Former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren argues in Newsweek that President Donald Trump should pull the U.S. out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying the body has become a “racist” organization that coddles tyrants and attacks Israel.
Over the past nine years, the UNHRC has condemned Israel 61 times, as opposed to its 16 resolutions on Syria and five on Iran. Denunciations of Israel outnumber those of all other countries combined.
Repelled by this bigotry, as well by the rights-violating regimes that often chaired its sessions, the Bush Administration refrained from appointing an ambassador to the council. That decision was reversed by President Obama, however, who believed that a U.S. presence on the body could redress some of its injustices, including that toward Israel. The decision disheartened Israelis who believed that America’s involvement would only legitimize the council’s prejudice. Unfortunately, our concern proved justified. Throughout the Obama years, UNHRC denouncements of Israel only multiplied.
Earlier this week, Foreign Policy reported that U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson had told non-profit organizations that the U.S. would withdraw from the UNHRC if significant reforms were not made.
That revelation was hailed by critics of the UN — but it was also applauded by fans of the UN, who saw Tillerson’s remarks as a sign that the Trump administration was, in fact, committed in principle to staying on the UNHRC.
Oren, who is also a celebrated historian of the U.S.-Israel relationship, served during the early years of the Obama administration and was deeply involved in trying to reduce tensions between Obama and Netanyahu over issues such as settlements and the Iran deal.
He is now active in Israeli politics as a member of the Knesset.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.