US threatens to leave UN Human Rights Council over ‘obsession’ with Israel

March 1, 2017 10:30 pm

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers a speech at the opening of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 27, 2017 in Geneva. (AFP photo)

says it is considering ending its participation in the UN Human Rights Council over the inter-governmental body’s “bias” and “obsession” with Israel.
In a speech before the Geneva-based UNHRC, envoy Erin Barclay said Washington “remains deeply troubled by the Council’s consistent unfair and unbalanced focus on…Israel.”
“The obsession with Israel…is the largest threat to this council’s credibility,” said Barclay. Israel is “regularly subjected to unfair, unbalanced and unfounded bias.”
“As we consider our future engagements, my government will be considering the Council’s actions with an eye toward reform to more fully achieve the Council’s mission to protect and promote human rights,” she added.
The official also claimed that Washington’s commitment to fundamental human rights “is stronger than ever.”
The is currently an elected member of the 47-state UNHRC, where its three-year term ends in 2019.
On Tuesday, UNHRC spokesman Rolando Gomez told a press briefing that any country that wished to revoke its membership of the council would have to go through the General Assembly in New York.
US President is considering withdrawing the United States from the UNHRC, which the new administration accuses of being biased against Israel, according to a report by POLITICO, citing informed sources.
Trump has vowed to improve US-Israel ties that were often strained over illegal settlement activities during the administration of former President Barack Obama.

US President Donald Trump (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands following a joint press conference in the White House in Washington, DC, February 15, 2017. (AFP photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Washington in mid-February for talks with Trump as an opportunity to improve ties.
In December, the Obama administration allowed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution which demanded an immediate end to Israel’s settlement activities.
Every US president since Jimmy Carter has taken the position that Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are “illegitimate” under international law.
Trump has also promised to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem al-Quds, a step that would enrage Palestinians and create an international furor.
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