The UK Government has delivered an unprecedented condemnation of the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) stance towards Israel, announcing on Friday that it is putting the UN body “on notice” and will vote against every motion on the conflict unless it ends its “disproportion and bias” against the Jewish State.
In Friday’s session, the UK’s mission to the UN voted against a UNHRC resolution “on the occupation of Syria’s Golan”. The mission’s statement emphasised: “Nowhere is the disproportionate focus on Israel starker and more absurd than in the case of today’s resolution on the occupation of Syria’s Golan. Syria’s regime butchers and murders its people on a daily basis. But it is not Syria that is a permanent standing item on the Council’s agenda; it is Israel. We cannot accept the perverse message sent out by a Syria Golan resolution that singles out Israel, as Assad continues to slaughter the Syrian people”.
The statement criticised the body’s “selective focus” on Israel: “Israel is a population of eight million in a world of seven billion. Yet since its foundation, the Human Rights Council has adopted 135 country-specific resolutions; 68 of which against Israel. Justice is blind and impartial. This selective focus on Israel is neither”.
It concluded by stating: “So today we are putting the Human Rights Council on notice. If things do not change, in the future we will adopt a policy of voting against all resolutions concerning Israel’s conduct in the Occupied Syrian and Palestinian Territories”.
The UNHRC – which includes some of the worst abusers of human rights in the world – has issued a total of 135 resolutions against specific countries in its history. 68 have targeted Israel, including five out of 10 in the current session.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson affirmed his support for the UK’s statement and condemned the UNHRC’s “absolutely preposterous” motion against Israel, in response to a question from CFI Parliamentary Chairman Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles during FCO Questions on Tuesday. He said: “I thought it was absolutely preposterous that there should be a motion condemning Israel’s conduct in the Golan Heights when, after all, we have seen in that region of Syria the most appalling barbarity conducted by the Assad regime. I think that was the point the UK Government were rightly making”.
The UK mission’s statement also asserted that the UNHRC’s bias against Israel was harming the peace process: “For as long as the Human Rights Council continues down this disproportionate and biased path, it will make the achievement of a negotiated two-state solution harder not easier”.
The statement continued: “Israel is the only country permanently on the Human Rights Council’s agenda. Indeed when the Council voted to include Israel as a permanent item in 2007 – the so-called agenda Item 7 – it was Ban Ki-moon who expressed his deep disappointment “given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world”.
In addition, the statement highlighted the ongoing terror attacks in Israel and incitement to violence against Israelis amongst Palestinians, condemning the UN for overlooking the two issues.
It read: “We must also recognise the continuing terrorism, incitement and violence that Israel faces. According to the Quartet’s report last year, there were 250 terrorist attacks, leading to the deaths of at least 30 Israelis. Renewed Hamas efforts to rebuild their tunnels are a grave concern. The scourge of anti-Semitic incitement and glorification of terrorism continue. And for as long as terrorists are treated as martyrs, peace will prove distant… And yet neither ‘terrorism’ nor ‘incitement’ were a focus of this week’s Council discussions and resolutions. This is not acceptable”.
Click here to read the UK Government statement in full.