Thirty-six member states voted in favor of five anti-Israel resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, including one calling on calls on countries and companies to boycott the settlements.
Although all five resolutions do not have legal “teeth,” the vote was a clear loss to Israel, which invested a great deal of effort to try to block it, with assistance from the US.
However, there was one source of light in all this universal darkness: the UK government, which voted in favor of the resolutions, issued this proviso:
“We have serious concerns about the growth in illegal demolitions and settlement activity, as well as Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention. And it is for these reasons that we voted, as we have for many years, in favor of the resolutions on Self-Determination and Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
“But we must also recognize the continuing terrorism, incitement and violence that Israel faces. According to the Quartet’s report last year, there were 250 terrorist attacks, leading to the deaths of at least 30 Israelis. Renewed Hamas efforts to rebuild their tunnels are a grave concern. The scourge of anti-Semitic incitement and glorification of terrorism continue. And for as long as terrorists are treated as martyrs, peace will prove distant.
“And yet neither “terrorism” nor “incitement” were a focus of this week’s Council discussions and resolutions. This is not acceptable.
“Israel is the only country permanently on the Human Rights Council’s agenda. Indeed when the Council voted to include Israel as a permanent item in 2007 – the so-called agenda Item 7 – it was Ban Ki Moon who expressed his deep disappointment “given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.”
“Nowhere is the disproportionate focus on Israel starker and more absurd than in the case of today’s resolution on the occupation of Syria’s Golan. Syria’s regime butchers and murders its people on a daily basis. But it is not Syria that is a permanent standing item on the Council’s agenda; it is Israel. Ten years have passed since Item 7 was instituted, and there has been no sign of change. Whilst we are unswerving in our conviction that the Golan Heights are occupied and do not recognize Israel’s annexation, we cannot accept the perverse message sent out by a Syria Golan resolution that singles out Israel, as Asad continues to slaughter the Syrian people. So we have voted against the Golan resolution.”