Israel: UN Human Rights Council 'Morally Bankrupt'

Ambassador Dan Gillerman: The council is ruled by an automatic majority which discriminates against Israel.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations harshly criticized the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday, saying its repeated focus on Israel had rendered it "morally bankrupt."

During a session of the UN Third Committee devoted to human rights Gillerman lashed out at the Human Rights Council's "ongoing practice of singling out Israel," while ignoring human rights violations in other countries.

The council vote in June to make Israel's actions a permanent item on its agenda.

"The council is morally bankrupt," Gillerman said, adding that it is ruled by "an immoral automatic majority of some."

The Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, was re-established two years ago by then UN Security General, Kofi Annan, following accusations that its predecessor, the UN Commission on Human Rights, openly and systematically discriminated against Israel.

But the new body has also passed twelve resolutions condemning Israel over the past few months, especially for its actions in the Palestinian territories.

The ambassador took advantage of Tuesday's session to accuse the council of turning a blind eye to Palestinian terror attacks while focusing primarily on Israel's conduct.

Sources in the Israeli delegation said that Israel would demand a vote on the council's new "procedures package" so that it could vote against it. To date, the Third Committee had always granted unanimous approval to procedure packages.

Israel decided to vote against the package after learning that among the procedures is a special clause referring to "Israel's human rights violations in Palestine and in the occupied Arab territories."

According to the sources, Israel has declined European demands to refrain from disrupting the tradition of granting procedure packages unanimous consent.