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The Return of the United States to the UN Human Rights Council is a Right and Hopeful Step
The UN Human Rights Council chamber in Geneva. (Ludovic Courtès/Wikimedia Commons)

The Return of the United States to the UN Human Rights Council is a Right and Hopeful Step

Ma’ariv, Israel, February 14

The new US administration, led by President Joe Biden, announced last week that the United States will once again be a member of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. As you may recall, former President Trump left the council. The United States’ return to the council is a right and hopeful step. It is better to fight the very problematic council from within than to stay away from it and let Israel’s enemies act as they please. Israel claims that the council is so biased against it and rotten on the inside that there is no reason to take part in its activity. This is true. But just like we wouldn’t abandon a military outpost because it’s “not on the front lines,” we should not, similarly, abandon an international institution that is causing us trouble. The current council was set up a little over a decade ago on the ruins of the infamous Human Rights Commission. Many, including Israel, hoped that the new council would be different from its predecessor. Indeed, today’s council is encouraging in some ways, like its commitment to examining the human rights situation in all the countries of the world, big and small. Each state must successfully pass the council’s annual review. But there are also many negatives. The council, for example, inherited an unfair stance on Israel and consistently discriminated against the Jewish State. As a part of its return to the council, the US announced that it will work to eliminate the biased stance on Israel. This is a challenging task that will require a lot of effort and perseverance. Israel’s interest is to assist the United States in this struggle. Only a superpower like the United States can lead to tangible improvement. Two things in the council, if amended, will allow Israel to live with it in peace. One is the repeal of the procedure that discriminates against Israel. The second is the abolition of the current practice of appointing council members based on a regional key, which gives rise to significant human rights abusers like Syria and Iran. Instead, members should be elected based on a proven track record of human rights protection. At a time when we are witnessing blatant discrimination against Israel by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and when the Palestinian refugee organization, the UNRWA, distorts facts and shelters terrorists acting against Israel, the United States’ mission to correct the Human Rights Council bias against Israel is a top priority for us all. –Itzhak Levanon, former Israeli ambassador to Egypt (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

 

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

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Felice Friedson
Founder, President

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