US, 21 Countries Condemn UN Over Report Targeting Israel
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JERUSALEM, Israel – The United States and 21 other countries on Monday condemned the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a new report accusing Israel of inflaming tensions with the Palestinians and perpetuating the conflict.
The 18-page report released last week by the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) said Israel’s “perpetual occupation” of Palestinian territory is the “underlying root cause” of recurrent tensions, and “the persistent discrimination of Palestinians” is fuelling recurrent cycles of violence. The report was the result of an open-ended investigation ordered by the UN after an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza last year, which began when the Hamas terror group fired rockets into Israeli civilian areas.
In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, US Ambassador Michèle Taylor said the US and 21 other nations are “deeply concerned” by the commission’s “open-ended probe,” which has “no sunset clause, end date, or clear limitations connected to the escalation in May 2021.”
“We believe the nature of the COI established last May is further demonstration of long-standing, disproportionate attention given to Israel in the Council and must stop,” said Taylor. “We continue to believe that this long-standing disproportionate scrutiny should end, and that the Council should address all human rights concerns, regardless of country, in an even-handed manner. Regrettably, we are concerned that the Commission of Inquiry will further contribute to the polarization of a situation about which so many of us are concerned.”
Israel signed the statement alongside Austria, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Eswatini, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Palau, Togo and The United Kingdom.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid thanked the US and other nations for condemning the report.
Today, the forces of morality and truth stood up against anti-Israel hypocrisy at the UN Human Rights Council,” Lapid tweeted. “Thank you to my friend Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the U.S. for leading, and to the nations who joined today’s clear statement: cancel the Commission of Inquiry born out of hate against Israel.”
Israel has long accused the council of being biased against it. The Trump administration pulled out of the council in 2018, citing concerns about “its chronic bias against Israel.” The US returned to the council under the Biden administration.
“Israel is the only country subject to a standing agenda item at the HRC and has received disproportionate focus at the HRC compared to human rights situations elsewhere in the world,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said last week. “We reengaged with and later re-joined the HRC in part to be in a better position to address its flaws, including this one, and we will continue to seek reforms.”
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