The human rights discourse and Israel: Beyond victimhood and underdogs

Richard Landes, Gerald Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ron Dudai (‘Entryism, mimicry and victimhood work: the adoption of human rights discourse by right-wing groups in Israel’) makes the argument that ‘right-wing’ groups imitate, seek to be included in, and to exploit human rights discourse in order to pursue a ‘rightwing’ agenda. The ostensible objective of this effort is to hijack the movement from within, defend Israel and undermine the Palestinian struggle for human rights. The choice and reliability of evidence and the argument are highly problematic, in two core dimensions. First, the reification of the ‘right–left’ dichotomy in the context of debates regarding human rights, with repeated references to ‘right-wing’ without independent, consistent and verifiable definitions or criteria. Second, according to the paradigm, those who are not sufficiently progressive cannot possibly care about human rights, and are acting on the basis of imputed motivations. Thus, these Israeli civil society organisations are falsely categorised as ‘governmentaligned groups masquerading as independent civil society actors’ ‘state marionettes’ or ‘phantom organizations’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-615
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Issue number5
StatePublished - 28 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Taylor & Francis.


  • Human rights
  • Israel
  • NGO Monitor
  • Victimhood


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