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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘United Nations Human Rights Council’

US Absence at UN Human Rights Council Debate – Planned With Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The Reuters news agency reported the absence of the United States at a scheduled United Nations Human Rights Council debate came as part of President Barack Obama’s “reassessment” of Israel at the international forum. The report, which flashed around the world on the news agency’s international wire network, made headlines in Middle Eastern and other nations whose time zones are six or more hours ahead of the U.S.

However, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the report is patently false.

In fact, the absence of the United States from the forum was indeed a deliberate act indeed, but one coordinated in advance with Israel to protest Agenda Item 7. Israel had asked its friends in the Council not to appear during debate of the Agenda Item, in order to boycott the issue.

A U.S. spokesperson in Geneva confirmed the reason for the delegate’s absence to Israeli officials, who reassured inquiring media.

Both the U.S. and Israel were boycotting the debate, which focusedon ‘Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.’

The UNHRC has passed a mandate to use Agenda Item 7 at every session to debate this specific topic.

For hours, Middle Eastern Arab and African nations ranted on the Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories. Algeria even accused Israel of genocide.

Although the members of the European Union attended the session, the EU delegates did take the floor to defend Israel during the Agenda Item 7 debate, insisting it should be treated as other nations, and its violations discussed under Agenda Item 4.

Not one other country is deliberately singled out for mandated censure at each and every session of the UN Human Rights Council – including Saudi Arabia, which still allows slavery and beheads criminals, nor Iran, which indulges in public whippings and hangings, nor Sudan, where torture is commonplace, and the list goes on.

In a speech to the Council in Geneva at the start of this month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused the UNHRC of obsessions with claims of Israeli violations.

“We will oppose any effort by any group or participant in the UN system to arbitrarily and regularly delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just at the UN Human Rights Council, but wherever it occurs,” Kerry vowed.

“It must be said that the UNHRC’s obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization. It has the potential to limit the good that we have to do,” he added.

Kerry’s well-intended promise may have been forgotten, at least in the White House, however: President Barack Obama is doing everything possible to yank the rug out from under Jerusalem, using rhetoric by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his election campaign as the excuse to claim a lack of commitment to peace by Israel.

“We take him at his word when he said [creation of a Palestinian state] wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” Obama told The Huffington Post last Friday.

Gone were the assurances Obama himself made in a speech to AIPAC during his own political campaign for president in 2008. That was when he vowed to commit, as president of the United States, to “help committed (peace) partners avoid stalemate and the kind of vacuums that are filled by violence.” Any agreement with the Palestinian people, he said, “must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” he promised.

Report: Israel to Join Europe Group at UN Human Rights Council

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Israel may join for the first time a regional group within the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of a deal to improve the U.N. body’s relations with the Jewish state.

The council’s Western European and Others Group (WEOG) is expected to announce that its member states have voted in favor of Israel’s admittance, The Times of Israel reported Friday.

The European states had agreed to welcome Israel into their midst in exchange for the Jewish state’s return to the council and its participation in its Universal Periodic Human Rights Review process.

Israel had left the council a year and a half ago to protest its alleged bias against it.

Since 2006, the council has passed 27 resolutions criticizing Israel and has convened 19 special sessions, six of which were about Israel. Regular sessions feature a permanent agenda item 7, “the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.”

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and several Western nations have criticized the council for singling Israel out for criticism.

“Though it’s not yet final, we are hopeful that Israel will very soon be admitted into the Human Rights Council’s Western group, putting an end to a longstanding act of discrimination whereby the Jewish state was the only nation to be excluded from a regional group,” said Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch, an NGO that monitors the United Nations.

Admission to the group would allow Israel to participate with all other U.N. member states in receiving regular briefings, and would enable it to have a say in the selection of council investigators, Neuer said. “More than anything, admission for Israel would be a sign of equal treatment, removing what has been an ugly stain of bigotry upon the reputation of the U.N.”

However, he added, “it will not detract from the Arab states’ continued ability to target Israel in resolutions, urgent sessions and a special agenda item.”

Earlier this month, senior diplomats from the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Germany and France sent a letter to the U.N.’s institutions in Geneva and to the ambassador of Spain, who heads the WEOG, telling them to finally admit Israel into their circle.

On Oct. 29, Israel participated in the council’s so-called Universal Periodic Review, during which it was widely criticized for alleged human rights abuses.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-israel-to-join-europe-group-at-un-human-rights-council/2013/12/01/

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