Is the Trump administration planning to withdraw from the UNHRC over its anti-Israel bias and inefficiency?
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) may finally face consequences for its hounding of Israel.
Politico reported on Saturday that the Trump administration is considering pulling out of the UNHRC, according to two sources in regular contact with former and current US officials.
A former State Department official briefed on the discussions told Politico that while the Council’s targeting of Israel is likely part of the debate, there are also questions about its members, several of whom are human rights abusers, and doubts about its usefulness overall.
Countries known for human rights abuses, such as China and Saudi Arabia, are Council members.
In a recent meeting with mid-level State Department officials, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed skepticism about the Council.
The Human Rights Council was established in 2006. It replaced the UN Human Rights Commission, which had faced severe criticism because countries with poor rights records became members and blocked its mission.
The Bush administration refused to join the new council, questioning its efficacy. Under President Barack Obama, the US felt it was more useful to influence the Council from the inside, including by speaking out in support of Israel.
However, even former US Secretary of State John Kerry said the UNHRC must cease with its “excessive and biased focus on Israel.”
“No one in this room can deny there is an unbalanced focus on one democratic country,” Kerry said. “It must be said that the HRC’s obsession with Israel risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization,” Kerry stated in March 2016.
Over a decade, the council has passed 62 resolutions condemning the reasonable actions Israel takes to defend its security. Meanwhile, the world’s worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iran, and North Korea received far fewer condemnations.
Most recently, the UNHRC condemned Israel for an Israeli military court’s “lenient” ruling which sentenced IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison on Wednesday, after finding him guilty of manslaughter in January.
Azaria was also demoted to the rank of Private and received another 12-months suspended sentence.
Last March, Azaria, a combat medic stationed in Hebron, shot a neutralized terrorist in the head as he lay wounded on the ground after committing a stabbing attack against the soldier’s colleagues.
The UNHRC has not passed similar judgment on countries which don’t even have a judicial system.
By: World Israel News Staff