J´lem lawyer lobbies EU on Palestinian human rights (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 03/24/12)
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Jerusalem attorney Calev Myers on Thursday lobbied the European Union
to make continued funding for the Palestinian Authority contingent on
improvement in the human rights of Palestinians.
Myers traveled to Brussels to personally hand the EU a 35-page report
that his organization, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, compiled
on human rights in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
It urged the EU to hold the PA and Hamas accountable for its human
rights obligations under international law, which are only marginally
influenced by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Myers brought with him four journalists from Israeli publications,
including The Jerusalem Post, to ensure that the issue was
highlighted in the press.
A US immigrant, Myers described himself as a human rights advocate
within Israel and a strong supporter of Zionism outside the country.
Last summer, he said, he found himself in a meeting with Israeli
human rights organizations.
“Looking around the table, I realized I was the only one that did not
blame every Palestinian problem on Israel,” he said. “That is when
the coin dropped in my mind.”
Myers said that after the meeting he asked the Jerusalem Institute of
Justice, which he founded, to investigate the human rights record of
the PA and Hamas.
He comes to it, he said, not just out of concern for Palestinian
human rights, but also as an advocate for Israel who wants to
transform the dialogue from one that harms his country to one that
works in its favor.
“Until we really start speaking the human rights language we are
going to continue to the human relations battle,” Myers said.
“If the Zionist camp leaves the human rights discourse just in the
hands of the liberal left, the State of Israel is going to be the big
loser at the end of the day,” he added.
On Thursday, he handed the report to Finnish parliamentarian Hannu
Takkula of the Centre Party, who promised to help distribute it.
Myers held a seminar on the report in the parliament building along
with Tomas Sandell, who directs the Christian group European
Coalition for Israel.
The report detailed issues such as Palestinian corruption and
internal fighting. It spoke about arbitrary arrests and detentions,
torture, discrimination against women and religious minorities, and
lack of freedom of the press.
It also noted that the EU had in the past condemned Palestinian human
rights abuses, but had not held the PA accountable.
The EU’s provision of direct funding for institutions that are
responsible for those abuses is even more problematic, the report
Tovah Lazaroff’s trip to Brussels was funded by the Jerusalem
Institute of Justice. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/24/12)
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