Germany to Israel: Attend UN Human Rights Council - Or Else
Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle has warned Israel to face a periodic United Nations Human Rights Council (U.N.H.R.C.) Periodic Review -- or face severe diplomatic consequences, according to a Haaretz report (Sunday).
Israel severed ties with the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council in March 2012, after it announced it would investigate how the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria would affect the rights of local Arabs.
This year, on January 29, Israel became the first country to boycott the UNHRC review, which is mandatory for every United Nations member country, after facing increasing criticism for building more Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. The move, a protest measure against the UN directive stating that Israel's actions are to be reviewed at every UNHRC council meeting, created a media and political hullabaloo with rumors of a full Israeli pullout from the United Nations.
In a personal letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Westerwelle warned that Israel's failure to attend the periodic evaluation -- a review infamous for its anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian measures -- would alienate Israel's allies and cause "severe diplomatic damage", Haaretz reports.
The report adds a statement from an unknown source confirming that Westerwelle delivered the letter to Emmanuel Nahshon, the deputy chief of Israel's German Embassy in Berlin, with instructions for it to be delivered to the Prime Minister as soon as possible.
Neither Netanyahu nor German Chancellor Angela Merkel have released statements regarding the directive. However, an unnamed Israeli official, working under the condition of anonymity, has stated that a decision about whether to attend Tuesday's UNHRC meeting will be made later Sunday.