World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder lambasted the United Nations Human Rights Council for making two biased decisions against Israel on Thursday.
The Geneva-based council voted to create a database of all Israeli and international firms operating directly or indirectly in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Lauder called the decision to appoint of the avowedly anti-Israel Canadian academic Stanley Michael Lynk to the position of special rapporteur on human rights issues in the Palestinian territories as an “entirely predictable, but regrettable move which further undermines the council’s credibility, which is close to zero.
“The Human Rights Council’s decision to blacklist companies that have links to Israeli settlements marks another low for this body. It clearly goes beyond its mandate, which is to ensure that human rights are respected everywhere in the world. The countries that dominate the council’s agenda have again made it clear that their prime concern is not human rights, but rather the vilification of Israel,” Lauder said. “What’s worse, no country on the council, not even the Western democracies, had the courage to vote against the resolution.
“There are an overwhelming number of human rights abuses being committed every minute of every day, by governments and government-supported groups across the globe, yet the UNHRC insists on focusing its attention on Israel, ignoring the dire situations abounding in countries like Syria, Iraq, and North Korea, among other places” Lauder added.
“Since its establishment, this council has approved a record-breaking number of resolutions condemning Israel – more than 45 resolutions, or over one-third of all country-specific resolutions. Sadly, we all know which situations go ignored as a cost of this obsession,” he noted.
The Palestinian-sponsored resolution was approved by 32 countries, while 15 abstained, and none opposed.
Lauder also condemned the council’s decision to appoint Professor Stanley Michael Lynk, a well-known opponent of Israel, to the position of special rapporteur on human rights issues in the Palestinian territories.
“How can a man who constantly seeks out ways to vilify Israel be trusted with monitoring alleged human rights abuses? This is an absurd and dangerous decision,” Lauder said. “When the council was established in 2006, after the disgraced UN Human Rights Commission was disbanded, there were some hopes that things would get better. Alas, it’s the same old assembly of Israel bashers, and it has failed to advance the cause of human rights in the world because it isn’t interested in doing that, but merely in bashing Israel,” said the WJC president.