US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the UN. US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the UN.
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the UN.

Kerry blasted the UN Human Rights Council, pointing to an unbalanced focus on Israel and noting that this obsession undermines the organization’s credibility.

US Secretary of State John Kerry castigated the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Monday for its consistent bias against Israel. While he said he believes in the Council’s value, Kerry indicated that it is undermined by its unfair “obsession” with Israel. He vowed to continue the US policy of protecting Israel from delegitimization.

“No one in this room can deny that there is an unbalanced focus on one democratic country,” Kerry said. “It must be said that the HRC’s obsession with Israel risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization.” Nearly 40 percent of the UNHCR’s country-specific resolutions are aimed at condemning Israel. At the same time, the membership of the UNHCR routinely contains major human rights violators, such as China, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Cuba.

“We will oppose any effort by any group or participant in the UN system to arbitrarily and regularly delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just at the UN Human Rights Council, but wherever it occurs,” Kerry added.

Security for Israel a Priority

In comments to supporters following his speech, Kerry indicated that the US placed great importance on Israel’s security in the nuclear negotiations with Iran. “We will not accept a bad deal. We have said no deal is better than a bad deal, because a bad deal could actually make things less secure and more dangerous. Any deal that we would possibly agree to would make the international community, and especially Israel, safer than it is today. That is our standard.”

Samantha Power

US Ambassador Power addresses pro-Israel lobby. (AIPAC)

Kerry’s remarks were backed up later in the day by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. “These attacks on Israel’s legitimacy [at the UN] are biased, they are ugly, and the United States of America will not rest until they stop,” she said.

“It is a false choice to tell Israel that it has to choose between peace on the one hand and security on the other,” she added. “The United Nations would not ask any other country to make that choice, and it should not ask it of Israel.”

These remarks came ahead of scheduled meetings in Switzerland between Secretary Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to discuss the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. They also came in the context of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, where he would be arguing against a deal with Iran.

By: United with Israel Staff