Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan tore up the UN Human Rights Council report at the UN General Assembly.
The UN General Assembly held a special hearing on Friday, 29 October, in New York, where the annual report of the UN Human Rights Council was presented. During his speech, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan dramatically tore up the report to illustrate his contempt, expressing that the United Nations is biased against Israel.
“It’s always open season on Israel at the Human Rights Council”, he said, adding that since the council’s 2006 inception, 142 condemnations were issued against UN Member States, of which 95 were against Israel. To put it in perspective, Erdan recalled that 35 condemnations were issued against Syria and 10 against Iran. The 95 condemnations against Israel included the passage of four resolutions, and at a special session, the UNHRC voted to open a permanent probe against Israel’s human rights abuses in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and within sovereign Israel, which is thereby the only country targeted with such an open-ended investigation.
To further point out the UN’s history of anti-Israel bias, Erdan cited the 1975 General Assembly resolution, which was revoked in 1991, declaring Zionism to be racism. When it was passed in 1975, former ambassador to the UN Chaim Herzog famously tore up the document in his speech to the UN General Assembly.
“And this is exactly what should be done to this antisemitic, distorted, one-sided report. For just as that 1975 resolution, equating Zionism with racism was itself a gross form of anti-Jewish racism, which has no place in this international body, so too, the Human Rights Council’s obsessive anti-Israel bias, embodied, once again, by this report, should have no place in anybody concerned with human rights, security or peace. Its only place in the dustbin of antisemitism, and that is exactly how we shall treat it”, Erdan said as he tore up a copy of the report and walked away from the podium.
Later that day, UNHRC President Nazhat Shameem, Fiji’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, defended the UNHRC against charges of anti-Israel bias at a press briefing. She also pushed back against queries about the inclusion of abuser states on the 47-member Human Rights Council. “If we were to say that the UNHRC is only for countries that have no violations of human rights, I am not sure that we would be left with anyone at all”, Shameem said, adding that Israel has been a constructive partner in several UNHRC debates.
Photo credit: UK in Israel