• Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Send to Kindle

Amb. Haley to Netanyahu: “I Have No Patience” for UN Attacks on Israel

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that she defends Israel at the UN because “if there’s anything I have no patience for, [it’s] bullies.”

Netanyahu greeted Haley on the first day of her trip to Israel, thanking her “for all your help and standing up for Israel, standing up for the truth, which is standing up for America.”

Her visit follows a speech delivered Tuesday before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which Haley threatened to leave if it does not cease disproportionately targeting Israel. “It is essential the council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it’s to have any credibility,” Haley said, noting that the UNHRC passed five anti-Israel resolutions in March but failed to address “the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Venezuela,” where at least 69 people have been killed during protests against the government.

In a speech at the Graduate Institute of Geneva later on Tuesday, Haley mapped out the necessary reforms the UNHRC would have to make to correct its “credibility deficit.” That term was previously used by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to describe the UN Human Rights Commission, the predecessor of the UNHRC, which was disbanded under his watch as it “had lost the world’s trust.”

But the credibility problems have persisted with the UNHRC, where “the victims of the world’s most egregious human rights violations are too often ignored by the very organization that is supposed to protect them,” Haley said. She highlighted the council’s inaction on—and, in some cases, praise of–Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, and Zimbabwe before calling it “a forum for politics, hypocrisy, and evasion – not the forum for conscience that its founders envisioned.”

She called for the UNHRC to stop electing some of the world’s worst human rights abusers to leadership positions, proposing that it open up the voting process to public scrutiny and force prospective members to defend their records.

Haley also encouraged the removal of Agenda Item Seven, a standing item that forces the council to review Israel’s human rights record at every session. No other country is subject to a similar agenda item. “There is no legitimate human rights reason for this agenda item to exist,” she observed. “It is the central flaw that turns the Human Rights Council from an organization that can be a force for universal good, into an organization that is overwhelmed by a political agenda.”

“Since its creation, the Council has passed more than 70 resolutions targeting Israel,” Haley continued. “It has passed just seven on Iran. This relentless, pathological campaign against a country that actually has a strong human rights record makes a mockery not of Israel, but of the Council itself.”

[Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO]