human rights

Solitary Confinement: When Solitude is no Longer a Virtue

05/05/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week there was a major Congressional briefing on the effects of long-term solitary confinement. Experts demonstrated that prolonged, isolated confinement causes serious psychological damage. Yet most courts and legislatures have been unwilling to declare this harsh practice unconstitutional or to change this nation's current unethical practice. Can anyone hear the cries from the "hole?"

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

UN Human Rights Council Draws Jewish Praise for Iran Position

03/25/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.N. Human Rights Council drew rare praise from Jewish groups for creating a position for a special rapporteur on Iran.

Jewish Activists Protest UN Appointment Of Iran To Commission On Status Of Women

03/23/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Every year since 1917 the month of March has been dedicated to women around the world.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and since 1946 the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) – the principal global policy-making body that promotes gender equality – convenes during the month to evaluate progress, identify challenges, and formulate concrete policies to further the global advancement of women.

U.S. Supports Israel’s Security, Obama Tells Jewish Leaders

03/02/2011

(JTA) -- America opposes efforts to de-legitimize Israel, President Obama told a 50-member delegation of Jewish leaders during a White House meeting.

Obama met Tuesday with members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Inquiries Into Left-Wing NGOs Could Violate Rights, Israel AG Says

02/21/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The establishment of panels of inquiry to look into the funding and activities of left-leaning non-governmental organizations could violate basic human rights, Israel's attorney general said.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein made the statement Sunday in a brief filed with Israel's Supreme Court, in response to a petition asking the court to prevent the establishment of such Knesset inquiry panels.

The Knesset is set to vote next week on a bill that would establish two panels to look into the funding sources and activities of left-wing organizations.

JCPA Welcomes New State in Southern Sudan

02/09/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. Jewish policy umbrella welcomed the emergence of a new state in southern Sudan, but said the international community must be vigilant in bringing about a broader peace.

Quash Bill Probing NGOs, Peres Tells Knesset

01/18/2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli President Shimon Peres called on the Knesset to reject proposed legislation that establishes a committee to investigate the funding of left-leaning human rights groups.

By a vote of 47-16, the Knesset earlier this month gave preliminary passage to the measure. The parliamentary panel would probe the funding and activities of left-wing and human rights organizations and NGOs.

South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Defends Tutu

01/17/2011

(JTA) -- South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein has slammed a petition seeking the removal of Desmond Tutu as patron of two Holocaust centers in South Africa.

"I believe it is wrong to call for the resignation of Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a patron of the Holocaust Centre," Goldstein said in a statement released late last week.

“In deference to Archbishop Tutu’s widely recognized leadership role in the struggle against apartheid and to his revered position in South Africa, it would be an act of disrespect to remove him as a patron.”

UPDATE: Apocalyptic words about Israel's democracy

Update: Just one day after Atlantic blogger Jeff Goldberg expressed his anxiety that Israel is turning away from its democratic roots, a new poll suggests his concern may be justified.

In a survey by the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, “a full 44 percent of Israeli Jews support a letter issued by leading Israeli rabbis published earlier this month forbidding the sale or rental of properties to non-Jews. The survey reported that 48 percent of Israeli Jews oppose the rabbis' religious edict,” according to a report in Ha'artz.

That edict was termed a “perversion of Jewish and democratic values” by the Anti-Defamation League; I imagine those who share Jeff's concern about where Israel is headed will see that 44 percent as shockingly high in the Middle East's only democracy

Apocalyptic words about Israel democracy

Atlantic blogger Jeff Goldberg's anguished assessment that Israel could be well on its way toward abandoning the democracy that was a cherished value of its creators could be the most important blog of the year for Jewish leaders.

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