Netanyahu, Danon praise US decision to leave UNHRC

June 20, 2018 by Mara Vigevani - TPS
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Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has thanked the Trump administration for the decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), saying the world body had  “betrayed its mission of protecting human rights”.

“For years, the UNHRC has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“Instead of dealing with regimes that systematically violate human rights, the UNHRC obsessively focuses on Israel, the one genuine democracy in the Middle East. The US decision to leave this prejudiced body is an unequivocal statement that ‘enough is enough,’”  the message concluded.

Avi Ohayon/GPO

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon added that “the Human Rights Council has long been the foe of those who truly care about human rights around the world.  The United States has proven, yet again, its commitment to truth and justice and their unwillingness to allow the blind hatred of Israel in international institutions to stand unchallenged,” he said.

In her address announcing the decision to withdraw, US Ambassador to the UN Nikky Haley defined the Human Rights Council  as a “cesspool of political bias” that has become infected by “chronic bias against Israel.”

The decision was the latest in a string of Trump-fueled withdrawals from multilateral commitments since taking office in January, 2017, including the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The United States has defended Israel against an ongoing anti-Israel agenda at the Geneva-based body since it was established in 2006. The George W. Bush administration shunned the body, but under President Barack Obama the United States was appointed by the UN General Assembly to head the Council for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms, from 2009-2012 and again from 2012-2015. After a one-year break the US re-joined the Council for a third term before Obama left office, but has been a target of criticism from the Trump administration for its concentration on Israel.

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