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The Human Right to Dominate$
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Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199365012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199365012.001.0001

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The Threat of Human Rights

The Threat of Human Rights

(p.48) Chapter 2 The Threat of Human Rights
The Human Right to Dominate

Nicola Perugini

Neve Gordon

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes how human rights activism in Israel began to be conceived as dangerous and examines the institutional response to this threat. The authors show how conservative NGOs working together with well-funded think tanks, government officials, and academics introduced the term lawfare in order to portray liberal human rights NGOs and their donors as carrying out an assault against the state of Israel. The chapter then describes the crusade carried out against these liberal actors, including a “naming and shaming” campaign and the introduction of laws aimed at curtailing their work. It then shows how B’Tselem, a prominent liberal human rights NGO, and the New Israel Fund, a leading progressive donor, began to internalize the accusations made against them. Finally, it claims that through a process of self-censorship these liberal organizations prevented themselves from mobilizing human rights so as to threaten the state’s colonial order.

Keywords:   universal jurisdiction, Israel, lawfare, conservative think tanks, human rights NGOs, NGO monitor, Im Tirtzu, New Israel Fund, B’tselem, Palestinians

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