The resolutions include the establishment of a commission to evaluate whether Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank has violated human rights. Other resolutions addressed “Palestinian self-determination,” charges by Syria of Israeli human rights violations in the Golan Heights and other hypocritical, biased issues.
“To condemn Israel as a human rights violator flies in the face of reality. The council, based on its very name, should instead be focusing on the myriad human rights violations that take place throughout the Middle East. Israel has done much to preserve human rights,” said Allan J. Jacobs, president of B’nai B’rith International.
The proliferation of these inherently biased “fact-finding missions” are, more likely than not, essentially completed before they start. They are disproportionately tasked with scrutinizing democratic Israel and they drain UNHRC resources and credibility as a body meant to focus on the most urgent human rights crises internationally.
“The body’s approach to settlements ignores the Jewish people’s incomparable historic roots in Israel, the state’s security needs and its proven readiness to negotiate peace based on a resolution of territorial issues while the Palestinians refuse to accept offers that would resolve this issue and the conflict as a whole,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin. “Israel has repeatedly offered to sit down in direct negotiations without preconditions to reach an eventual settlement. Isolating the settlements issue from all the other issues that would be discussed prejudges the outcome of an eventual peace agreement.”
Thirty six states voted in favor of investigating Israeli settlement activity. The only country to vote against it was the United States.
The UNHRC did, however, renew the mandate of its human rights investigator, Former Maldives Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed, for another year to investigate the human rights situation in Iran, which is widely believed to be one of the worst human rights abusers in the world. Incredibly, five nations voted against this resolution and 20 abstained.
Last week, B’nai B’rith sent a delegation to Geneva to meet with various high-level officials. B’nai B’rith, which has had representatives at the United Nations in New York since its founding in San Francisco in 1945, is the only Jewish organization with a full-time presence at the world body and at its agencies in Geneva, Paris, Vienna and Santiago.