Britain has condemned the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and warned it to reform its treatment of Israel, joining the U.S. in a push to end the body’s institutional bias against the Jewish state.
Addressing Monday’s opening of the 38th council session, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson criticised the council’s Agenda Item 7, a permanent debating point devoted exclusively to discussing alleged rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused solely on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7,” Mr. Johnson said.
The UNHRC has become notorious for attacking Israel over false claims of human rights abuses, while ignoring real human rights abuses by its own member states, many of which are tyrannies.
Each council session includes an agenda item on so-called country specific situations, known as Agenda Item 4, where debates on the crises in Syria, Burundi and others typically take place. Watch below to see what happens with Agenda Item 7.
The UNHCR has condemned Israel more often than any other of the 192 UN states. Comparative totals tell the story: Israel – 78 resolutions and decisions, Syria – 29, North Korea – 9, and Iran – 6. As for Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China, there’s nothing at all.
Mr. Johnson’s call for reform within the UNHRC came on the same day it was revealed the U.S. is ready to leave the organization altogether.
According to Reuters, the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” after diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats from the council.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, publicly told the council a year ago that Washington might leave the body unless a “chronic anti-Israel bias” were removed.
The UN cultural body UNESCO has also singled out Israel for past condemnation, criticizing it for recent actions on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and declining to acknowledge Jewish ties to the site.
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