Anne Bayefsky: Trump Should Withdraw Tomorrow from Anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council

U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) summit, focused on combating the anti-Israel boycott movement, Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
AP/Bebeto Matthews

International human rights lawyer Anne Bayefsky reported on UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s latest statement about the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday’s Breitbart News Daily. Bayefsky expressed disappointment with the mild character of Haley’s brief remarks, compared to the boldness of her earlier criticism of the Council.

“I’m afraid that she didn’t say very much. She was very hopeful. Her attitude was one of hope that the Human Rights Council would do a better job going forward,” Bayefsky said of Haley’s remarks.

“It was a very short speech. You get very little time at the Human Rights Council to speak, so she couldn’t say very much of anything,” she noted.

“She might have said that unless the Council does A, B, C, the United States will remove itself, but she didn’t say that. She said that Venezuela should voluntarily step down, which of course is completely and utterly unrealistic. She said no human rights violator should be on the Council, should be allowed to take a seat. That isn’t going to happen because the General Assembly and the Council itself determines who are its members, and they have no intention of changing their procedures,” Bayefsky noted.

“And she said it’s essential that the Council address its anti-Israel bias, but again, U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations have said that for the last three decades, to no avail. There was no ‘or else,’” she said.

SiriusXM host Joel Pollak noted that Haley’s hopeful tone was not dramatically different from the Obama administration’s attitude when it decided to improve the Human Rights Council by re-joining it and “working from within.” He asked if those years of effort had produced any positive changes.

“That’s a good question,” Bayefsky replied. “First of, they didn’t ‘rejoin’ because President Bush had never joined. It was created in 2006. Obama, it was one of his very first foreign policy moves to join it, to lend it credibility. He left President Trump holding the bag because he ran the United States for a three-year term that began only on January 1, 2017, hoping to essentially rule from the grave. So they were faced with an issue of whether to get off it from the get-go at the Trump administration, and they didn’t.”

“The Obama administration made very specific reform efforts to A) change the composition so that countries like Saudi Arabia and so on were not members, and secondly they attempted to change the entrenched anti-Israel bias. They failed miserably on both counts,” she said.

“To see Ambassador Haley raise this as a potential viable reform effort is unfortunate because she’s playing a shell game. She doesn’t have the votes, the United States doesn’t have the votes. The procedures don’t permit those kinds of reforms. There is a complete lack of political will, and it isn’t going to happen,” Bayefsky contended.

“The current situation is that the Council is collecting a blacklist of American and other companies doing business with the state of Israel, and when we’re on it, the American taxpayer is paying for that blacklist. It’s shameful. We shouldn’t be anywhere granting the kind of legitimacy that the leader of the free world brings to the table at the Human Rights Council,” she urged.

“It is possible to still go there and give speeches, non-members can still do that, even co-sponsor resolutions,” she noted. “But to lend our money and our clout, in terms of membership, is completely inexcusable.”

Pollak asked for President Trump’s options, if he decides not to wait until America’s three-year membership in the Human Rights Council expires.

“He could withdraw tomorrow,” Bayefsky replied, noting with a chuckle that the deadline for withdrawing today has passed. “He has very clear options. He could say, ‘The United States taxpayer is no longer going to pay for this travesty that builds equality rights on the backs of inequality of Jews. We’re going to get off now.’ That’s the first option.”

“Option Number Two is to play the reform game, which the UN enjoys, and has enjoyed for a very long time,” she continued. “Which simply perpetrates a fraud. I can’t put it in any other way. They’re not going to do the major reforms necessary – changing of composition and removing of the anti-Israel bias.”

Bayefsky said the Trump administration could play that reform game “until the cows come home,” and then simply allow membership in the Human Rights Council to lapse when the current term expires.

“That would have lent the Council another three years of legitimacy, which they don’t deserve,” she said. “And it’s not just that. Their demonization of the state of Israel is leading to what we see as anti-Israel bias on college campuses. It gives a license to the BDS, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions regime. It isn’t cost-free, and I think that’s what we have to understand.”

“Engagement and the way Nikki Haley has legitimized the Council by going there and giving it that kind of cachet of a U.S. UN ambassador who never goes to Geneva, it’s a very unusual move. It has a downside. It simply isn’t cost-free. We are now legitimizing it, and every moment we’re still there, we’re doing the same thing,” she cautioned.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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