TEL AVIV – U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN Human Rights Council on Friday after it approved five new anti-Israel resolutions, saying the council was “foolish and unworthy of its name.” At the same time, Israel blasted the UN agency for being a “sham” run by “bloodthirsty dictatorships.”
Haley noted that while the UNHRC adopted five resolutions against Israel, only one was passed against North Korea, Iran and Syria respectively.
“Every March, the council sets aside only two sessions to debate human rights violations and abuses in all countries and another entire session just to debate a single country, Israel,” Haley said in a statement.
“When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran and Syria, it is the council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name,” Haley continued. “It is time for the countries who know better to demand changes.”
“Many countries agree that the council’s agenda is grossly biased against Israel, but too few are willing to fight it,” she noted. “When that happens, as it did today, the council fails to fulfill its duty to uphold human rights around the world.”
“The United States continues to evaluate our membership in the Human Rights Council,” Haley concluded. “Our patience is not unlimited. Today’s actions make clear that the organization lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also slammed the council on Friday, tweeting, “The anti-Israel bias must stop.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon took to Twitter to blast the council as “a sham, a mockery of the noble purposes it pretends to represent.”
“It is an exclusively anti #Israel platform, manipulated by bloodthirsty dictatorships hiding their own massive human rights violations by attacking Israel,” he wrote.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “More resolutions detached from reality by the circus of the absurd known as the Human Rights Council.” He called on the body to change its name to “The Council for Resolutions Against the Only Democracy in the Middle East.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a tweet that Israel “has no business being in the UN’s Human Rights Council.” He said its “presence there gives legitimacy to … anti-Semitic resolutions, and the farce must end.”
World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer said on Friday, “The UN Human Rights Council has once again let its biased and obsessive focus on Israel plague its session with its persistence of a standing agenda item dedicated to accusing Israel of wrong-doing and the adoption of a disproportionate number of resolutions containing blatantly one-sided language.”
“It is inconceivable that the UN Human Rights Council would devote its precious time to drafting and adopting five one-sided resolutions against Israel, while issuing only one each for notorious human rights abusers such as Iran, Myanmar and the DPRK, and just two for Syria,” Singer added. “We urge this council to immediately cease its vilification of Israel. This continued relentless focus on the world’s only Jewish state will serve only to undermine this council’s credibility and its mandate.”
B’nai B’rith International said it “strongly deplores the five unjust anti-Israel resolutions the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed today. One resolution, which seeks to call into question the legitimacy of sales of military equipment to Israel, provides new evidence that the council is entirely indifferent to the rights and well-being of those on one side of the conflict — the citizens of the State of Israel defending their right to life, the most basic human right of all.”
“This resolution passed with 27 votes in favor, four against and 15 countries abstaining,” B’nai B’rith International continued. “We condemn Belgium and Slovenia as the only European Union members of the Council choosing to vote in favor of this outrageous resolution. We commend the United States and Australia for taking a principled stand by voting against all five resolutions.”
“Today’s vote again shows that the council has run amok,” the statement continued. “Only the Security Council can level binding sanctions or an arms embargo, yet when it comes to Israel, the UNHRC has felt empowered over the last few years to create a blacklist of Israeli and multinational companies operating in Palestinian-claimed territory and now threatens states and companies that sell arms that Israel uses to defend itself against hostile regimes and terrorist groups. The council is clearly in urgent need of reform.”
The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, welcomed the new motions, with spokesperson Yusuf al-Mahmoud thanking those who voted in favor “for their ability to stand in the face of injustice, arrogance and occupation and to reject the language of threats and coercion.”
The resolutions, he said, “reflect an international position in favor of a just and fitting solution to the conflict.”