« ÎnapoiContinuă »
of full civil liberties in what in fact is an occupied, militarily occupied area, with the kind of kidnapings, disappearances, tortures, killings that you spoke about in other countries visited upon the native populations of those countries?
And I would like all of you, I guess, to address what is a puzzling area, I think, for all of us who are involved in dealing with human rights concerns. Perhaps you ought to start, Mr. Carliner.
Mr. CARLINER. I agree with you that I would not equate torture with a denial of the right of freedom of speech, but I think that the two ranges of the extremes are not at that level. I think that in Israel, to give you one illustration, General Sharon, who has since come into dispute, at one time was the Minister of Interior in Israel, declared as Minister of Interior the entire Negev to be a national defense reservation.
Therefore, he sought to remove and did remove all the Bedouins from that area, even though they had been living there peacefully, had no hostility toward the Israeli Government and were shepherds. The Israeli Government performed such actions as removing people with no notice from one day to the other from their housing, from an enormous area.
No one would challenge the right of the Israeli Government to secure military installations. But to declare a whole region of the country a military area and to remove populations, I think that is a gross violation of human rights for people in that circumstance. Mr. WEISS. Not if it were done, and I am not suggesting that in this instance it was done, but if it were done with appropriate due process procedures, you would think that that would be appropriate, would you not, for any country to do?
Mr. CARLINER. I think that removing whole populations from a section of the country, I am not quite sure what you mean, Mr. Weiss, by due process.
Mr. WEISS. If it were not based on ethnicity, if it were done strictly on the basis of security concerns from the premise that there is a military installation in a remote area of New Jersey, for example, and the American Government decides that it would not like to have civilians of any race, creed, color, or nationality in that area, I do not see that as a violation of basic human rights.
Mr. CARLINER. Well, we have had a recent report by a commission on the treatment of Japanese in the United States, Japanese citizens, where all the Japanese were removed.
Mr. WEISS. With no due process whatsoever, and I agree that in that instance that is wrong; that is a violation of human rights. OK.
But if in fact you had a determination not on the basis of ethnicity but on the basis of security concerns in a particular area because of security installations with appropriate concerns as to the rights of people, as to property, as to personal liberties and so on, again it seems to me that there ought to be some distinctions as to how and under what circumstances it is done.
Mr. CARLINER. I would concede your hypothesis, Mr. Weiss, that if there is due process, although the term "due process" is elastic even within the American vocabulary. I am not quite sure what due process would mean to a military Governor of an area of another country, but if it is done with regard to moving specific indi
viduals because they may cause a threat to the security of the country, no one can deny the Government the power to do that.
But I suggest to you, sir, that the removal of Japanese on the West Coast was done based on ethnicity only.
Mr. WEISS. Yes, and I share your abhorrence as to what was done, although the Supreme Court of the United States, shortly after it was done, felt that it was perfectly appropriate.
Mr. CARLINER. Well, the Supreme Court is not always right, but with regard to the Bedouins, that is also done on the basis of ethnic-ity and there are no due process trials. The military forces of Israel went in to remove these people because they were Bedouins, even though these Bedouins had no tradition, no pattern, no evidence of any activities against the Israeli Government.
There have been other episodes in that particular area that involved Druze who did not want to carry Israeli identity cards. That was treated as a violation of domestic Israeli law. So the Druze who were living in an area that is not historically Israel's and even now it is not de jure Israel's were put under curfew where they could not travel outside of their village to carry on their normal peaceful activities of being farmers, sheepherders and whatever, because they did not have Israeli ID cards which they chose not to have. Let me say in reporting this to you that the Israeli Civil Liberties Association, which is headed by a former Supreme Court Justice in Israel, brought litigation to challenge this procedure in Israel, and the Israeli courts overturned the decision of the Israeli military forces in the Druze area in placing these people under curfew.
I am not suggesting that Israel is Guatemala, is El Salvador, or is Chile. What I am suggesting is that there is a disparity of treatment of the Arab populations within Israel. I am not prepared to say what specific steps should be taken with regard to the violations of the rights of Arabs in Israel; than all larger considerations of national security, reasons which one accepts.
