WJC praises U.S. UNHRC envoy remarks on Israel
The World Jewish Congress has praised the United States’ envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council for her remarks rejecting the body’s one-sided discrimination against Israel.
WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert R. Singer, WJC North America Chair Evelyn Sommer and WJC North America Executive Director Betty Ehrenberg sent a letter to US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organisation Affairs Erin Barclay to express the organisation appreciation of her remarks, and support for calls to denounce the UNHRC as long as it remains fixated on Israel.
“The World Jewish Congress deeply appreciates your remarks in Geneva demanding that the United Nations Human Rights Council end its discrimination against Israel and remove Item 7 from its permanent agenda. We support the strong denunciation by the United States of this biased and one-sided body,” the WJC leaders wrote.
“As the international organisation representing more than 100 Jewish communities around the world, the WJC is deeply committed to the values of universal human rights and respect for human dignity. We believe that the Human Rights Council is an important mechanism within the United Nations, but are troubled and concerned that this particular Council has lost direction and become fixated on singling out Israel for condemnation. Since its establishment, this Council has approved a record-breaking number of resolutions condemning Israel – more than 65 resolutions, or over half of all country-specific resolutions.
“The World Jewish Congress will continue to speak out against the UNHRC as long as this bias against Israel remains. We support the calls voiced both in the United States and other countries denouncing the UNHRC over this bias, and look forward to the day when the United Nations Human Rights Council resumes its focus on protecting human rights worldwide,” the letter concluded
In her address at the HRC, Erin said: “The United States also remains deeply troubled by the Council’s consistent unfair and unbalanced focus on one democratic country, Israel. No other nation is the focus of an entire agenda item. How is that a sensible priority? Right now, the Assad regime is bombing hospitals in Syria and forcing its own people to flee as refugees to neighboring countries to escape its murderous rule. Right now, in North Korea and Iran, millions of people are denied their freedoms of religion or belief, of peaceful assembly and association, and of expression.
The obsession with Israel through agenda Item 7 is the largest threat to the Council’s credibility. It limits the good we can accomplish by making a mockery of this Council. The United States will oppose any effort to delegitimize or isolate Israel – not just in the HRC, but wherever it occurs. When it comes to human rights, no country should be free from scrutiny – but neither should any democratic country be regularly subjected to unfair, unbalanced, and unfounded bias.”