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Geneva - US Boycotts UN Rights Council Debate On Israel, Palestinians

Published on: March 20, 2017 09:01 AM
By: AP
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FILE - Remigiusz Achilles Henczel (C) President of the Human Rights Council speaks with Eviatar Manor (R) Israel Ambassador to the U.N. and Shai Nitzan (L) Deputy Attorney General Ministry of Justice of Israel before the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review session at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva October 29, 2013.  ReutersFILE - Remigiusz Achilles Henczel (C) President of the Human Rights Council speaks with Eviatar Manor (R) Israel Ambassador to the U.N. and Shai Nitzan (L) Deputy Attorney General Ministry of Justice of Israel before the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review session at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva October 29, 2013.  Reuters

Geneva - The United States on Monday boycotted a Human Rights Council session focusing on Palestinian areas, saying the regular review shows the council’s “long-standing bias against Israel” that threatens the “credibility” of the U.N.-supported body.

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Israel is the only country that faces an examination of its rights record at every one of the council’s three sessions each year under a standing agenda item — known as Item 7 — on “Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” The current session, which lasts four weeks, ends Friday.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, in a statement, denounced how Israel was the only country on the 47-member body’s calendar.

“It is not Syria, where the regime has systematically slaughtered and tortured its own people,” she said. “It is not Iran, where public hangings are a regular occurrence. It is not North Korea, where the regime uses forced labor camps to crush its people into submission. It is Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”

The boycott announced by the State Department comes as the Trump administration contemplates ending U.S. participation at the council. A letter from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to advocacy groups, obtained by The Associated Press last week, said the U.S. wouldn’t continue participating unless the council undergoes “considerable reform.”

“Today’s actions in the council are yet another reminder of that body’s long-standing bias against Israel,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. “No other nation has an entire agenda item dedicated to it at the council. The continued existence of this agenda item is among the largest threats to the credibility of the council.”

In the more than 230 country-specific resolutions at the council since it was founded 11 years ago, more than a quarter of them have been focused on Israel, whose policies in Palestinian areas have raised rights concerns for decades. Israel easily tops the rankings: second-place Syria, where since 2011 hundreds of thousands have been killed, has been the subject of 19 resolutions.

Earlier Monday, the U.N.‘s special rapporteur on “rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel,” Michael Lynk, decried how “illegal settlement enterprise has moved at an alarming pace” this year.

Lynk pointed to announcements by Israel to build 6,000 new housing units in Palestinian areas, accompanied by “high rates of demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.” He also cited a U.N. Security Council resolution in December that called the establishment of settlements in the West Bank a “flagrant violation” of international law.



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Read Comments (3)  —  Post Yours »

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 Mar 20, 2017 at 09:29 AM ubgeriser Says:

Why do these loonies never condemn Russian occupation in Ukraine or any other country, hurts to say even the US. A war is a war and if you loose that's the way this world runs. Not to mention when the Arabs started the war.

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 Mar 20, 2017 at 11:36 AM TrumpISprez Says:

So who is an ohev yisroel and friend of Israel?

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 Mar 20, 2017 at 12:57 PM Anonymous Says:

The sheer volume of folly in the UN is unbelievable. The Palestinians never had a state, but they want one. Though I vehemently disagree, I can accept that. But they have NEVER engaged in civil negotiation in order to obtain anything. Yes, NEVER. All they have done is engaged in savage acts of terror, whether the hijackings of the late 60's and 70's, to the committing of brazen bombings, suicide bombs, shootings, rock throwing, and the incessant flow of incitement and propaganda. History bears 100% proof that making gestures and concessions to Muslims NEVER produces a positive result. There has never been a commitment to peace that was fulfilled by these subhuman, bloodthirsty Jew haters. And they find support of all kinds in the UN, as well as the previous administration. These forces of evil need to be eradicated, not invited to dinner. We should all pray that Trump never loses sight of the humans versus savage animals, and chooses right every time. Another idea might be to set a low number for anti-Israel pronouncements from UN bodies, and evict them from United States. Sounds radical, but civil anything won't impact these chayos.

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