The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Congressional efforts now afoot to remove the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and to cut off U.S. funding to the body, currently $23 million annually. The resolution, which reaffirms U.S. support for Israel and condemns the UNHRC for wasteful and abusive actions, is being spearheaded by Representative Joe Wilson (R–SC), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The UNHRC, founded in 2006 to replace the rampantly corrupt and virulently anti-Israel UN Human Rights Commission, has turned out as bad as or worse than its predecessor, dominated by Asian and African autocracies with appalling human rights records passing an orgy of anti-Israel resolutions over the past decade. Despite its appalling record, the Obama Administration took the U.S. into the body in 2009 (the previous George W. bush Administration refused to do so).
Recently, the UNHRC most currently took up an effort to target companies that do business with Israel and to push them into cutting ties, an effort that fits in with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS), a global campaign that, as acknowledged by its founders, seeks to economically harm and ostracize Israel with a view to its eventual elimination.
Some facts about the UN Human Rights Council:
- In its first three years (2006-9), it eliminated probes into the serious human-rights abuses in Belarus, Congo, Cuba, Liberia, and Sudan. In that time, some 200,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced in Darfur alone.
- The Council’s current membership includes Afghanistan, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia –– all human rights abusers. None of these nations has ever been the subject of a single Council resolution, let alone a special session. None of these nations has ever been the subject of a single Council resolution, let alone a special session.
- In contrast, the Council, from its creation in June 2006 through June 2016, adopted 135 resolutions criticizing countries; 68 out of those 135 resolutions –– more than 50% –– have been against Israel.
- The human rights organization, Freedom House, has declared that 62% of the Council’s membership are unfree and non-democratic.
As a result of this appalling record, the new Congressional resolution spearheaded by Representative Wilson urges the body to enact massive reforms or face a cut off of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. The resolution puts the UNHRC on notice that its targeting of Israel could lead the United States to remove itself from the body and to consider cutting off some $23 million in funding.
Representative Wilson said, “The American people need to know this particular council has incredibly condemned Israel 78 times and North Korea only nine times, and has never condemned the authoritarian conduct of China or Russia …. It has targeted Israel more than any other country.… By continuing to be a member of the UNHRC, the United States is “giving complicity to the outrageous conduct.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The UN Human Rights Council is a blatantly and thoroughly corrupt, virulently anti-Israel organization that brings into disrepute the cause of human rights it is supposed to be upholding. It is as bad as or even worse than its predecessor, which was terminated for identical problems.
“Thanks to the priority it accords to representation based on geographical distribution, the Council is dominated by non-democratic African and Asian regimes, which enjoy an unbreakable controlling majority of 26 of the 47 seats.
“U.S. participation in the UNHRC under the Obama Administration did nothing to moderate or alter the council’s pattern of ignoring the worst human rights abusers while pillorying Israel with condemnations based on lies and politically motivated assaults –– supposedly, the reason the U.S. joined the Council in 2009.
“Consequently, U.S. opposition to the Council-commissioned Goldstone Report, which perverted international legal norms and procedures to find Israel guilty of war crimes in Gaza, did nothing to forestall or ameliorate this demonization of a fellow democracy — or prevent the UN General Assembly from endorsing it.
“American presence on the Council did not stop it from favoring the membership of Iran, despite its record of public hangings of gays.
“And despite objections from the U.S., the Council re-elected as Council adviser Jean Ziegler, co-founder and recipient of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize, whose recipients have included Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, black supremacist Louis Farrakhan, and Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.
“The only result of U.S. membership has been to taint it, while achieving next to nothing.
“Accordingly, the time is ripe — indeed, well past time — for the .U.S to withdraw from this mischievous and toxic organization and to cut off funds to it if it does not thoroughly reform itself and become transformed into a genuine body upholding human rights, consisting only of free countries that maintain human rights standards and which does not preoccupy itself with lying about Israel.
“For these reasons, we strongly praise the efforts of U.S. Cong. Wilson and his colleagues who are advancing this new legislation.”