In a major challenge to the anti-Israel bias in the United Nations (UN), every Western nation boycotted the Agenda Item 7 debate at the opening of the 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Sunday.
Agenda Item 7 requires that Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians be discussed at each of the UNHRC’s triannual sessions. This displays an unmistakeable bias since no other country has a dedicated agenda item.
Israel does not attend the Agenda 7 debate and the US has not participated in it since the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was established in 2006. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the UNHRC earlier this month that elimination of Agenda Item 7 was one of the necessary reforms the council must make if the United States is to remain, referring to Item 7 as a “scandalous provision that must be removed.”
Support for Item 7 has been falling away and in the last session in January, Sweden, Slovenia, and Luxembourg were the only European nations to participate. At the June session, however, even they were absent.
The move showed a “significant stand by the Western democracies against prejudice,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of the UN Watch, told the Algemeiner.
The lopsided attendance did not deter the nations who did participate. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad delivered a typically critical report.
“The general patterns of human rights violations and non-implementations of recommendations are not merely symptoms of the conflict, but further fuel the cycle of violence, which has now persisted for half a century. To break the cycle the root causes must be addressed these includes bringing the occupation to an end and addressing the security concerns of Israel,” Ra’ad said, ending on a slightly softer note than usual.
The Palestinian Ambassador to the UNHRC in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, objected to the report, saying that Israel was far more culpable than Palestinian terror. Any Palestinian actions were justified, he reasoned, since they are suffering under the Israeli “occupation”.