Sustained anti-Israel bigotry that has become a feature of the deliberations of the U.N. Human Rights Council was called out Monday by Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany.
He stood alongside several thousand people who joined the Geneva protests focused on the council’s so-called Agenda Item 7, a fixture on the council’s schedule exclusively devoted to resolutions condemning Israel’s response to constant Palestinian attacks and Hamas terrorist actions across the border.
Israel is the only country with a dedicated agenda item, which is one of the main factors that prompted the United States to leave the rights council last year.
“This is not just a form of bigotry. It is a sign of intellectual and moral decay,” Richard Grenell told the crowd.
“Like a drug-addiction, anti-Semitism is both a disease and a source of comfort” for states that habitually condemn Israel at the U.N., the envoy said.
The protests were organised by the Geneva-based NGO U.N. Watch, which flags anti-Israel bias within the U.N., among other issues.
As the protest took place, council members attending the Item 7 session were debating the results of a probe which alleged Israeli troops may have committed crimes against humanity in their response to the violent Gaza border protests last year.
Israeli officials have rejected the probe’s findings and accused investigators of institutionalized bias, a fact Grenell highlighted:
To pass resolution after resolution against Israel while ignoring China, Russia or Cuba is a horrendous hypocrisy.
It speaks to the integrity of the Human Rights Council that we already know what the decision will be even before the vote.
It speaks to the sincerity of the Human Rights Council that its agenda is determined by those who respect its mandate the least.
The Jerusalem Post reports former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Dore Gold also told the crowd that what is happening at the UNHRC is nothing new, and that he experienced the same bias against Israel from his first day as ambassador in 1997.
“How can anybody take the U.N. seriously when it has shown that, when it comes to Israel, its reports have been highly politicized and seriously flawed?” he asked. “Is anyone protecting the human rights of Israeli farmers whose fields are regularly set ablaze by Hamas incendiary weapons?”
Today there was a protest in Geneva about the UN Human Rights Council. We must end the incredible bias & demonization of Israel at the UNHCR. As @RichardGrenell said: “This is not just a sign of bigotry, this is a sign of intellectual and moral decay…” https://t.co/NANic0gfFZ
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) March 18, 2019
Santiago Canton, who headed the commission of inquiry, told reporters he also does not “personally agree” with Agenda Item 7.
But even though the probe was initiated by the council, “that doesn’t mean the work of the independent commission cannot be objective,” he said.
“If (critics) want to discredit our report they should discredit (it) on the facts and the law.”
Israeli officials have said the commission ignored the violent threat posed by Gaza protesters and downplayed the role of Hamas terrorists in orchestrating the unrest.
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