U.S. Blasts UN Human Rights Council Over Resolution Condemning Settlements

Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley steps up threats to quit international organization over its 'grossly biased agenda against Israel'

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation between Britain and Russia, March 14, 2018.
Mary Altaffer/AP

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, saying that "the United States would continue to examine our membership" in the organization following a series of decisions the council took against Israel's policy in the occupied territories.

Sources in Brussels told Haaretz that most European countries supported decisions only after their wording was softened so as not to evoke immediate practical significance.

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The U.S. said it was losing patience with the UN Human Rights Council, threatening again to quit the international body after the organization passed five resolutions against Israel.

In a statement released after the votes, Haley noted that while the council adopted five resolutions condemning Israel, it adopted only one resolution against North Korea, Iran and Syria. 

"When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran and Syria, it is the council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name," Haley said in a statement. "Today's actions make it clear that the organization lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights."
 
The five resolutions adopted in Geneva on Friday include Resolution 2334, referring to Israeli settlements as illegal. The resolution calls on countries to condemn the continued expansion of settlements and to distinguish between Israel and the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, inter alia, with economic boycotts of the occupied territories.
 
The resolution was opposed by the U.S., Australia, Hungary and Togo.
 
Britain abstained along with Croatia, Congo, Georgia, Panama, Rwanda, Slovakia and the Ukraine.

UN Human Rights Council vote on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The second resolution calls for strengthening the recognition of the Golan Heights as an occupied territory and calls upon Israel to refrain from expanding construction and population in the area.
 
The third resolution calls for recognition of the Palestinians' right to self-determination. 
 
The fourth resolution calls for "ensuring justice" against violations of international law in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem, including among other things, calling for an embargo on Israel.

The fifth resolution calls for the preservation of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza in accordance with international conventions - including condemnation of Israel's lack of cooperation with the UN Commission of Inquiry.
 
The decisions are mainly symbolic and their operative significance depends on the member states themselves.

The council has 47 member states that serve for a three-year period. While the U.S. is a member, Israel is not part of the council. However, Israel has an envoy working with the body in Geneva.

"The UN Human Rights Council is a sham, a mockery of the noble purposes it pretends to represent," Israel's Foreign Ministry said on Twitter. "It is an exclusively anti-Israel platform, manipulated by bloodthirsty dictatorships hiding their own massive human rights violations by attacking Israel."