A new human rights organization founded by journalist Dr. Yoaz Hendel, a former advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, seeks to both protect the weak and to “break the extreme-left monopoly on human rights,” Hendel told Channel 10.
Hendel’s new group has been named Zechuyot Adam Kacholavan (“Blue and White Human Rights”).
The group “sees [guarding] human rights as the moral duty of whoever views himself as sovereign in the land,” Hendel explained.
The new group is not the first human rights organization to come from the political right. Before she joined Knesset, MK Orit Struk founded the Yesha Human Rights Organization, a group which has focused primarily on fighting illegal police violence.
However, the most well-known human rights groups remain left-wing organizations such as Yesh Din, B’Tselem, and Physicians for Human Rights, most of which are heavily funded by European governments.
Journalist Arel Segel has joined Blue and White Human Rights as a volunteer. He explained that Zionism and concern for human rights are closely linked, “Whoever believes in his right to the land and sovereignty has the task of ensuring that things are done in a humane way… A nation that rules in its land cannot kick the weak.”
Hana Barag of the far-left rights group Machsom Watch was less than impressed with the new organization. “I don’t think that these people’s agenda is our agenda, or the agenda of looking out for the little guy and fighting the occupation,” she told Channel 10, adding, “Where there is occupation, there are no human rights.”
Channel 10 documented Machsom Watch and Blue and White Human Rights clashing over how to best ensure human rights at Kalandia checkpoint, between Jerusalem and Ramallah.