The UN Human Rights Council passed five resolutions against Israel on Thursday, including one resolution calling for a UN investigation into Israeli settlements. The United States was isolated in voting against the initiative brought by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly dismissed the Geneva forum on Thursday evening as “hypocritical” and having an “automatic majority against Israel.”
“This is a council that should be ashamed of itself. The UN Human Rights Council has no connection to human rights,” Netanyahu said. “It was enough to hear the Syrian delegate today talking about human rights to understand how far the council is detached from reality,” the PM added. Senior Israeli officials, including Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, said late Thursday night that Israel would not cooperate with any such investigation.
US ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, said the US is “deeply troubled by this council’s biased and disproportionate focus on Israel, as exemplified by the creation of another one-sided United Nations mechanism related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” She added that the decision harmed efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and would not help protect the human rights of Israelis and Palestinians.
In Geneva, Israel’s Ambassador, Aharon Leshno-Yaar, denounced “the level of hypocrisy and double standards” in the council. “The resolutions are unjustified and counterproductive. They will add tension and bitterness to an already explosive situation. This council, by its own doing, is adding fuel to a fire which is our duty to try and extinguish,” Leshno-Yaar said.
The 47-member forum adopted the resolution to launch a probe by a vote of 36 states in favour, including China and Russia, ten abstained, including European Union members Italy and Spain, and only the US called the resolution biased and voted against it.