US threatens to quit UNHRC as Nikki Haley says it ‘lacks credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights’; PA commends motions as rejection of ‘arrogance and occupation’
Israel on Saturday slammed the UN Human Rights Council as a “sham” after it passed five new anti-Israel resolutions, saying the body was being used by “bloodthirsty dictatorships” to mask their own abuses.
The council “is a sham, a mockery of the noble purposes it pretends to represent,” tweeted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon.
“It is an exclusively anti #Israel platform, manipulated by bloodthirsty dictatorships hiding their own massive human rights violations by attacking Israel,” he wrote.
Nachshon’s comments come after the United States warned Friday that it was losing patience and again threatened to quit the council after the Geneva-based body adopted five resolutions condemning Israel, one of which called on Israel to relinquish the Golan Heights strategic ridge to war-torn Syria.
The United States and Australia voted against all five resolutions.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement that the council was “grossly biased against Israel,” noting that it had adopted only three resolutions separately targeting North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
“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,” said Haley.
“Our patience is not unlimited. Today’s actions make clear that the organization lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights,” she said.
Haley has over the past year repeatedly warned that the United States was ready to walk away from the 47-member body established in 2006 to promote and protect human rights worldwide.
The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, welcomed the new resolutions. Ramallah spokesperson Yusuf al-Mahmoud commended nations who voted in favor of the measures “for their ability to stand in the face of injustice, arrogance and occupation and to reject the language of threats and coercion.”
He said the resolutions “reflect an international position in favor of a just and fitting solution to the conflict.”
The five resolutions were presented by the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation under the council’s “Item 7” which requires a report on Israeli actions in the West Bank each time the panel convenes.
In condemning the Council, B’nai B’rith International noted that one of the resolutions, “which seeks to call into question the legitimacy of sales of military equipment to Israel, provides new evidence that the Council is entirely indifferent to the rights and well-being of those on one side of the conflict — the citizens of the State of Israel defending their right to life, the most basic human right of all. This resolution passed with 27 votes in favor, four against and 15 countries abstaining,” it noted. “We condemn Belgium and Slovenia as the only European Union members of the Council choosing to vote in favor of this outrageous resolution.”
Israel is the only country that has a dedicated agenda item at the council, a mechanism that the United States and some European countries have criticized.
In February, Haley criticized a report by the UN’s high commissioner for human rights on 206 companies with ties to Israeli settlements. Israeli officials have described the report as a “blacklist” and said it is part of an effort to boycott the Jewish state.
“This whole issue is outside the bounds of the High Commissioner for Human Rights office’s mandate and is a waste of time and resources,” Haley said in a statement at the time.
The report was in response to a resolution adopted in 2016 by the UN Human Rights Council that called for the creation of a database of all companies doing business with the Israeli settlements, which the United Nations considers illegal under international law.
The latest threat to quit the council came after US President Donald Trump appointed UN-skeptic John Bolton as his national security adviser.
Since Trump took over at the White House, the United States has quit the UN cultural agency UNESCO, cut UN funding, and announced plans to quit the UN-backed Paris climate agreement.