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March 24, 2021 5:16 pm
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UN Human Rights Council Passes Four Anti-Israel Resolutions With EU Support

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

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.

The United National Human Rights Council passed a total of four anti-Israel resolutions condemning Israel’s settlement activity in the West Bank and other policies, as it wrapped up its forty-sixth session on Wednesday.

The Council adopted a resolution on what it called the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, by a vote of 42 in favor, including major European Union countries; 3 against, including the UK and Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic; and 2 abstentions from Cameroon and Malawi. The resolution called upon Israel, to immediately end its “occupation” of the Palestinian territory, including in eastern Jerusalem. Additionally, the UNHRC further reaffirmed its support for a two-state solution, for a Palestinian state and Israel to live side by side in peace and security.

In the resolution on Israeli settlements in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan” — which was passed by a vote of 36 in favor, 3 against and 8 abstentions — the Council urged Israel to stop “all actions causing the alteration of the character, status and demographic composition” in those areas. Again, the UK and the Czech Republic voted against the resolution.

The “vote on four anti-Israel resolutions at the UNHRC represents a moral stain on the UN, and is additional proof of the hypocrisy of those countries who supported these resolutions,” said Lior Haiat, spokesperson of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter. “Instead of acting to advance human rights across the world, the Council continues to engage in an obsessive and biased manner against Israel, effectively being a political platform in the hands of countries who have absolutely no connection to human rights. The votes are an additional proof that the UNHRC is distorted and in need of fundamental reforms.”

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“The State of Israel will continue to promote its democratic values and protect its interests in the international arena,” he added.

On March 23, the UNHRC passed a resolution criticizing the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, including eastern Jerusalem, and called for the ensuring of “accountability and justice”, as well as non-discriminatory access to COVID-19 vaccines. It was adopted by a vote of 32 in favor, 6 against and 8 abstentions. The six countries that voted against the resolution were Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Malawi and Togo.

“If the resolution were truly about Palestinian human rights, it would not have completely ignored Palestinian Authority abuses, including arbitrary killings, torture, and arbitrary detention,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights organization.

“Astonishingly, the resolution backed by numerous EU states included no reference whatsoever to abuses by the PA, which holds political prisoners and detainees, restricts freedom of the press and the internet, and uses violence, threats, arrests, interrogations and prosecutions to target journalists and dissidents,” Neuer added.

Ina statement, B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin condemned the UNHRC for the “passage of four anti-Israel resolutions — more than those targeting any other country in the world — as part of its rote, institutionalized discrimination against the world’s only Jewish state and the Middle East’s only democracy.”

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