Israel slams ‘sham’ UN Human Rights Council after 5 new anti-Israel resolutions

from TOI staff and AFP, Times of Israel

Nikki Haley says UNHRC 'lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights' given its treatment of Israel, makes itself look 'foolish'

Israel on Saturday slammed the UN Human Rights Council as a “sham” after it passed five new anti-Israel resolutions, saying the body was being used by “bloodthirsty dictatorships” to mask their own abuses.

[The resolutions against Israel included an arms embargo, calls for withdrawal from the Golan Heights, withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, and a halt in settlement activity, and condemnation for human rights abuses.]

The council “is a sham, a mockery of the noble purposes it pretends to represent,” tweeted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon.

“It is an exclusively anti #Israel platform, manipulated by bloodthirsty dictatorships hiding their own massive human rights violations by attacking Israel,” he wrote.

Nachshon’s comments come after the United States warned Friday that it was losing patience and again threatened to quit the council after the Geneva-based body adopted five resolutions condemning Israel.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement that the council was “grossly biased against Israel,” noting that it had adopted only three resolutions separately targeting North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

“When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran, and Syria, it is the council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name,” said Haley.

 US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley

“Our patience is not unlimited. Today’s actions make clear that the organization lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights,” she said.

Haley has over the past year repeatedly warned that the United States was ready to walk away from the 47-member body established in 2006 to promote and protect human rights worldwide.

The five resolutions were presented by the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation under the council’s “Item 7” which requires a report on Israeli actions in the West Bank each time the panel convenes.

Israel is the only country that has a dedicated agenda item at the council, a mechanism that the United States and some European countries have criticized.

In February, Haley criticized a report by the UN’s high commissioner for human rights on 206 companies with ties to Israeli settlement. Israeli officials have described the report as a “blacklist” and said it is part of an effort to boycott the Jewish state.

“This whole issue is outside the bounds of the High Commissioner for Human Rights office’s mandate and is a waste of time and resources,” Haley said in a statement at the time.

The report was in response to a resolution adopted in 2016 by the UN Human Rights Council that called for the creation of a database of all companies doing business with the Israeli settlements, which the United Nations considers illegal under international law.

The latest threat to quit the council came after US President Donald Trump appointed UN-skeptic John Bolton as his national security adviser.

Since Trump took over at the White House, the United States has quit the UN cultural agency UNESCO, cut UN funding, and announced plans to quit the UN-backed Paris climate agreement.

Kathryn Shihadah