“The UN human rights council has played an important role in such countries as North Korea, Syria, Myanmar and South Sudan, but all Trump seems to care about is defending Israel.”
— Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch
The US is withdrawing from the United Nations human rights council, the Trump administration announced on Tuesday, calling it a “cesspool of political bias” that targets Israel in particular while ignoring atrocities in other countries.
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said she had traveled to the council’s headquarters in Geneva a year ago to call for reforms, to no avail.
“Regrettably it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded,” Haley told reporters at the state department. “Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council.”
“We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day.”
— Israeli UN ambassador, Danny Danon
Weeks ahead of the expected completion of a UN database of companies that operate in Israels West Bank settlements, Israel and the Trump Administration are working feverishly to prevent its publication. . . . [Ed. note: The publication has subsequently been postponed.]
While Israel is usually quick to brush off UN criticism, officials say they are taking the so-called blacklist seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms. Dozens of major Israeli companies, as well as multinationals that do business in Israel, are expected to appear on the list.
“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.”
— US Ambassador Nikki Haley
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, saying that “the United States would continue to examine our membership” in the organization following a series of decisions the council took against Israel’s policy in the occupied territories.
Sources in Brussels told Haaretz that most European countries supported decisions only after their wording was softened so as not to evoke immediate practical significance.
The US said it was losing patience with the UN Human Rights Council, threatening again to quit the international body after the organization passed five resolutions against Israel.
“We continue to be alarmed by the treatment of Palestinian minors in Israeli military detention. We have also seen horrific terrorist violence against Israelis, which must be condemned in the strongest terms. All of this gravely undermines the viability of a two-state solution.”
— UK representative to the UN Human Rights Council
The United Nations Human Rights Council called on the international community to halt arms sales to Israel as it wrapped up its month-long 37th session in Geneva.
It approved five anti-Israel resolutions, including one called “Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”
By a 27 to 4 vote, with 15 abstentions, the UNHRC called upon “all states to promote compliance under international law” with regard to Israeli actions.