do these people live in?

Evidently the U.S. State Department held a townhall-type meeting on human rights on Friday. The director of USCEIO was there, asking a question which must have left department officials scratching their heads:

In response to a question posed by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation at today’s Human Rights Day Town Hall held by the State Department, the Obama Administration acknowledged that Israel should be held to the same human rights standards as every other country, and that Palestinians are entitled to their full human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This video shows the question, raised by National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, and the answer, given by Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner.
Posner rejected the idea that Israel should be held to a lower standard of accountability to human rights than other countries, stating that there is a “single universal standard that applies to every country, including our own. We apply it to Israelis.” Posner also affirmed that the State Department views “Palestinians as being human beings under the Universal Declaration [of Human Rights] and entitled to these rights.”
Ruebner stated that, “Now that the United States finally recognizes that Palestinians are entitled to universal human rights, and that Israel should be held accountable to these human rights standards, it should be relatively easy for the United States to broker a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace based on these principles.”
Huh? When has the U.S. ever denied that Palestinians are entitled to the same human rights as any other people? When has the U.S. ever said that Israel shouldn’t be held to the same standards as any other nation? Ruebner acts as those he’s made some great breakthrough and gotten “the United States” to do what it has never done before.
Ruebner added: “For far too long, U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine has been based on Israel’s perceived security interests to the detriment of Palestinian human rights. The Obama Administration should be applauded for its newfound commitment to Palestinian human rights, which will serve hopefully as the new basis for a revamped U.S. strategy to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
For Ruebner and the USCEIO, Israel has no security concerns. Israel has the obligation to give into all Palestinian demands yesterday. and to do so no matter what the cost to its own citizens. The fact that Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as factions of Fatah, have not reconciled themselves to Israel’s existence, continue to lob rockets and mortars at Israeli citizens in contravention of the Geneva Conventions, continue to spew anti-Semitic propaganda throughout the Palestinian territories, is of no consequence to USCEIO. But of course this is an organization that wants the Jewish state to commit suicide by allowing the “right to return” to pretty much every Palestinian with any connection whatsoever to any Arab who lived in Israel in 1948.
What’s really revealing here is that Ruebner is under the delusion that Israel is somehow held to a “lower” standard than other nations on the subject of human rights. For years, Israel has been a punching bag at the United Nations and in the Human Rights Council (and Commission before it). Based on the amount of time, effort, resources, and resolutions and reports that the HRC has expended on Israel, it would be fair to say that it is very nearly the only human rights violator among the world’s nations. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that the HRC’s membership currently includes Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Gabon, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, and in the past four years has also included Azerbaijan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bolivia, and Nicaragua–in other words, some of the world’s worst human rights violators, as well as almost 40% of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. According to UN Watch:

The council has criticized Israel on 27 separate occasions, in resolutions that grant effective impunity to Hamas, Hezbollah and their state sponsors. Obsessed with condemning Israel, the Council in its first year failed to condemn human rights violations occurring in any of the world’s 191 other countries. In its second year, the Council finally criticized one other country when it “deplored” the situation in Burma, but only after it censored out initial language containing the word “condemn.” It even praised Sudan for its “cooperation.”

The Council’s fixation with Israel is not limited to resolutions. Israel is the only country listed on the Council’s permanent agenda….Moreover, Israel is the only country subjected to an investigatory mandate that examines the actions of only one side, presumes those actions to be violations, and which is not subject to regular review.

For some reason, the USCEIO is of the opinion that when the U.S. seeks to bring some measure of equity to international human rights discussions; some fairness to the treatment Israel receives at the hands of human rights paragons such as China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia; and perhaps might even suggest that Israel is not the only violator of human rights in the Holy Land, it is holding Israel to a lower standard than, say, North Korea or Zimbabwe.

For some reason.