Syria bombs civilians with chlorine gas, China tortures dissidents, Venezuela restricts access to food and Burma is engaged in ethnic cleaning of a Muslim minority. So naturally the United Nations Human Rights Council trains the bulk of its outrage on . . . Israel.
On Friday the council approved five resolutions condemning Israel, as it has done every year since its creation in 2006. The 47-member council includes such paragons of political freedom as China and Cuba. The resolutions characterize Israel as an “occupying power” in Palestinian-claimed territories, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and denounce the Middle Eastern democracy as an abuser of human rights.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and her team, at the urging of the British and the Dutch, spent months trying to convince other European countries not to single out Israel. But when the votes were tallied Friday, only the U.S. and Australia voted against all of the anti-Israel resolutions. The council passed only one resolution apiece condemning North Korean, Iranian and Syrian abuses.
The State Department put an upbeat spin on the European snub, noting Friday that “many other partners changed votes to either vote no or abstain,” from some of the resolutions, and that “this session demonstrated the largest shift in votes towards more abstentions and no votes on Israel related resolutions since the creation of the HRC.” Small consolation.
The lesson is that the council is a corrupt body that the U.S. would be better to leave. The Bush Administration voted against its creation in 2006, but the Obama Administration joined in 2009. Ms. Haley intimated in a statement Friday that the U.S. might withdraw, noting that the anti-Israel resolutions “make clear that the organization lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights.” She’s right.