Secretary-General Ant—nio Guterres addresses during the Opening of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations. 25 February 2019. UN Photo by Violaine Martin

France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy Back PLO-Sponsored Condemnation of Israel at UNHRC

GENEVA, March 23, 2021 — The monitoring group UN Watch condemned today’s votes by France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and other countries which backed an “absurdly biased” resolution on Palestinian human rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council, a PLO-sponsored text that featured 19 paragraphs criticizing Israel and only one referring to rockets fired against the Jewish state.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 22 to 6, with 8 abstentions. Bahrain was absent, which may have been deliberate. Those voting in opposition were Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Malawi and Togo. Brazil was the one to ask for a vote, preventing the text from being adopted by consensus.

“The fact that this resolution was literally written by the Palestinians, with co-sponsors that include Pakistan on behalf of the Islamic states as well as Venezuela’s Maduro regime, is clear from the text’s pervasive condemnation of Israeli actions, with no mention whatsoever of Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the Palestinian Authority,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights organization.

“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 Neuer.

“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.”

“In all of its six pages, the text further turned a blind eye to PA censorship and site blocking, interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including harassment of human rights activists, as well as its restrictions on political participation. Nor was there any mention of PA corruption, violence and threats of violence motivated by antisemitism, or  violence and threats of violence targeting LGBT persons, and forced child labor,” said Neuer.

“Likewise, the text omitted any mention of Hamas’ systematic use of torture, oppression of women and LGBT persons, unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers, and its arbitrary detention this year of Gaza peace activist Rami Aman.”

“In reality, the resolution is not really about Palestinian human rights, but about demonizing Israel. Any self-respecting democracy that supports human rights should have voted to oppose this outrageous text from the PLO.”

UN Watch