U.N. rights chief says criticism of Israel-bashing council is ‘propaganda’

Criticism of the U.N. human Rights Council’s problematic record — where there have been more condemnatory resolutions, special sessions and fact-finding missions against Israel than on the whole world combined — is “propaganda,” UN rights chief Navi Pillay told the Irish Times.

The decision by the Obama administration to reverse a Bush- era boycott of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), despite “propaganda which portrayed the council as biased and a venue for bashing Israel”, was, Pillay says, of great significance.

Key members of the 47-nation body include China, Russia, Cuba, Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Despite their poor records on human rights, none has ever been condemned by a council resolution, scrutinized by a fact-finding inquiry, or made the object of a special country investigator.

Pillay then praised Ireland’s vote as one of the few EU states to support the Goldstone Report and its lopsided findings favoring Hamas over Israel:

Pillay praises Ireland’s support for a recent UN resolution calling for investigations into allegations that war crimes were committed during the January conflict in Gaza. “I agree with Ireland’s reasoning that the call for investigation is a legitimate call. “If someone robs you on the street, you want an investigation, an identification of the suspect and a prosecution. Where societies have taken that route – my country’s truth and reconciliation commission, for instance – you find that there has been a management of the passions that arise from victims’ calls about injustice.” Pillay stresses the importance of the Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict – which prompted the UN resolution – because it is grounded in international law. “Whatever the justification to go to war is, you cannot use disproportionate violence and you cannot target civilians,” she says.

We at UN Watch will continue to urge the United Nations and its human rights council to return to the founding principles of Eleanor Roosevelt and Rene Cassin, and to call them out when, led by Qaddafi, Castro and Co., they veer off track. People in responsible positions should consider confronting the council’s egregious bias, and getting it to address millions of currently ignored victims, instead of shooting at the messengers.

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