Republican Effort to Cut Funding for 'Beast' UNHRC
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) thinks money for biased UN body is a waste of US taxpayer dollars.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/25/2011, 11:02 AM
A key House Republican wants to scale back U.S. funding for the United Nations anti-Israel "Human Rights" council.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Washington news site The Hill that the Committee will engage in oversight, particularly regarding funding to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) that is "a waste of taxpayer dollars."
"I'd like to make sure that we once and for all kill all U.S. funding for that beast," she said last month. "Because I don't think that it advances U.S. interests, I don't think that that's a pro-democracy group, it's a rogues' gallery, pariah states, they belong there because they don't want to be sanctioned."
Ros-Lehtinen will host a panel of U.N. critics and advocates Tuesday. The 10 a.m. briefing, ahead of the committee session, is titled, "The United Nations: Urgent Problems that Need Congressional Action."
UN critics scheduled to appear include Claudia Rosett, who unveiled the oil-for-food scandal in 2004 and 2005 in The Wall Street Journal; Brett Schaefer, who regularly takes on the UN at the conservative Heritage Foundation; and Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, which monitors the controversial HRC.
Ros-Lehtinen, one of many U.S. legislators who are very critical of the UN, introduced bills urging transparency and accountability as well as the withholding of funding in the previous Congress.
The Hill also reported that a broad budget-cutting bill by Ways and Means Committee member Kevin Brady (R-Tx.) calls for a 10 percent reduction in voluntary contributions to the United Nations -- monies the U.S. is not required to give by law -- for fiscal year 2011.
UN Watch's Neuer said that the U.S. should use its position on the UN Human Rights Council to condemn real human rights offenders, and not the Jewish State. Over the past five years, the council has produced about 45 resolutions, he said, 35 which are "one-sided measures against Israel."
"One of the most significant tools [the UNHRC] has been used to wallop Israel over the head and not to promote peace," he said.
The Council was responsible for the Goldstone Report that accused Israel of war crimes in the 2008-2009 winter battle against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure, which has been responsible for more than 12,000 mortar shell and missile attacks on Israel. It also blamed Israel for the flotilla raid in May 2010.