Rivlin: Rights Not Just on Left

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin: the discourse of human rights must not be limited to leftists.

Gil Ronen , | updated: 19:42

Speaker Rivlin
Speaker Rivlin
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The discourse of human rights must not be allowed to remain within the exclusive realm of the political left wing, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said Tuesday at a special Knesset panel for Human Rights Day.

The human rights discourse “should placed back in its proper zone, and a proper balance between different rights needs to be hammered out,” he explained. “We need to preserve this discourse and keep it from becoming one-dimensional, from being perceived as a detached discourse of 'bleeding hearts,' of leftists; let it not be prejudicial and let it not be limited only to certain groups.”

The panel was held with the participation of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which is funded by the New Israel Fund and generally associated with radical leftist causes.

Rivlin said that ACRI's report on the Cast Lead campaign in Gaza was one-sided but added that he does not reject it, and that he is bothered by phenomena of discrimination and inequality in Israeli society. He said that the UN's Goldstone report on the Gaza campaign was similarly skewed and contained a “twisted discourse of human rights.” The report, named after its author, Judge Richard Goldstone, “succeeded in institutionalizing the willful and rude blindness to the suffering and blood of the women and children in the Gaza Belt, and of creating a one-dimensional perception of reality in the debate that developed over 'Cast Lead,'” Rivlin added.

The ACRI report was similarly one-sided, he said: “I regret the fact that the present report by the Association was also swept up into this absurd trend, and that alongside detailed accounts of the death and destruction in the [Gaza] Strip, it mumbles some opening lines about undiscerning fire – and alternately, of rocket and missile fire – by Hamas into southern Israel."