Israel Envoy: UN Human Rights Council Betrayed Its Own Values

Shalev accuses UN council of constant discrimination against Israel, as in case of Goldstone report.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Professor Gabriela Shalev, said on Friday at the organization's weekly assembly that the UN Human Rights Council had betrayed the very values and principles it was established to protect.

Shalev spoke after the assembly was issued the Rights Councils' annual activity report, which includes the Goldstone report findings that accuse Israel and the Palestinians of war crimes during the Gaza offensive in December 2008.

Friday's discussion preceded the upcoming deliberation on Wednesday at the UN assembly regarding the report's conclusions.

Shalev accused the council of constant and exclusive discrimination against Israel and said that more than half of the council's meetings have dealt with condemning Israel for one reason or another.

Shalev also said that the council has approved more resolutions critical of Israel than resolutions criticizing any other UN member country.

In regard to the controversial report compiled by the South African former Judge Richard Goldstone, Shalev said that it is a reminder that the UN rights council is dominated and used by countries obsessed with demonizing Israel and its democratic nature.

The ambassador concluded by saying that the basic human rights of thousands of innocent people are violated throughout the world on a daily basis, but the council has and remains silent to their plight.

Last week Palestinian diplomats in Geneva pushed to bring forward the UN Human Rights Council debate on the alleged war crimes committed by Israeli forces and Palestinian militants as stated in the Goldstone report.

Ibrahim Khraishi, the Palestinian Authority's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said the request for an urgent meeting was prompted by violence in Jerusalem that he blamed on Israel and which he also wants discussed.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority agreed to delay debating the UN report on the conflict until March over concerns that going ahead now could harm the fragile Middle East peace process. The decision led to street protests by Palestinians and condemnation around the Arab world.

"We deferred, so we were expecting that the Israelis should respect in some way human rights, but this act of aggression against people, against the human rights and humanitarian law, is unbelievable," Khraishi said.