Kerry slams Human Rights Council’s ‘excessive, biased focus on Israel’
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Kerry slams Human Rights Council’s ‘excessive, biased focus on Israel’

As US reelected to UN’s much-chastised rights body, top US diplomat says focusing on rights abuses, rather than on Israel, an ‘important challenge’

Eric Cortellessa covers American politics for The Times of Israel.

US Secretary of State John Kerry makes opening remarks during a ministerial meeting at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts on September 24, 2016 (AFP/Matthew Healey)
US Secretary of State John Kerry makes opening remarks during a ministerial meeting at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts on September 24, 2016 (AFP/Matthew Healey)

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry issued a sharp rebuke of the UN Human Rights Council, shortly after Washington was reelected as a member on Saturday.

“While important challenges remain, including ending the Council’s excessive and biased focus on Israel,” Kerry said, “we look forward to cooperating with other Council members to address human rights concerns, advance human rights around the world, and ensure the Council fully realizes its purpose.”

Kerry’s remarks in New York City came after the UN General Assembly voted to elect 14 new members to the Council.

These included Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, Tunisia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China, South Africa and Great Britain.

Israel is the only country-specific issue that has a permanent place on the council’s agenda, an opening for discussion about the Jewish state that often sees anti-Israel invective delivered at council meetings from Arab and Muslim states.

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