The human rights myth and the Israel-Palestine conflict

Rachel E. Brown

Political philosopher, Hannah Arendt argued World War II showed us the nation-state system challenged human rights as being universal. The Israel-Palestine conflict shows us the sad truth that international law has failed to overcome this challenge and further, has taken “the human” out of human rights, making it a myth.

“Get off me!” she protested; “I’m a Canadian citizen!” as Israeli soldiers struggled to arrest the student activist. Law postgraduate, Sarah Ali had been monitoring human rights violations met on Palestinians as they entered the Ibrahim Mosque in the Israeli-occupied territories (OT). Soon after, Ali was deported back to Canada. As she resisted arrest, her protestations invoked a widely-held belief: Our human rights are secured by international laws.

Credit: Robert Croma

That this amounted to myth was a lesson from the terrors of World War Two when millions targeted by Nazis faced camp internment or fled, entering a position of statelessness – a…

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