The UN Human Rights Council today adopted its 16th one-sided censure of Israel since the supposedly reformed body was founded in June 2006. Apart from passing mention of Burma, the Islamic-dominated council of 47 governments has criticized no other country.
The Arab-sponsored censure came under the council’s only agenda item dedicated to a specific country. In order to rap Israel quickly, the entire timetable of the March session was rearranged, wreaking havoc on the ability of UN experts and NGO activists to participate when their areas of focus will now be debated.
Palestinian representative Mohammad Abu-Koash opened the Council meeting by accusing Israel of “state massacres” in response to what Mr. Abu-Koash referred to as “so-called Palestinian rockets.”
Syria said that “children and babies were being gunned down in pure barbarity” by Israeli authorities. Malaysia called Israeli occupation the “worst form of colonialism and apartheid,” while Sudan said that there is a “holocaust being perpetrated in Gaza by Israel.” The term “holocaust” to describe recent events in Gaza was used repeatedly during the debate.
Algeria asked, “Will this council remain silent and inert before a new holocaust (in Gaza)?” The United Arab Emigrates called on the international community to condemn the current “genocide” against the Palestinians, while Kuwait accused Israel of a “scorched earth policy” in Gaza. A representative from the African Union said the Palestinians have the “right to resist apartheid.”
Israeli Ambassador Itzhak Levanon said Israel had the right to self defense in the face of daily Hamas rocket attacks. “I cannot compete with the exaggerations, distortion and inaccuracies I have witnessed in today’s masquerade.”
The final resolution was adopted by 33 votes in favor, with Canada casting the sole opposing vote, and 13 abstentions. Switzerland was the sole European country to endorse the resolution, which was introduced by the Arab and Islamic blocs. Switzerland also actively lobbied other countries to support the condmenation of Israel by suggesting minor changes.