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US says UNHRC must end 'obsession with Israel'
A US deputy assistant secretary of state tells the top UN human rights body that, 'to have any credibility, let alone success,' it must reform its agenda. She guarantees America's opposition 'to attempts to delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just in the HRC, but wherever it occurs.'

The US Trump administration is reviewing its participation in the top United Nations human rights body, with an eye to reform and a balanced agenda that ends the forum's "obsession with Israel", a senior US official said on Wednesday.

 

 

"The United States also remains deeply troubled by the council's consistent, unfair and unbalanced focus on one democratic country: Israel," Erin Barclay, US deputy assistant secretary of state, told the UN Human Rights Council.

 

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"No other nation is the focus of an entire agenda item. How is that a sensible priority? Right now, the Assad regime is bombing hospitals in Syria and forcing its own people to flee as refugees to neighboring countries to escape its murderous rule.
 
"Right now, in North Korea and Iran, millions of people are denied their freedoms of religion or belief, of peaceful assembly and association and of expression. The obsession with Israel through Agenda Item 7 is the largest threat to this council's credibility. It limits the good we can accomplish by making a mockery of this council.

 

Erin Barclay (Photo: Reuters)
Erin Barclay (Photo: Reuters)

 

"The United States will oppose attempts to delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just in the HRC, but wherever it occurs. When it comes to human rights, no country should be free from scrutiny, but neither should any democratic country be regularly subjected to unfair, unbalanced and unfounded bias."

 

Barclay's statements come one week after America's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, attended her first Security Council meeting. She emerged and told the press that she found it "a bit strange," as "the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East."

 

"The United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore," Haley promised.

 

The United States is currently an elected member of the 47-state Geneva forum where its three-year term ends in 2019.

 

Of the United Nations Human Rights Council's 233 country-specific resolutions in the last decade, more than a quarter focus on Israel.

 

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