Sunday, March 24, 2019

Britain, Denmark Announce Opposition to Anti-Israel Resolutions at UNHRC

From The Tower, 21 March 2019:

The British and Danish governments announced Thursday that they will oppose every United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) measure on alleged Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights in the West Bank and Gaza under discriminatory Agenda Item 7.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in an op-ed published in the Jewish Chronicle that, 
“Two years ago, the United Kingdom said that unless the situation changed, we would vote against all texts proposed under Item 7. ...Sadly, our concerns have not been heeded. So I have decided that we will do exactly what we said: Britain will now oppose every Item 7 resolution. On Friday we will vote against all four texts proposed in this way.”
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced similar measures Thursday, saying 
“Denmark will vote NO to all resolutions under #HRC Item 7. ...It is fundamentally wrong that Israel as the only country in the world has an entire agenda item dedicated to it in the UN Human Rights Council.” He called Denmark’s opposition to the resolutions a matter “of principle.”
Agenda Item 7, a permanent fixture on the schedule, is exclusively devoted to discussing alleged human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel is the only country in the UNHRC with a dedicated council item.
The UNHRC is currently meeting in Geneva for its 40th session, in which member states will be voting on five anti-Israel resolutions, four of which fall under Agenda Item 7. The council is set to debate, among other issues, the results of an investigation which found that Israeli troops may have committed crimes in their response to weekly Hamas-orchestrated riots at the Israeli-Gaza border last year.
The United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell denounced the council’s “singular, obsessive focus” on the Jewish State in a speech he gave Monday in Geneva. Legal experts also slammed the UNHRC for its one-sided, biased investigation.
“Instead of promoting reconciliation and compromise, Item 7 strengthens the hard and trampled road of self-righteousness, a narrative that one side alone holds a monopoly of fault,” Hunt wrote in the Jewish Chronicle. “A lasting peace would require the parties to acknowledge the wrong and harm committed by every side, requiring painful compromise by all.”
The foreign secretary announced further that Britain “will continue to press for the abolition of Item 7, which only undermines the credibility of the world’s leading human rights forum.”
Opposition to anti-Israel measures in the UNHRC has been growing. On Thursday, Austrian Ambassador to Israel, Martin Weiss, tweeted that his country will vote against the “Accountability Resolution” at the UNHRC. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a gathering of the AJC Jewish advocacy group in Brussels that “this resolution is politically biased against Israel,” Weiss said.
In February, Australia and Denmark slammed the UNHRC for singling out Israel when they spoke at the opening session of the council. The two nations urged the UNHRC to drop Agenda Item 7...

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