US Rejects Anti-Israel Bias at the UN Human Rights Council.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley formally announced the United States has withdrawn its participation and financial support from the “cesspool” Human Rights Council. In her statement, Ambassador Haley said:
“For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias. Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council. The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks.”
The United States is leaving the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley called “an organization that is not worthy of its name.”
Haley said Tuesday the US had given the human rights body “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes. She lambasted the council for “its chronic bias against Israel” and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” Haley said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appearing alongside Haley at the State Department, said there was no doubt that the council once had a “noble vision.”
“But today we need to be honest,” Pompeo said. “The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights.”
The announcement came just a day after the UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.
But Haley cited longstanding US complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel. She had been threatening the pull-out since last year unless the council made changes advocated by the US
“Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded,” Haley said.
Her announcement was made just hours before a wave of mortars from Gaza terrorists began hitting communities in Israel. The mortar assault continued throughout the night as Red Alert sirens kept Israeli families awake in their bomb shelters. Terrorists fired a total of 45 mortars into Israel.
This bombardment of civilian areas, including a kindergarten in Israel, is the second major mortar attack on Israel from Gaza in the last month. The UN Human Rights Council has not condemned Hamas or any Palestinian entity for these attacks against Israeli civilians. The previous attack that took place on May 29th—which sent one million Israelis into bomb shelters while over 100 rockets and mortars fell on their homes, businesses, and schools—was not even mentioned at the June 18th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council. Instead, at that meeting the UNHRC chose to focus its outrage against Israel.
The chronic bias against Israel was cited by Ambassador Haley in her remarks:
“Last year, the United States made it clear that we would not accept the continued existence of agenda item seven, which singles out Israel in a way that no other country is singled out. Earlier this year, as it has in previous years, the Human Rights Council passed five resolutions against Israel – more than the number passed against North Korea, Iran, and Syria combined. This disproportionate focus and unending hostility towards Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.”
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank close to the Trump administration, defended the move, calling the council “notably incurious about the human rights situations in some of the world’s most oppressive countries.” Brett Schaefer, a senior fellow, pointed out that Trump could have withdrawn immediately after taking office but instead gave the council 18 months to make changes.
Israel is the only country in the world whose rights record comes up for discussion at every council session, under “Item 7” on the agenda. Item 7 on “Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories” has been part of the council’s regular business almost as long as it has existed.
The US pullout is likely to make it easier for the UNHRC to pass resolutions against Israel. The US is Israel’s biggest defender in UN bodies.
Ambassador Nikki Haley did the right thing, but she is being widely criticized in the media for withdrawing the United States from the UN Human Rights Council. Tell me what you think.