America Threatens to Leave UN Human Rights Council
by Stephen Lendman
It’s largely an imperial tool, criticizing nations with leadership America opposes - notably Russia, Iran and Syria.
Last October, Moscow lost its HRC seat. Saudi Arabia was reelected despite its abominable human rights record.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned America may withdraw from the HRC if it doesn’t undertake “considerable reform” - code language for ceasing all criticism of Israel.
Washington considers it biased, US ambassador to the Council Keith Harper earlier, saying “(w)e are disappointed that (it) continually singles out Israel for criticism without acknowledging the violent attacks directed at its people, nor the obligations and difficult steps required of both sides. In short, such singling out undermines the credibility of the council.”
HRC investigator Makarim Wibisono accused Israel of “deliberately” targeting civilian homes during its 2014 Gaza war (Operation Protective Edge).
Palestinians were massacred in cold blood. Wibisono said “ten children died every day over a period of 50 days.” International law principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions were ignored.
In dealing with peaceful Palestinian protestors, he called Israeli soldiers “trigger happy.”
America was the only HRC member to vote against a resolution criticizing Israel for terrorizing Syrians in illegally occupied Golan.
Other HRC resolutions supported Palestinian self-determination, opposed Israeli settlements, criticized its human rights abuses, and called for withdrawal to territory within pre-June 1967 lines.
None of this goes down well in Washington, one-sidedly supporting Israel, partnering in its wars, ignoring its flagrant human rights abuses.
Tillerson said “the Human Rights Council requires considerable reform in order for us to continue to participate.” He objects to what he calls a “biased agenda against Israel.”
A year ago, the Council adopted a resolution requiring the UN high commissioner for human rights to compile a database of companies doing business in illegal settlements.
Israel denounced the move, threatening to ban the high commissioner from entering the Palestinian territories.
The situation persists unresolved. Washington so far hasn’t withdrawn. The world’s most egregious human rights abuser maintains its membership.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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