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February 19, 2021 4:36 pm

NGO Head Blames US for Anti-Israel Bias at UN Human Rights Council

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room of the Palace of Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. The room is the meeting place of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Photo: Ludovic Courtès via Wikimedia Commons.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of the NGO Human Rights Watch, blamed the US Wednesday for the vast number of resolutions targeting Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council, facing pushback from other observers of the institution.

“If the Biden administration wants to reduce the number of resolutions on Israel at the UN Human Rights Council, it should end the US practice of vetoing resolutions on Israel at the UN Security Council, which is why governments turn to the rights council,” he wrote on Twitter.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of the watchdog UN Watch, countered that the body’s focus on Israel was a symptom of bias — not past US policy.

“Ken Roth is lying. The U.S. is not to blame for the fact that the PLO, Arab League & Islamic Group introduce an absurd amount of one-sided resolutions in the Human Rights Council that demonize Israel and incentivize Hamas to launch more terror attacks,” Neuer wrote.

US President Joe Biden has pledged to reengage international bodies like the Human Rights Council, from which the Trump Administration withdrew in 2018 over what it called a “disproportionate” focus on Israel — as well as its inclusion of member states China and Venezuela. Neuer and other observers have criticized Biden’s pledge to rejoin.

“Regarding criticism of Israeli governmental conduct, the administration will need to show that its aim is to avoid not any but only excessive criticism. The US has long complained that occupied Palestine is the only situation with its own special place on the council’s agenda, Item 7,” Roth continued Wednesday, in a column posted to the HRW website.

Roth added that Biden could simply “vote for resolutions about Israeli policy that arise under the council’s other agenda items,” and that “if the administration wants fewer resolutions on Israeli policy, it could support a single, consolidated resolution in lieu of the current piecemeal approach.”

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