Diplomacy

U.S. Shows Support for Israel by Boycotting UN Human Rights Meeting

The United States acceded to a request from Israel not to attend today’s session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, The Jerusalem Post reported:

The United States on Monday joined Israel in boycotting the United Nations Human Rights Council debate Monday on Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.

The UNHRC is mandated at every session to use Agenda Item 7 for a debate on this matter. There is no such mandate to repeatedly censure any other country.

Since taking office, US President Barack Obama has made eliminating Agenda Item 7 one of his policy objectives.

The Post explained that Israel regularly requests that its allies not participate in the “debate” over Agenda Item 7, and the United States did not participate in line with the request.

A statement from the U.S. Ambassador to the UNHRC, Keith Harper confirmed this:

Today the United States, in support of Israel, made no statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council debate on alleged Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories, otherwise known as Item 7. Our non-participation in this debate underscores our position that Item 7 lacks legitimacy, as it did last year when we also refrained from speaking. The United States strongly and unequivocally opposes the very existence of Agenda Item 7 and any HRC resolutions that come from it.

The United States’ approach to the Human Rights Council’s Item 7 has not changed.

In advance of today’s discussion of Agenda Item 7, Hillel Neuer of UN Watch, a watchdog organization based in Geneva, highlighted the inequity of having an agenda item devoted solely to Israel.

While all 193 countries of the world are addressed under Agenda Item 4, “Human rights situations requiring the world’s attention,” only Israel gets its own special treatment, under Agenda Item 7, “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories .”

There will be 0 reports on gross and systematic human rights abuses by countries (many of them members of the UNHRC) like China, Cuba, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey and Venezuela.

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