Israel Set to Rejoin UN Human Rights Council After 18-Month Absence
JNS.org – Israel is set to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) through a deal with European states to join their bloc, pending a vote.
Israel severed ties with the UNHCR in May 2012 after the body announced it was going investigate Jewish communities in the West Bank. Israel has long accused the body of bias, with 45 resolutions passed against the Jewish state since 2008, more than any other country. Israel will join the council’s Western European and Others Group (WEOG) in a deal contingent on Israel permitting itself to undergo the council’s Universal Periodic Human Rights Review, the Times of Israel reported.
Before leaving the UNHCR, Israel was not part of a regional group, leaving it exposed to unfettered criticism from the council’s Islamic states, which dominate the Asian and African blocs. By joining a bloc, Israel will gain leverage in the human rights body. The WEOG has said it will boycott discussions of “Agenda Item 7,” a permanent agenda item mandating that discussion of purported Israeli human rights violations against the Palestinians at every council session.