Human rights leaders get their priorities in order
And it came to pass that the venerable leaders of the world’s most important human rights organizations assembled for their annual conclave in Geneva.
As they sat down to their evening repast of Scottish smoked salmon and duck confit, their faces were drawn and troubled – and understandably so.
...This high-minded gathering, men and women of unquestioned probity and integrity, had received disturbing reports on the atrocities committed in recent years by Russian forces in Chechnya, and later in Georgia, murdering scores of innocent civilians.
They had read the shocking accounts of genocide in Darfur, perpetrated by Janjaweed militias, agents of the Sudanese government – hundreds of thousands slaughtered indiscriminately. They had seen the disturbing film footage of Chinese army soldiers killing Muslim Uighur protesters in Xinjiang and in Tibet.
...They knew that tribal warfare was being conducted in Somalia...[and] there were as many as 300,000 child soldiers fighting in various parts of the world, most of them under the age of 15.
Yet that was not all....heart-breaking stories of Pakistan villagers forced to flee – 1.7 million, according to the United Nations – the violence in Swat province...
...They had followed the accounts of Iranian bloggers and Twitterers, as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s special forces launched a brutal crackdown...
...But as they sipped their goblets of vintage French and German wines in Geneva, these brave men and women of conscience knew something else...“Ladies and gentlemen,” began the distinguished chairman of the proceedings, as he took the dais. “We cannot hope to deal with all the abuses that have been documented. Therefore, we must prioritize, must we not, and direct our energies to confronting the most egregious, the most flagrant encroachments: those carried out by the Jews – or rather by the Israelis, though it amounts to the same thing – against their peace-loving neighbours, the peace loving Palestinians.
“All other infringements of fundamental human rights, pale beside that now being inflicted upon the peace-loving Palestinians...
"swift": a sharp and painful satirical comment or feulliton named after Jonathan Swift. I just made that up though.