Israel derides 'discriminatory' UN rights council

[JURIST] Israeli deputy permanent representative to the UN Daniel Carmon [official website] on Tuesday accused [text, DOC] the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website; JURIST news archive] of "targeting Israel in an obsessive and discriminatory fashion" and "fail[ing] to uphold the basic standards of human rights in an impartial, universal, non-selective, and objective manner." Addressing a plenary session of the UN General Assembly [official website] following consideration of a UNHRC report, Carmon pointed to seven UNHRC resolutions "condemning" Israel in the past year, as well as recent special sessions on Israel:

While the one-sided resolutions and special sessions that target Israel are grave cause for concern for the credibility of the Council, the institutional framework established against Israel by the Council threatens its very integrity and legitimacy.

Israel is the subject of the Council’s only country-specific agenda item. The continued obsession with Israel serves to divert the attention of the Human Rights Council from legitimate human rights abuses around the world, and such politicization of the human rights agenda demonstrates the Council’s commitment to political point scoring, rather than to the protection of human rights.

Furthermore, the Council clings to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories. This mandate presumes Israeli violations and precludes the Special Rapporteur from discussing honestly human rights in a holistic and impartial manner. Palestinian terrorism that deliberately targets Israeli civilians thus receives immunity.
Carmon called on the UNHRC to review its mandate [text, PDF], saying that the body had actively avoided such scrutiny. UNHRC President Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi responded [UN News Centre report] with a call for "objectivity and patience in assessing the work of the Council." The Jerusalem Post has more.

The UNHRC, founded in 2006 to replace the UN Human Rights Commission [official website; JURIST news archive], has been criticized for targeting Israel while avoiding resolutions against Sudan, partly due to the weight of its Muslim members. In April, Israel announced [JURIST report] that it would no longer allow a UNHRC envoy on Israeli human rights to enter either Israel or the Palestinian territories after he called current Israeli actions against Palestinians a "Holocaust in the making."


 

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