An Onion Parody, or a UN Human Rights Report: You Decide
As I read the very latest UNHCR report, I could not believe that I was not looking at an Onion parody. It is but the latest outrage from a would-be human rights commission set up by the United Nations, and which to our nation’s embarrassment, President Obama has seen fit to have the United States sign up as a member.
As Martin Peretz points out, “America's new membership on the Human Rights Council has had no results in the fairness of the process. Did anyone imagine it would? Well, I suppose the president did.” Peretz is right. And the current administration’s reversal of staying out of the farcical body is one of the affronts to dignity of our current Chief Executive.
As for the latest broadside, “The report therefore discusses, besides the human rights of women, the gendered impact of counter-terrorism measures on men and persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and addresses how gender intersects with other prohibited grounds of discrimination, such as race and religion.” What this gobbledygook legalese means is that when the Israelis engage in counter-terrorism against terrorists and suicide bombers, they are threatening the rights of trans-gendered individuals. How? When a man dresses as a woman, the Israelis might embarrass an honest cross-dresser by subjecting him/her to a humiliating search, thereby interfering with the person’s sexual identity and human rights. They state:
The report identifies the ways in which those subject to gender-based abuse are often caught between targeting by terrorist groups and the State’s counter-terrorism measures that may fail to prevent, investigate, prosecute or punish these acts and perpetrate new human rights violations with impunity. These violations are amplified through war rhetoric and increased militarization in countering terrorism, both of which marginalize those who challenge or fall outside the boundaries of predetermined gender roles and involve situations of armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in which gender-based violence and gendered economic, socialcand cultural rights violations abound.
They add: “The report then draws attention to the fact that contrary to these international human rights obligations to ensure equality, some Governments have used the human rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals as a bartering tool to appease terrorist or extremist groups in ways that have furthered unequal gender relations and subjected such persons to increased violence.”
On page 19 the report says: “Enhanced immigration controls that focus attention on male bombers who may be dressing as females to avoid scrutiny make transgender persons susceptible to increased harassment and suspicion.” (my emphasis.)