Haley slams UN human rights report for ‘singling out Israel’
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Haley slams UN human rights report for ‘singling out Israel’

US envoy condemns 'unfair bias' against Jewish state, a week after threatening the US could withdraw from Human Rights Council

Eric Cortellessa covers American politics for The Times of Israel.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, at the UN headquarters in New York City, April 12, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, at the UN headquarters in New York City, April 12, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

WASHINGTON — US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Tuesday slammed a report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for its “unfair bias” in “singling out Israel.”

The US envoy condemned a report released just a day earlier that accused both Israel and the Palestinians for failing to probe war crimes. but focused heavily on Israel’s “repeated failure” to “comply with the calls for accountability made by the entire human rights system.”

Haley, who just last week warned the Human Rights Council in Geneva that the US might leave the body if they did not make several reforms, including changing its treatment of Israel, argued the report placed disproportionate blame on the Jewish state.

“This report is just the latest example of the Human Rights Council singling out Israel rather than focusing on the world’s actual human rights abusers,” she said.

“Not only does it undermine the credibility of the Human Rights Council on human rights issues, but it once again highlights the unfair bias of the UN when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, DC, March 27, 2017. (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, DC, March 27, 2017. (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)

Since joining US Donald Trump’s administration, Haley has been emphatic in her commitment to Israel and seeking initiate changes at the UN, particularly regarding its handling on Israel-related issues. She told AIPAC’s policy conference in March there was “a new sheriff in town” and that “the days of Israel-bashing are over.”

In Geneva last week, she said the Human Rights Council’s “relentless, pathological campaign” against the Jewish state “makes a mockery not of Israel, but of the Council itself.”

Israeli officials welcomed her calls for reform at the international body, something they have long advocated.

The author of the report, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, also criticized Palestinians for failing to properly investigate and prosecute war crimes charges.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein gives a speech on the opening of a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 27, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. (AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein gives a speech on the opening of a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 27, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. (AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)

He lambasted “the State of Palestine’s non-compliance with the calls for accountability” and implored Palestinian leaders to “to conduct prompt, impartial and independent investigations of all alleged violations of international human rights law and all allegations of international crimes.”

Last week, he decried 50 years of Israeli control of the West Bank, which, he said, “has denied the Palestinians many of their most fundamental freedoms.”

Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, al-Hussein said the Palestinians “deserve freedom, as all peoples do. They deserve to bring up their children safe in their homes, on their land, exercising their rights in their state, free from this long and bitter occupation.”

Haley has also spoken out against other UN agencies that have targeted Israel. In May, her spokesperson lambasted a UNESC resolution that suggested Israel has no sovereign claim to Jerusalem.

“The United States rejects the adoption of these anti-Israel resolutions at UNESCO,” the official told The Times of Israel. “Like other parts of the UN system, UNESCO is too often used as a vehicle by member states inclined to deride and delegitimize the State of Israel.”

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