Netanyahu thanked the Americans for “their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.”
By: United with Israel Staff and AP
Israel warmly welcomed the US announcement that it was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) while citing its virulent anti-Israel activism.
Announcing the dramatic move on Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called the UNHRC “an organization that is not worthy of its name.”
Haley noted that the US had given the UNHRC “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes, having warned repeatedly that it would leave the UN body if it did not make reforms and stop its attacks on Israel.
“Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded,” Haley said.
She lambasted the council for “its chronic bias against Israel,” calling it a “cesspool of political bias,” and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” Haley said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that while the council once had a “noble vision,” today “we need to be honest. The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights.”
‘Enough is Enough’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement thanking President Donald Trump, Pompeo and Haley for “their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.”
“For years, the UNHRC has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights,” Netanyahu charged. “Instead of dealing with regimes that systematically violate human rights, the UNHRC obsessively focuses on Israel, the one genuine democracy in the Middle East.”
He noted that the US decision to “leave this prejudiced body is an unequivocal statement that enough is enough.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon welcomed the announcement, stating that the UNHRC “has long been the foe of those who truly care about human rights around the world.”
“The United States has proven, yet again, its commitment to truth and justice and their unwillingness to allow the blind hatred of Israel in international institutions to stand unchallenged,” he added.
He thanked Trump, Pompeo and Haley for “their leadership” and called on “the moral majority at the UN to hold all of its institutions accountable.”
The US withdrawal from the UNHRC follows its pullout in December from UNESCO, the UN’s cultural body, over its anti-Israel actions.
The United Kingdom may be the next country to leave the council. On Monday, it called on the UNHRC to end its longstanding bias against Israel, while its representative has already put the council “on notice” over its anti-Israel bias.
Skewed Anti-Israel Agenda
Established in 2006, the UNHRC replaced the UN Human Rights Commission, which was facing severe criticism because countries with poor rights records had joined and blocked its mission.
The Bush administration refused to join the new council, questioning its efficacy. Under President Barack Obama, the US said it was useful to influence the Council from the inside. However, former US Secretary of State John Kerry said the UNHRC must cease its “excessive and biased focus on Israel.”
“No one in this room can deny there is an unbalanced focus on one democratic country,” Kerry stated in March 2016. “It must be said that the UNHRC’s obsession with Israel risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization.”
The UNHRC is infamously biased against Israel, with nearly half of its resolutions focused solely on Israel, while it ignores war, strife and atrocities committed around the globe.
Israel is the only country with a dedicated item at the UNHRC. The infamous Agenda Item Seven, “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories,” is a permanent UNHRC agenda item that mandates discussion on any alleged Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians. It is debated three times a year.
Over the past 10 years, the UNHRC has passed dozens of resolutions condemning Israel. Meanwhile, the world’s worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iran, and North Korea received far fewer condemnations.
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