US, 21 other countries deride UN rights council after Israel report

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

The US and 21 other countries have issued a harsh rebuke to the UN Human Rights Council after a Commission of Inquiry formed to probe Israel released a report last week condemning the Jewish state.

“We believe the nature of the COI established last May is further demonstration of long-standing, disproportionate attention given to Israel in the Council and must stop,” US Ambassador Michèle Taylor read out at the 50th session of the HRC in Geneva, where the report is being debated today.

“We continue to believe that this long-standing disproportionate scrutiny should end, and that the Council should address all human rights concerns, regardless of country, in an even-handed manner,” she continues. “Regrettably, we are concerned that the Commission of Inquiry will further contribute to the polarization of a situation about which so many of us are concerned.”

In addition to the US and Israel, the statement is signed by Austria, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Eswatini, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Macedonia, Holland, Palau, Togo, and the United Kingdom.

The United Nations flag waves in the wind on the top of a UN building in Geneva, Switzerland, June 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

“Today is a day of change at the Human Rights Council,” says Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. “A day on which morality is overcoming hypocrisy.”

Lapid thanks his US counterpart Antony Blinken and all the countries that signed on.

In an 18-page report released last week, the COI blamed Israel’s “persistent discrimination against Palestinians” for violence between the two sides.

The Foreign Ministry dismissed the report as “nothing more than a waste of money and effort of the United Nations’ systems, part and parcel of the witch hunt being carried out by the Human Rights Council against Israel.”

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