At a time when anti-Semitism is more widespread than at any point since the end of World War II, withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by the United States calls out the hypocrisy of what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested should be renamed, “The Council for Decisions against the Only Democracy in the Middle East.”

 

The Council’s Membership Reveals

Its True Stance on Human Rights

Deputy Managing Editor of The Jerusalem Post Tovah Lazaroff wrote, "The U.N. Human Rights Council has been one of the most rabidly anti-Israel U.N. bodies and (was) the place where the Palestinian Authority scored some of its earliest successes on the international stage."

UNHRC’s Agenda Item 7 mandates a debate on Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians during each of its sessions. No other nation has endured such scrutiny.

Yet the council’s current membership includes 14 countries that are ranked as “not free” by Freedom House: Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, China, Cuba, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

The U.S. exit from the Council was long overdue, said Julie Lenarz, senior adviser at The Israel Project in Washington D.C. and director at The Human Security Centre in London. She called out Qatar as a modern-day slave state, Myanmar committing genocide against its Rohingya Muslim population, warlords running Congo and Pakistan’s standing as al-Qaeda’s favorite safe haven. “Russia and China are some of the world’s leading human rights violators,” she added.

The Council’s record backs up the editor Lazaroff’s claim. From June 2006 through June 2016, the UNHRC adopted 135 resolutions criticizing countries. More than half – 68 – targeted Israel. Of the council’s 28 special sessions, 22 singled out specific countries: eight on Israel’s attempts to protect itself from terrorist attacks, five on the mass murder in Syria, two on the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and one each on serious human rights violations in countries such as Congo, Libya, South Sudan and Burundi.

World Leaders Side with the U.S.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the U.S. decision as courageous. He called the Council a “biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.” The Times of Israel reports that Netanyahu will soon terminate all contact with the Council.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said, “We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7, focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace.” He threatened that “unless things change, we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7.”

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia shares “many of the concerns held by the U.S.,” particularly about the Council’s “anti-Israel bias.”

 

Criticism

Meanwhile, Freedom House and 11 other democracy and human rights organizations joined together in criticizing the U.S. withdrawal from the council. “Forfeiting the U.S. seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council only serves to empower actors on the council, like Russia and China, that do not share American values on the preeminence of universal human rights,” they stated in a group letter.

Others have said it doesn’t matter if the U.S. is in or out as long as the Council’s membership is dominated by anti-Israel Arab countries bent on destroying Israel.

 

Please join us in prayer for:

  • The world to see the UNHRC as the propaganda tool it provides Israel’s enemies

  • Protection of Jewish people as anti-Semitism continues to sweep across Europe. They daily face abuse and even murder in such familiar places as France, Germany and Britain

  • The protection of young people in the Israeli military and that they will be reached with the Good News and believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Jewish Messiah.

What Your Gift Will Do:

Your gift directly helps with reconciliation efforts in an increasingly violent Middle East. In partnership with more than 60 Jewish Voice ministries throughout Israel and with our Jewish Voice Israel office, you also help to fight anti-Semitism – now at its highest level since World War II – all over the world. Most importantly, your gift makes it possible to reach Jewish people in Israel and beyond with the message that Yeshua (Jesus) is their long-awaited Messiah.

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