UN rights chief decries Palestinian, Israeli suffering

Nettie James
June 8, 2017

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

A top civil liberties defender is urging the United States to "practice what it preaches" on human rights after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addressed the U.N.'s main human rights body. She added that she hoped "it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel".

Netanyahu was effusive in his praise of Haley, telling her, "Thank you for all your help and standing up for Israel, standing up for the truth, which is standing up for America".

Zeid, a Jordanian prince, acknowledged that some people would respond "that the experiences of the two peoples are not equivalent: How could I mention them in one breath?" "I have no patience for bullies, and the United Nations was being such a bully to Israel, because they could".

However, Rivlin added "there is still a long way to go", both in terms of anti-Israel statements issued by United Nations agencies and the "absurd" number of sessions and resolutions reprimanding Israel.

"You know, that's all I've done, is tell the truth, and it's kind of overwhelming at the reaction", Haley said in response. "We see some areas for significant strengthening".

Yet while there has been some improvement with the UN's obsession with targeting Israel, "we have a long way to go", he added.

Haley also said it is "essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility". "They sense that the tone has changed", she declared.

Fifty years to the day after Israeli paratroopers took control of the Western Wall in 1967's Six Day War, an emotional Haley stood in silence with her hands on the stones in the women's section at the 2,000-year-old wall. It was something that we're so used to doing. Israeli press and government officials showered her with superlatives and front-page articles as she made her rounds in Jerusalem.

The George W. Bush administration also cited Israel bashing and the presence of human rights abusers when it pulled out of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, the predecessor of the current council.

She further accused the Council of a "relentless, pathological campaign" against Israel, in part due to a controversial provision in the Council's agenda that singles the country out for censure and has drawn criticism from US Republicans and Democrats alike.

Other reports by Insurance News

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