Jews and Human Rights: Dancing at Three Weddings

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2008 - Political Science - 255 pages
The history of human rights is intricately intertwined with the history of Jews. Drawing inspiration from their tradition and history, Jews have played a role in the human rights drama as victims, advocates, violators, and judges. Whether working to free persecuted Jews, prevent and intervene in genocides, defend Israel in human rights forums, or strengthen Israel's democracy, Jews have stood for_and stood up for_human rights. In Jews and Human Rights: Dancing at Three Weddings, Michael Galchinsky states that Jews around the world have tried simultaneously to 'dance at three weddings, ' celebrating their commitments to international human rights, Jewish nationalism, and domestic civil rights. After World War II, all three of these commitments seemed to be aligned, but now many Jews perceive them as distinct, or even opposed. Michael Galchinsky investigates the contributions of Jewish non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the formation of international human rights, analyzing how they responded to the emerging tensions among their political commitments. He explores the cooperation and conflict among elite and grassroots organizations, the relationships among Jewish governmental officials and Jewish human rights activists, and examines the goals, strategies, and scope of Jewish human rights activism. Making extensive use of previously unknown archival documents and interviews with key activists, Galchinsky recounts how Jews' initial optimism about human rights turned to pessimism and ambivalence--and argues that a reverse process may still be possible. Jews and Human Rights: Dancing at Three Weddings is intended for scholars, students and general readers of: modern Jewish history, Israeli international/transnational studies, human rights activists, diplomats, and international lawyers, history and politics, international law, UN history, cultural sociology, and genocide studies.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Building Human Rights
29
Freeing Soviet Jews and After
51
Jewish Responses to NonJewish Genocides
83
American Jews and Violations in Zion A Case Study
111
Israeli Jewish Human
129
Epilogue The Road from Durban
167
Genocides and Other Mass Killings
173
Israels Adoption of Major Human Rights Treaties
177
Glossary of Abbreviations
179
Notes
181
Bibliography
223
Index
245
About the Author
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Michael Galchinsky is associate professor of English and director of the Jewish Studies program at Georgia State University. He co-edited (with David Biale and Susannah Heschel) Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism and is the author of The Origin of the Modern Jewish Woman Writer: Romance and Reform in Victorian England.

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