Amb. Gilad Erdan
Amb. Gilad ErdanCourtesy

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan issued a response to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk after Turk expressed concern over Israel’s proposed judicial reforms and called on the Israeli government to stop its efforts to pass the reforms.

Ambassador Erdan said, "The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is responsible for the UN Human Rights Council, one of the most distorted and anti-moral bodies in the world, is the last one who can teach Israel what democracy is. His statement has no legal or moral validity and he has no right to interfere in Israel's internal affairs.

"The Human Rights Council is a body in which Israel has been radically discriminated against for many years, a body in which antisemitic Commissions of Inquiry are set up against Israel, and whose moral authority Israel has never recognized.

"I suggest that the High Commissioner deal with the protection of human rights in Syria, the murder of women and protesters in Iran, the persecution of the LGBT community in the Palestinian Authority, and the long list of terror organizations and grave injustices by regimes which he and the Human Rights Council routinely ignore, before he intervenes and preaches morality to the only democracy in the Middle East," Ambassador Erdan concluded.

Turk earlier warned that Israel's proposed judicial reforms would "break from decades of settled practice," and called on the government to halt efforts to pass the reforms.

"Such a law would drastically undermine the ability of the judiciary to vindicate individual rights and to uphold the rule of law as an effective institutional check on executive and legislative power," he said.“ Experience in Israel, and around the world, has shown the enduring value of a judiciary that can independently hold the other branches of Government to the fundamental legal standards of a society set out in its basic laws."

“Given the degree of public and political concern, I call on the Government of Israel to pause the proposed legislative changes and open them up for wider debate and reflection," he said.