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Liberman Seeks ‘New Page’ with UN Rights Council

Liberman expresses interest in fresh start vis-a-vis UNHRC, after cutting ties in 2012 due to persistent bias.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 1/14/2014, 8:24 PM

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Israel is interested in opening a new page regarding its relationship with the UN Human Rights Council, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday.

Liberman was in Geneva to meet with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Israel has resumed cooperation with the UNHRC in hopes that the organization will take a new, more objective approach, he told her.

He warned that recent focus on Israel for criticism hurt the UN’s reputation, particularly in light of the ongoing mass killings in Syria, daily terrorist attacks in Iraq, death sentences in Iran, and more.

The UNHRC announced in late 2013 that it would accept Israel as a member state. The decision came as a surprise from the organization, which has condemned Israel 46 times, far more than it has condemned any other country.

Israel cut ties with the organization in March 2012 over the UNHRC’s intention to examine how Jewish “settlements” in Judea and Samaria “may be infringing on the rights” of Palestinian Arabs. Israeli leaders accused the UN body of a persistent bias against Israel.

Liberman has been openly critical of the organization in the past. In 2013, he lambasted the UNHRC over a report stating that Israel must expel all of its citizens from Judea and Samaria. “The UN Human Rights Council once again proved today that there is no connection between its name and its nature,” he said.

The UNHRC continues to criticize Israel. Last week, the body slammed Israel’s policy toward illegal entrants, accusing Israel of “sowing fear and chaos” with a policy of arresting illegal residents. The gropu demanded that the government relate to illegal entrants as asylum seekers.