Thursday, March 23, 2006

Should Israel publish an annual report on respect for Jewish rights worldwide?

A very interesting idea posited by Michael Freund in an article titled 'Prove Israel cares about world Jewry' is for Israel to publish an annual report on respect for Jewish rights worlwide. The report would be modelled on US State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
Freund writes " As the state of the Jewish people, Israel has an obligation to stand up and defend Jewish rights wherever they are trampled, and to speak out forcefully on their behalf.
A simple, yet compelling, step that the government could take would be to compile and publish an annual report on respect for Jewish rights worldwide, modeled on the US State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
For nearly three decades the human rights report issued by Washington has served to raise public awareness about the state of freedom worldwide, placing many governments under the glare of international scrutiny and criticism.
Of course, Israel does not have the diplomatic or economic clout of the US. But it most certainly has the moral standing and historic duty to press other countries when it comes to protecting the rights of Jews everywhere.
An annual Israeli government survey chronicling the state of Jewish rights worldwide would serve as an effective tool for monitoring and exposing abuses, as well as for pressuring other countries to take stronger steps to ensure the safety and freedom of their Jewish populations. It would underline and reaffirm Israel's commitment, centrality and responsibility for Jews around the globe and serve to focus the nation's attention on the fate of our brethren in the Diaspora.
So whatever new government may come to power after next week's elections, here's hoping it will devote a little more time and effort to looking out for our fellow Jews. That, after all, is our raison d'etre."

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