.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, May 01, 2005

 

A Message to Ray Hanania from Michael Shahin

The best response to Ray Hanania's editorial that first appeared in Arab News and then in Orlando Sentinel.

From: Michael Shahin
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2005 11:28 PM

A Message To Ray Hanania: Individual Human Rights Are Not Bargaining Chips For Governments & May Not Be Compromised

"The Al-Awda activists, who rallied this past week at the University of California in Los Angeles, insist no one has a right to negotiate away the right to return. That is not true. In fact, when a people turn to democracy and elect a government, as Palestinians have done twice, the government has a greater right to act above the individual interest and preserve the more important national interest"— Ray Hanania (1)

Perhaps Mr. Ray Hanania is unaware that literally millions of Palestinian refugees living outside of the Palestine's West Bank and Gaza Strip have never been allowed to "elect" any Palestinian Authority or "government." Mr. Hanania could have easily researched this fact on his own, considering he claims to be a "journalist," but he failed to do so.

Needless to say, it should be clear, the "Palestinian Authority" has never been "elected" by the masses of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, etc.

Yet, even if every single Palestinian refugee voted for some Palestinian "government" or "authority" this would not grant the Palestinian "government" or any other "government" the right to act against the individual and fundamental human rights of the Palestinian refugees—or any human being for that matter.

The concept of human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was to protect people from State power, governments, and what Mr. Hanania refers to as the preservation of "the more important national interest." As such, the "right of/to return" is not some Palestinian political mantra; it is a fundamental human right.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states:

Article 13 (2) "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

But the "right of/to return" does not stand alone within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The final Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights speaks to those, like Mr. Hanania, who wish to "compromise" on the fundamental human rights of individuals as it states:

Article 30. "Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein."

Just as those in enslaved should not be told to compromise on their fundamental individual human right "right to be free from Slavery," to suit the "national interests" of any government, Palestinians refugees should not be told to compromise on their fundamental individual human "right of/to return."

Simply put, fundamental and individual human rights are sacred and should not be "compromised" for any "government" or the preservation of any "national interest," despite the dangerous logic Mr. Hanania seeks to advance.

After all, what good is a "Nation" or its "National Interests" if it is willing to "compromise" on fundamental human rights?

Let us apply Mr. Hanania's logic and see how it stands to reason.

Under Mr. Hanania's logic, the United States has a "greater right to act above the individual interest and preserve the more important national interest" when it used Slavery as a labor force—white slave owners actually made virtually the same argument against the abolitionist.

Under Mr. Hanania's logic, the United States had a "greater right to act above the individual interest and preserve the more important national interest" when it placed the Japanese Americans in concentration camps.

Under Mr. Hanania's logic, the United States has a "greater right to act above the individual interest and preserve the more important national interest" when it rounded-up Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians, etc. after 9/11.

Under Mr. Hanania's logic, the United States has a "greater right to act above the individual interest and preserve the more important national interest" when it racially profiles the Arabs, Muslims, South Asians, and people of color at the airport and on the streets.

Under Mr. Hanania's logic, the Israel has a "greater right to act above the individual interest and preserve the more important national interest" by denying the Palestinian right of/to return while treating its Palestinian citizens as fifth class citizens.

Clearly, Mr. Hanania's logic reveals some disturbing results as well as the deplorable inhumanity required to even suggest such logic. Likewise, Mr. Ray Hanania is not the first to advance such logic.

Didn't Nazi Germany and Hitler also argue it had "a greater right to act above the individual interests and preserve the more important national interest"?

Perhaps the recent author of this statement, the so-called "journalist" Mr. Ray Hanania, will research the origins of his logic and then write about it. On second thought, anyone of us can go read Mein Kampf as long as we can stomach the notion of that "human rights" should take a backseat to "preserving a national interest."

Until Return,

Michael Shahin
(1) http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7§ion=0&article=62721&d=25&m=4&y=2005)

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Palestine Blogs - The Gazette