But I think the role of the U.S. Government in seeking to assert the rights of Arabs in Israel is fully as important as asserting the human rights of blacks in South Africa. In this connection, I would like to compliment Mr. Eagleberger of the U.S. Department, on record and officially in condemning apartheid as morally wrong. I am hopeful that the U.S. Government will take steps within South Africa to see to it that there is more than cosmetic treatment given to discrimination against the blacks.
I think the same principle must apply to one of South Africa's allies, which happens to be the Government of Israel.
Mr. WEISS. You know, I just came back from a trip to the Middle East a couple of weeks ago, and while our delegation was there an Israeli Government Commission, the Attorney General's Commission, and the Karp Commission, came out with a report validating the charge that Arabs within the West Bank area received a different interpretation of the Israeli law than Jews who lived within the West Bank area.
Indeed, one of the most significant things I think one notes when one spends any time at all in Israel is the very agonizing debate going on in that society as to what the future of the West Bank
will be, whichever way Israel goes, what that will mean for Israel's future as a society.
On the one hand, large incorporation of an additional Arab population endangers the prospect of a Jewish state. On the other hand, if in fact they incorporate without providing full rights to the Arab population, we no longer have the guarantee of a democratic Jewish state, and that is ongoing right now.
But it seems to me that one does no service to the cause of human rights to suggest an equation of Israel with South Africa, and that is what you seem to have done in this situation, and that indeed is exactly the concern that I have. I do not think in the wildest stretch of anyone's imagination of the treatment of the Arab population by the Israeli Government, as flawed, as imperfect, as criticizable as it may be, can you equate it with what goes on in the South African Government's dealings with its black population.
I think that to even suggest that really puts us into a very difficult situation when we start expressing concern about the kind of human rights violations that for the most part we are concerned with in these reports.
Mr. POSNER. If I could step back and
Mr. CARLINER. Forgive me for interrupting, but let me clarify. I am not trying to put on a scale, to say that what South Africa does or what Israel does is equal in the intensity of the violation of human rights. What I attempted to say was that I believe the U.S. Government should be equally concerned in violations of Arabs' human rights in Israel as it is in the violations of rights of blacks in South Africa, which is not at all to say that the treatment of those two populations by those two Governments is equivalent.
Mr. WEISS. Well, if equal concern means equal emphasis in America's condemnation or criticism, then I think again we are not doing a service to our fundamental concerns.
Mr. CARLINER. I think if the Deputy Secretary of State said that the treatment of Arabs in Israel is morally wrong and yet, in the same kind of speech he gave the other day about South Africa, it would not be inappropriate. Whether that is equal emphasis or not, I do not know.
All I am saying is that we are concerned about the liberation of certain people in Korea who were held there as political dissidents. I think that is important; I think that we have something to say. We have said it. It was effective in having a Presidential candidate released from jail.
I am not saying what decibel of voice one should use in dealing with the rights issues. I do not think we can afford to▬▬
Mr. WEISS. Again, it seems to me you are making exactly the kind of equation which I find bothersome.
Mr. POSNER. If I could step back from the specific discussion of Israel and South Africa, I think that the country reports and both international organizations and nongovernmental human rights organizations tend to group rights, in a way that is useful to this dis
The first category within are violations against the integrity of the person, and for better or for worse, most human rights organizations such as-Amnesty International, or the International Com
mission of Jurists, tend to focus their principal energies toward those violations-torture, disappearances, killing, denials of due process, et cetera.
We get some criticism for limiting our work to these issues. There is not the debate internationally that there is in the United States with regards to the second category of rights; civil and political rights-freedom of association, speech, and press, for example. In this country we spend a lot more time, protecting these rights. If you look at most human rights reports, on other countries, the focus tends to be about the most basic violations against the integrity of the person.
