It goes without saying – Human rights abusers shouldn’t sit on the UN Human Rights Council

In a landmark decision, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday the United States’ immediate withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Haley and Pompeo made remarks on the United States’ 17-month-long efforts to push fellow member-states to adopt reforms for the UNHRC, which suffers from a chronic anti-Israel bias, but to no avail. The UNHRC, “a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” as Haley noted, deserves all but the legitimization of US membership.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley vetoes UN resolution rejecting US decision to move Embassy to Jerusalem. (Reuters)

The UNHRC has passed more resolutions against Israel than all other nations combined.

With seats occupied by the gravest abusers of human rights, the UNHRC has failed to live up to its purpose.

Undeserving member-states include Venezuela, ruled by a dictator who sent a once flourishing country into disarray, his citizens starving. Cuba, a one-party communist state that outlaws and severely punishes dissent, also enjoys the not-so-exclusive privilege of membership on the council. Saudi Arabia even holds a seat, while continuing its backwards practice of segregating women and requiring them to obtain the permission of a male guardian to work, travel or access healthcare.

Starving Venezuelans rummaging through trash for food. (Getty)

Countries such as Qatar, which was elected to the UNHRC for a 2018-2020 seat, should not qualify for membership to the Council because of their human rights records. Qatar has made headlines for its gross violations of human rights, most recently using slave labor to build a stadium for its 2022 World Cup. Qatar still holds its seat today.

Since its early years, the UNHRC has been a tool for diverting attention by member-states. Emboldened by Agenda Item 7, Israel’s alleged abuses are addressed in every meeting of the Council. No country, except for Israel, has a standing agenda item. Other human rights issues that do not concern Israel are debated under the umbrella of the single Agenda Item 4.  

By devoting significant time and resources to singling out Israel, the UNHRC fails to address human rights issues around the globe that require urgent attention.

By devoting significant time and resources to singling out Israel, the UNHRC fails to address human rights issues around the globe that require urgent attention.

Given the heinous conduct of these member-states towards their own people, it is obvious why they have resorted to a belligerent obsession with condemning Israel. It serves as a distraction from the gross abuses committed by these hostile member-states back home.

With more resolutions condemning democratic Israel than murderous Assad’s Syria, brutal Kim Jong Un’s North Korea and the extremist Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran combined, the UNHRC cares more about creating a pariah of the Jewish state, than they do the gassing of children, the starvation of millions and the jailing of dissenters.

A Syrian child receives medical treatment after a chemical gas attack on April 07, 2018. (Getty)

The Jewish state is also the target of a ritualistic trial each March, as the UNHRC sets aside an entire session dedicated to berating Israel. In contrast, the UNHRC dedicates only two sessions to the human rights perils of the other 192 countries in the world.

This annual gathering to censure the Jewish state brought five resolutions condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, while only two condemned the nefarious actions of the Syrian government.

Syria routinely uses chemical weapons on its own people, yet it is currently chairing the United Nations Disarmament Forum on Chemical Weapons. Something is terribly sick and twisted at the United Nations.

Syria routinely uses chemical weapons on its own people, yet it is currently chairing the United Nations Disarmament Forum on Chemical Weapons.

The decision by the United States to withdraw from the UNHRC is long overdue. Members of the council who see no strategic political value in targeting Israel’s self-policing democracy have already begun issuing warnings to the body. The United Kingdom warned this week that if no significant reforms are resolved in six months, it will begin to vote against all of the body’s anti-Israel resolutions.

Led by the United States, the international community has made it clear that it is ready to deal with more urgent and pressing human rights issues, such as the murder of 146 protesters by government forces in Nicaragua.

The significant shift in global frustration with the UN’s incompetence in addressing human rights issues is not limited to the UNHRC. For the first time in its history, the majority of the United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn Hamas, the terror group controlling the Gaza Strip, who are now repurposing kites as weapons of terror that have set thousands of acres of Israeli farmland ablaze.

Israeli land ablaze after kite terrorism from the Gaza Strip. (Reuters)

Many question if the UNHRC has been enlightened to troubling issues such as the perpetual mass murder happening northeast of Israel in Assad’s Syria, or if they have mistakenly placed a marker on the wrong part of the map. Unfortunately, nativè is not the culprit here. Israel is the United Nations’ scapegoat. Ignoring unparalleled and egregious violations of human rights globally, the Human Rights Council is hardly suited for its name.

With its withdrawal from the UNHRC, the United States is leading the effort to change that.

Contributed by CAMERA intern Joshua Gannon.

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