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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 Paradox of Human Rights

The Paradox of Human Rights

(p.26) Chapter 1 The Paradox of Human Rights
The Human Right to Dominate

Nicola Perugini

Neve Gordon

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the paradoxes of the post-World War II human rights regime. This new regime bestowed upon the nation-state—one of the major violators of human rights—the responsibility of protecting human rights. It then turns to Israel to show how the creation of the Jewish state in 1948 was crafted as a form of human rights reparation for the horrific crimes carried out against European Jews. This reparation, however, translated into the dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian population. Turning to the Eichmann trial, the authors go on to illustrate how the universal human rights discourse was nationalized in Israel and how the notion of human rights informed by a universal aspiration only reappeared in Israel/Palestine after the eruption of the first Intifada in 1987. The chapter concludes by describing the second Intifada and the military campaigns in Gaza, while showing that in the local political arena human rights often served to normalize the colonial relations between Israelis and Palestinians rather than challenging them.

Keywords:   Holocaust, human rights regime, Israel, Palestinians, Eichmann trial, first Intifada, second Intifada, Hannah Arendt

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