The third level of rights which most private groups have spent little time addressing are economic and social rights. In the State Department's report and for the last 2 years, the Reagan administration has said that these are not rights. Thus the report refers to the economic and social situation or conditions, in each country. This distinction is one we debate within our own ranks quite frequently.
But for purposes of U.S. legislation, my personal value judgment is that it is those first line of rights, protecting the integrity of the person from torture, disappearances, gross denials of due process, long-term detention without trial-these are the rights that ought to occupy a substantial part of your attention.
Focus on these basic rights would distinguish the Soviet Union, South Africa, Uganda, Cambodia, and Guatemala situation from some countries where the violations are more difficult to assess.
Ms. LABER. I would add to what Mr. Posner said, with regard to that first category of rights, that that as a representative of a human rights organization dealing specifically with those issues, I think it is a great mistake to start evaluating whether the torture of two people is less important than the torture of 30,000.
I think such rights are inviolable and essential and basic, whether it is 1 person or 100, and if a country violates them, even in isolated instances, it is something that we have to speak out about. I suggest that our Government should follow, to some extent at least, the same policy.
Mr. WEISS. I have no disagreement with you.
Let me ask you another question which is a variation, I guess. I would like your views as to the difference you have noted as a result of the varying approaches of the Carter administration and the Reagan administration. Now, again, this is not from a partisan political perspective, but you recall that President Carter made concern for international human rights the touchstone of his foreign policy approach.
President Reagan has felt that perhaps more could be achieved through quiet persuasion rather than a clarion call such as that utilized by the Carter administration. What do you see as a result of those two varying approaches, Mr. Posner?
Mr. POSNER. One serious misconception that the Reagan administration seems to be promoting is that the Carter administration was a loud, raucus group that did not rely on quiet diplomacy. In fact, the opposite is true. We in nongovernmental organizations were often critical of the Carter administration for not being more public, more often.
We realized that in this administration, any administration, diplomacy is by and large not public business. We know that most gains are achieved through quiet discussion and quiet persuasion. The problem with the Reagan approach, and I think it has gotten them in a lot of trouble, is that when dealing with allies they have abandoned any possibility of a public presence to complement quiet diplomacy.
One is left with the feeling that quiet diplomacy is not as strong as it should be, the message is not getting through to our friends that they should change their behavior. When this administration is in situations where bad conditions are not changing there is really nothing they can do about it. There is no leverage, because there are no sanctions that they are willing to utilize.
They have basically given these governments their imprimatur and have proclaimed publicly in a loud voice that these are our friends and we are going to support them come hell or high water. Once that message has been delivered we become a very powerful country with very little power in human rights matters.
It is in this context we have lost leverage and influence. As a result, at least in part, in a number of situations human rights certainly have not improved. To the extent that they have improved in some countries it has very little to do with this administration's policy of quiet diplomacy.
I think that quiet diplomacy, as the Reagan administration practices it, has been a colossal failure.
Mr. YATRON. Any other comment?
Mr. CARLINER. Well, I agree with what Mr. Posner has said, but I would like to say something more.
I think that President Carter is entitled to enormous gratitude from the people of the world because he has recognized the White House as a conspicuous public pulpit. A statement made from the White House in support of human rights that is made eloquently, as the incumbent can surely do, has an enormous electrifying effect for people not only in the United States but particularly in those countries where people have suffered violations of human rights.
This is not a question of diplomacy, of conducting negotiations among various countries, but it is making the concern about human rights a primary focus of administration. I think that the administration has not used that occasion. I think there was one time when President Reagan, in meeting with members of the Holocaust Commission, made a statement that wherever the United States was at the negotiating table it would be concerned and raise questions of human rights.
That statement was immediately qualified somewhat by spokesmen from the State Department and the President has not often spoken out on this subject. I think it is a lamentable failure. The President is an eloquent speaker and the White House should be used for that purpose.
This does not mean, of course, that it is a substitute for diplomacy, and it does not mean that diplomacy should not be conducted in the manner in which diplomacy is usually conducted effectively, which is to say, quietly, and in dealing between the representatives of different governments.