UNHRC adopts five resolutions accusing Israel of human right abuses

March 25, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The World Jewish Congress has decried the United Nations Human Rights Council’s adoption of five resolutions under agenda item 7 accusing Israel of human rights abuses and violations of international law in the Golan Heights and Palestinian territories.

Robert Singer

“The UN Human Rights Council has once again let its biased and obsessive focus on Israel plague its session with its persistence of a standing agenda item dedicated to accusing Israel of wrong-doing and the adoption of a disproportionate number of resolutions containing blatantly one-sided language,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer.

Singer praised the states that voted against the various resolutions, chief among them the United States and Australia which rejected each text, and welcomed the  forceful statements against item 7 by both those countries and the United Kingdom, saying: “The World Jewish Congress is encouraged by the growing show of support from certain friends and allies of Israel, and urges this council to take heed of the warnings issued as to the discriminatory and biased focus of this agenda item. Those who recognize the unfair nature of this very item should vote against it time and again to strip it of any legitimacy once and for all.”

Particularly “absurd” among the resolutions, Singer said, was the text blaming Israel for the so-called ‘suffering’ of Syrian citizens in the Golan Heights. “Israel has shown nothing but goodwill to both the Syrian Druze residents of northern Israel, who enjoy full and equal Israeli citizenship and civil liberties, as well as to the more than 3,000 wounded civilians treated in Israel since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.  The very content of this resolution is preposterous and absurd. This council would do well to shift this misguided condemnation away from Israel and back to the Syrian government, where it belongs.” Singer welcomed the strong opposition shown by European Union states against the Golan resolution, noting the significantly higher number of 14 out of 47 rejections of this text compared to 3 last year.

Singer also expressed concern over the resolution assessing the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, which, he said, “exonerates the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip of any responsibility.”

“Over the course of six pages the resolution cites unsubstantiated ‘evidence’ of Israeli fault for the deteriorating situation in the territories, while ignoring the many human rights violations exhibited daily by the Palestinian leaders,” Singer said. “It turns a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority’s encouragement of terror and incitement to violence, to any corruption in both the PA and Hamas, and to the unfair treatment of women in Gaza. The resolution pays only lip service in its condemnation of rockets fired against Israel, without mentioning the facts that Hamas routinely uses civilians as human shields in these battles, in direct violation of international law.”

Moreover, Singer said, the World Jewish Congress is concerned by the council’s continued promotion of a database to single out Israeli and international companies operating in the Palestinian territories for blacklist, calling it a “counterproductive and discriminatory mechanism.”

“This database is glaring proof of the council’s fixation on Israel,” Singer said. “It is not only far beyond the remit of this council, but is also for all purposes a tacit endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, serving only to embolden those whose sole aim is to delegitimize the State of Israel.”

“It is inconceivable that the UN Human Rights Council would devote its precious time to drafting and adopting five one-sided resolutions against Israel, while issuing only one each for notorious human rights abusers such as Iran, Myanmar and the DPRK, and just two for Syria,” Singer said.  “We urge this council to immediately cease its vilification of Israel. This continued relentless focus on the world’s only Jewish state will serve only to undermine this council’s credibility and its mandate.”

Singer also noted with concern the fact that such a biased focus is not unique to the UNHRC alone: Later Friday, the UN Commission on the Status of Women is anticipated to adopt a resolution on the Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women, which singles out Israel for blame while disregarding the responsibility of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. This is the only resolution of the commission targeting a specific country.

In the meantime The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) has applauded Australia on its principled vote in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday.

The UNHRC which counts human rights luminaries such as Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Qatar and Iraq as members has an obsessive pre-occupation with Israel which resulted in the passage of yet another five resolutions against Israel – the only country with a whole article devoted to its alleged breaches of human rights.  Whilst eight countries including Britain abstained only four countries had the clarity of vision to vote against these biased resolutions.  We are delighted that Australia – who only joined the UNHRC this year – was amongst those four.

President of the ZFA Dr Danny Lamm said “Australia, under the leadership of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, has once again demonstrated its deep and abiding friendship toward Israel.  It is not an easy or popular decision to take a stand in such a biased body and defend Israel and it is not a position that we take for granted.”

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