At a gathering of the Standing Committee of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) in Geneva, Switzerland, Arutz Sheva spoke with Aviv Raz Shecter, Israel's ambassador to the UN institutions in Geneva.
"I represent the state of Israel at the international organizations in Geneva. This is practically the capital of human rights in the multilateral arena. I'm doing my best to show that Israel is a strong democracy, it's a country that respects all values of human rights and it's even a leading country within this multilateral arena - in its innovation, in the concept of Tikkun Olam (perfecting the world, social reform) and in many other areas."
When it comes to the United Nations, the issue is that there is an automatic vote against Israel. Here in Geneva, isn't it even worse with the Human Rights Council?
"Yes indeed. The Human Rights Council has 47 members. These members are comprised of five regional groups and you can see that the automatic majority against Israel exits there and therefore it presents lots of obstacles and challenges for the state of Israel. There is one item on the agenda of the Council of Human Rights which is particularly dealing with one country - the only country - the state of Israel. It's called Item 7 [“Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”]. This item was adopted from the very beginning of the council as part of its agenda and this is where all the resolutions against Israel are being passed."
"We, of course, need to fight against it. We are doing it, sometimes more successfully and sometimes less. But I'm a very optimistic person. We don't have the luxury of not being optimistic. But we have many friends in many countries who agree with us, that this particular item and bias against Israel should be removed from the agenda and from the multilateral arena and hopefully one day it will."
So it is sometimes just about saying the truth although you know they're going to vote against it? Do you feel like if you say it you're doing something good or bringing some light into the world?
"I'm always trying to tell the truth, to tell the true story of Israel, to bring our narrative - which our opponents are trying to change and rewrite - rewrite the narrative, rewrite the history. When we talk about Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people from time immemorial, there are those who will say that there's no connection. This has been done in UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)."
"Here in Geneva, we confront many issues with this automatic majority trying to lead against Israel. And as I was saying, we're a strong democracy, we have lots of things to show and I'll keep doing it consistently. And trust me, I'll have many friends around me."