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UN's Rights Council Cares More About Optics Than Lives

UN's Rights Council Cares More About Optics Than Lives
Late last month, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, right, listens to an official during a visit at the Reyhanli border crossing with Syria, near Hatay, southern Turkey. Haley is presenting another side of President Donald Trump's "America First" doctrine, focusing on human rights and humanitarian assistance. (Burhan Ozbilici/AP)

Josh Margulies By Wednesday, 07 June 2017 03:21 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

It’s not fair to say the U.N. Human Rights Council is biased. That description is way too generous. It would be more appropriate to say the council is on a mission to delegitimize and discredit the Israeli government, while allowing global atrocities to run rampant.

In a sharp rebuke this past March, the UK said, "Israel is a population of eight million in a world of seven billion. Yet since its foundation, the Human Rights Council (HRC) has adopted 135 country-specific resolutions; 68 of which against Israel." It added, "Syria’s regime butchers and murders its people on a daily basis. But it is not Syria that is a permanent standing item on the Council’s agenda; it is Israel."

Last week in The Washington Post, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley intimated that if the HRC does not make dramatic changes, the U.S. may withdraw. She cited many reasons, including the fact that a mere 7 resolutions have been passed against Iran, despite its abysmal human rights record.

Bashar al-Assad has brutally murdered over 500,000 innocent civilians, yet nearly 50 fewer resolutions have been passed against Syria than Israel. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bangladesh are all guilty of egregious human rights violations, yet amazingly they get a complete pass; in fact, they are HRC members. Calling this disingenuous body of hypocrisy a Human Rights Council is as laughable as Orwell’s "Ministries of Peace and Truth."

Here is a direct quote from page 9 of the Human Rights Council’s "Practical Guide," referencing infamous "Item 7," "This is the only country-based situation to feature as a permanent item on the order of the day . . . Item 7 focuses on the impact of the Israeli occupation on human rights in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories."

Translation: Israel’s so-called "occupation" is the only topic of its kind mandated for discussion at every session. It sounds like Zionist propaganda, yet astonishingly it’s written in their own guide. How could they print this so nonchalantly, without seeing the absurdity? It seems they are so blinded by hatred toward Israel, they have lost all grip on reality.

Israel is the only true democracy in the Mideast. As of 2013, there were 1.65 million Arab citizens of Israel, over 20 percent of its population. In the Knesset 17 of 120 seats are held by Arabs. Muslims have served on the Israeli Supreme Court, and Arab Generals in the IDF. What are they guilty of that could possibly warrant such unrelenting condemnation?

By contrast, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has a law mandating the government support families of terrorists. If you’re Palestinian, and your relative kills an Israeli, you’ve won the lottery. In 2016 alone, the PA paid out more than $310 million, yet I have not heard of a single resolution specifically condemning this abhorrent policy. If it exists, they keep it well hidden.

Sadly, this charade is not merely a game of show and tell with no practical repercussions. HRC resolutions have been a powerful recruiting weapon for the BDS movement, as it tries to inflict heavy damage on Israel’s economy.

President George W. Bush commendably boycotted the HRC during his final three years in office. President Obama wasted no time, rejoining in March 2009.

Nikki Haley has been extremely vocal in her criticism, and it’s gotten results. The UK blasted the Council’s anti-Israel bias, and pledged to show Israel more support. Even the Secretary General vowed to treat Israel more fairly, presumably in response to the Trump administration’s strong shift in U.S. policy.

As I discussed on my podcast this week, President Trump knows how to use leverage to get his way. He threatened to leave NAFTA, and Canada responded with an invitation to renegotiate. He called NATO obsolete, and they created report cards to track how much money each country owes. He told Arab states they must combat terror, and they promptly cut ties with Qatar. He responded to a Syrian nerve gas attack with an airstrike, and we have not heard about another chemical attack.

When President Trump talks tough and projects strength, people listen. This is a stark reversal from the Obama years of weakness, appeasement, and "going through the motions." Obama conditioned the world to expect America to roll over and do pitifully little to combat evil. President Trump is gradually undoing the damage he inflicted.

If anyone can persuade the HRC to change, it’s President Trump. However, if they stubbornly refuse, he and Ambassador Haley should make good on their threat, and thus make it harder for the world to keep their heads in the sand.

Some have suggested that withdrawing from the HRC would demonstrate the U.S. does not care about human rights. The exact opposite is true. Standing silent and allowing these atrocities to continue is the ultimate slap in the face to victims of human rights violations.

By withdrawing, the U.S. would demonstrate it truly cares about helping people who are suffering, rather than pandering to those in power, more concerned with optics than human lives.

Josh Margulies is the host of "Politics: Clear and Simple," a daily podcast offering analysis with an intellectual, conservative perspective. He has worked as an intern for the "Imus in the Morning" program, and has hosted several online political talk shows. Josh is currently a digital marketing consultant. He has assisted companies like Lockheed Martin, Netflix, and Bloomberg. Josh is also an ordained Rabbi who has studied Talmudic law. To read more of his reports, Click Here Now.

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By withdrawing from the U.N.'s Human Rights Council the U.S. would demonstrate it truly cares about helping people who are suffering, rather than pandering to those in power, more concerned with optics than human lives.
human rights council
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 03:21 PM
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