US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. (AP/Mary Altaffer) (AP/Mary Altaffer)
Nikki Haley

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How will America’s withdrawal from key UN organizations, including the Human Rights Council, affect Israel, the Middle East and the world at large?

By: Daniel Krygier, United with Israel

The US decision to leave the United Nations Human Rights Council comes less than a year after Washington pulled out of UNESCO, the UN’s educational and cultural organization.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley blasted the Council for “its chronic bias against Israel.” She also lamented that the Council’s membership includes true human rights abusers.

“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.

In Orwellian fashion, senior PA official Saeb Erekat criticized the US decision to leave the Council. “The Trump administration continues its efforts to promote international anarchy by withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council,” he stated.

What does the US pullout from key UN organizations mean for Israel, the Middle East and the world?

Decades of institutional UN bias against Israel has promoted global anarchy and allowed human rights violating regimes to use the Jewish state as a distraction from real human rights abuses in places such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and North Korea.

This has been especially true with regards to the Human Rights Council. Like any democracy, Israel is not perfect. However, the Council has condemned the Jewish state more than the rest of the world combined. Between June 2006 and June 2016, 68 out of 135 critical Council resolutions targeted Israel.

The Council’s institutional anti-Israel bias was re-enforced by the Council’s Agenda Item 7, which is titled “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” This agenda automatically endorses anti-Israel libels while castigating Israel for defending herself.

Message to Council: Reform or Become Irrelevant

By leaving the Council, Washington is essentially pressuring the UN to reform or become irrelevant.

The US could use its substantial political and economic influence to remove the destructive Agenda 7. By gradually ending its institutional anti-Israel bias, the Council could facilitate genuine peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. Ending the ideological campaign against the Jewish state in UN institutions would also free up significant amounts of time and resources to focus on real human rights violations worldwide. This would be welcomed by millions of persecuted and ignored people in countries such as Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and North Korea.

As with the Iran deal, the UN is highly dependent on Washington. By leaving the Human Rights Council, the US is asserting its commitment to genuine human rights. The withdrawal will also enable the US to act more forcefully without the constraints that membership entails. An assertive US can pave a path to reform.

In this context, Israel is still the canary in the coalmine. Embracing genuine human rights worldwide starts with ending the Israel-bashing.

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