Israel: UNHRC Is 'Morally Bankrupt'

Israel fiercely attacked the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, with UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman calling the council "morally bankrupt."

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

The council voted 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 the previous UN Security General, Kofi Annan, following accusations that its forerunner, the UN Commission on Human Rights, openly and systematically discriminated against Israel.

But the new body has also passed 12 resolutions condemning Israel over the last few months, especially for its actions in the Palestinian territories.

The ambassador took advantage of yesterday'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 Israel would call for a vote on the council's new "special procedures" so that it could vote against. Israel disapproves of clause 7 which refers to "Israel's human rights violations in Palestine and in the occupied Arab territories."

Generally, the procedures must be approved in a unanimous vote. Sources told Haaretz Israel declined European demands to stop disrupting this tradition.