US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gestures as she addresses a session of the UN Human Rights Council, June 6, 2017 in Geneva. (Photo by AFP)
The United States has given formal notice that it may withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council unless the body eliminates its "chronic anti-Israel bias."
"The United States is looking carefully at this council and our participation in it. We see some areas for significant strengthening," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Geneva forum on Tuesday.
“It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility,” said Haley, whose next stop is the occupied Palestinian territories.
The US ambassador also said the UN council must "end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel," Haley wrote, “You know something is seriously wrong."
Haley also accused the council of "whitewashing brutality" by welcoming countries such as Venezuela and Cuba as members. However, she did not mention Saudi Arabia, whose inclusion in the council drew anger from human rights advocates.
A female Palestinian protester, wounded in the face by a rubber bullet, is aided during clashes with Israeli forces following a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 11, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The UNHRC has planned to create a blacklist of companies that do business with Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The administration of President Donald Trump is not the first to call out the UN rights council for criticizing Israel.
Former President George W. Bush boycotted UNHRC in 2007 after it was created. However, his Democratic successor, Barack Obama, decided to join the council and try to influence it from the inside.
The Trump administration has also strongly criticized the UN for a Security Council resolution last year that condemned Israeli settlement construction on the occupied Palestinian territories.
Haley argued earlier this year that the vote was “damaging” and proof of a long history of bias against Israel.
She suggested that the US should reconsider its contributions to the UN budget over the resolution.

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