The Obama Administration is urging Israel to subject itself to a review by the notoriously anti-Israel United Nations’ Human Rights Council.
Although Israel is required as a member of the UN to undergo Universal Periodic Reviews of its human rights record, it cut all ties with the 47-member HRC in March of 2012 over condemnation of Israeli community development beyond the Green Line.
The Obama Administration wants Israel to submit to the inevitable public censure it will receive from the HRC. Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, the U.S. representative to the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva, said, “We have encouraged the Israelis to come to the council and to tell their story and to present their own narrative of their own human rights situation.”
The Universal Periodic Review for Israel is scheduled for next Tuesday, but Israel has not agreed to be there. This would be the first time that a country walked away from the review.
Donahoe said, “The United States is absolutely, fully behind the Universal Periodic Review and we do not want to see the mechanism in any way harmed. Our very strong hope is that the outcome protects the two overriding values of universality… and the cooperative, collaborative nature of the process.”
Donahoe acknowledged the UN’s animus for Israel but defended the impartiality of the UPR process in the next breath: “We see (this) as a structural bias against Israel… UPR is different… (It) is a tool that treats all countries equally and is universally applicable.”
It’s a clever technique by Obama: abandon Israel to a hostile review, claim you are doing it for high-minded purposes of fairness and universality, and walk away.