This week, Conservative Peers joined a cross-party meeting for members of the House of Lords with Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, a human rights NGO.
Neuer briefed parliamentarians ahead of next week’s 46th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session, at a Zoom event hosted by the Britain-Israel Peers Group and chaired by CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE.
Conservative Peers in attendance included Justice Minister Lord Wolfson, CFI Parliamentary Chairman Rt. Hon. The Lord Pickles, CFI Officer Baroness Altmann CBE, former BBC chairman Lord Grade CBE, Baroness Eaton and Lord Gold.
Neuer noted that since its establishment in 2006, the UNHRC has passed just 35 condemnatory resolutions on Syria and 10 resolutions on Iran, yet it has passed 90 resolutions condemning Israel. No resolution has been issued against China.
As Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson condemned the UNHRC in February 2018 for its “disproportionate” focus on Israel, which he said was “damaging to the cause of peace”.
In March 2019, the UK said it would vote against all anti-Israel resolutions under permanent Agenda Item 7, the only permanent agenda item reserved solely for criticism of Israel.
However, in a move described by CFI as a “slight of hand and a procedural abuse” in a letter to then-Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, a resolution singling out Israel for criticism was moved to Item 2. The UK welcomed the move and abstained on the motion rather than voting against it, undermining its principled approach on Item 7.