Clearly human rights should not irrelevant in the Middle East

Israeli/American peace activist Jeff Halper – we’re a big fan of him on this site, a man of principle and justice – writes that relying on Washington to solve the Middle East issues is delusional:

Underlying the growing alienation between the United States and the rest of the world community, including Europe, is America’s failure, even under Obama, to embrace human rights as a guide to its foreign policy. At a time when many of the world’s people suffer from impoverishment, conflict and a sense that their governments have failed them, have left them unprotected, the promise of universal human rights means a lot. Human rights language has yet to reach the US. When, recently, I did the rounds of Congress and the State Department promoting a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I was told that “justice” is not an active element in American foreign policy. I was advised by seasoned lobbyists not to even mention the term “human rights” in my meetings with senators and congress people, because it sounds anti-American, as if something trumps American law and policy (which human rights indeed does). But remove justice and human rights from foreign policy and you are left with short-range conflict management and damage control which, in the end, offers peace and security to no one. You certainly remove yourselves from the concerns of most people of the world.

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