The recent adoption by a UN committee of the Goldstone report that asserts that both Israeli and Hamas forces committed 'war crimes' before and during the latest Israeli Gaza incursion has sent major components of the Human Rights industry into turmoil and tailspin.
For more than half a century the world's revulsion at the horrors of the destruction of Jews and Gypsies in Europe, and the treatment of 'inferior' Koreans and 'errant' Chinese by the Japanese, before and during the Second World War, has given a licence to the lawyer-led human rights industry to build up a huge corpus of moderately remunerative law and of forceful lobbying whose overall result has been to make rational government and national self-defence impossible.
It is part of the tragedy of humanity that in extremis the pragmatic use of force by an overriding state authority is necessary to defend the positive values that society depends upon.
Thomas Hobbes argued, in the seventeenth century, that a sovereign was necessarily 'at war' with his subjects, so that by occasionally sending some to face death on the battlefield he could protect the lives and liberties of the rest. So it will always be: at nodal points in history 'rights' must be surrendered to the greater good.