Daily Israel Report

UN Human Rights Panel ’Picks Low-Hanging Fruit’

Muslim countries’ energy resources cause UN Human Rights Council to pick on Israel and ignore world rights violations, government officials say.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/27/2010, 7:14 PM

The Western world's need for Muslim countries’ energy resources allows the United Nations Human Rights Council to pick on Israel and ignore world rights violations, according to government officials interviewed by Israel National News.

One official said that Israel is like easy-to-pick "low-hanging fruit” because the Council knows it can achieve better results in a democratic country than in nations such as oil-rich Saudi Arabia, where the Council generally ignores widespread violations of freedom of religion and the rights of women and children.

Senior officials, including those from the Foreign Ministry, also said that Western democracies that sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council must stand up together against the Council’s anti-Israel bias in order to bring about any changes in the Council’s policies.

The Human Rights Council last week issued a new report castigating Israel for its part in the May 31 flotilla clash. The report drew the same criticism as the Goldstone Report which accused Israel of war crimes in the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in Hamas-controlled Gaza nearly two years ago.

The report by the Council, whose members include Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, China and Saudi Arabia, accused Israeli navy commandos of “disproportionate and brutal” actions after the Mavi Mamara ship refused to change its course from Hamas-controlled Gaza , where a legal embargo is in place against smuggling terrorists and weapons into Gaza.

The American Jewish Committee condemned the report, stating that ”what is needed now is not an investigation into Israel’s right of self-defense, but one that examines the purpose of the U.N. Human Rights Council. With each new reflexive attack on Israel, including this latest shameful report, the Council makes painfully evident the case for its built-in bias and, consequently, inability to deal with the facts as they are.

“The fact that this report has been praised by Hamas, whose terrorist regime is the reason for the Gaza blockade, tells you everything you need to know.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the report “extremely fair and based on solid evidence. We appreciate that. It meets our expectations.”

The “issue of energy resources" in the Council’s member countries “should not be understated,” Deputy Foreign Ministry Danny Ayalon's spokesman, Ashley Perry, told INN. He added, "Many countries know about the bias inherent in the Human Rights Council, but few can point where the bias is coming from. It is a coordinated strategy by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)."

Officials pointed out that three-quarters of the world’s energy resources come from OIC nations.

“If we are going to be bullied and attacked in the Human Rights Council, where the world’s worst human rights violators sit, then the world’s democracies should re-think their participation,” one official stated.

He stopped short of calling on the United States to quit the Council but noted that the Council’s anti-Israel bias has not changed since U.S. President Barack Obama reversed American policy and decided to place an American representative back on the Council with the intentions of changing it.

The United States, Britain, Japan, Australia, France, Spain and Switzerland are among several democracies on the Council. Israel is not represented, and it is highly unlikely that it would be asked to participate, one official said. Even if there were an interest in including Israel, it cannot become a Council member because of procedural rules. Israel joined a regional U.N. group several years with the commitment not to seek a seat on several councils for at least 10 years.

The Foreign Ministry has tried to sway non-aligned nations from automatically siding with OIC countries. One official said that even if democratic countries vote together as a minority, their unified strength represents a “moral majority.”