Geneva, November 15, 2006 – UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer issued the following statement concerning today’s special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Gaza:
Today’s exercise has nothing to do with the legitimate scrutiny of Israeli actions or the legitimate concern for human rights in the Palestinian territories, Israel or anywhere else—all of which the Council is perfectly entitled to act upon. Rather, for the third time in less than five months, the proper work of the newly formed Council—building its mechanisms—has been interrupted for a political campaign that seeks to demonize Israel at all costs.
Like the two special sessions of July and August that also were initiated by the Council’s Arab and Islamic members, today’s meeting and its draft resolution are entirely one-sided, alleging only Israeli violations. For example, the draft ignores the systematic Palestinian firing of Kassam rockets from Gaza into Israel, which this morning killed 57-year-old Fatima Slutzker, a resident of Sderot, as she was crossing the street with her husband. Another victim lost both his legs in the barrage. None of this is mentioned anywhere in the resolution. Its inflammatory language against Israel will embolden extremists in the region and give moral support to the Hamas government’s recent promise to send more suicide bombers to attack Israel.
Countries who care to save this Council will vote “No.” Anything else will be interpreted as further acquiescence to the subversion of the Council for political ends, will ensure more of the same in the future, and will ultimately destroy the credibility of this new body. We urge the Council’s Western democracies, as in the previous two special sessions, to do the right thing and vote “No.”
As of today the Council has now held more Special Sessions to denounce Israel than it has held Regular Sessions concerning everything else in the world. Since the Special Sessions denouncing Israel are more regular than the Regular Sessions concerning everything else in the world, perhaps these definitions ought to be reversed—and the Special Sessions denouncing Israel become the Regular Sessions.