According to Bloomberg, the Trump administration will announce today that the United States will withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday. Sources told Bloomberg that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley plan to announce the withdrawal at the State Department in Washington at 5 p.m.
The UNHRC was created in 2006; when current National Security Adviser John Bolton was U.N. Ambassador in 2006, he opposed the creation of the council. More recently, both Vice President Pence and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley have lambasted the council for its consistent targeting of Israel while ignoring human rights abuses around the world.
Haley has said, “For our part, the United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights. In the end, no speech and no structural reforms will save the members of the Human Rights Council from themselves.”
This week, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson slammed the council for its bias against Israel.
As The Daily Wire has reported, “The Human Rights Council has no problem inviting a man cited as one of the most brutal men in the world address it, and a look at the new members inaugurated in 2017 into the Council shows a list of some of the most anti-human rights governments in existence.”
The UNHRC has 10 permanent agenda items discussed at every session. Number 4 focuses on all nations; number 7 focuses only on Israel. In 2009, the UNHRC published the infamous “Goldstone Report” accusing Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza during its military operations in December 2008 – January 2009. Two years later, Justice Goldstone finally admitted in an op-ed that the claim that Israel deliberately targeted civilians was false; he commended Israel’s independent investigations into charges of abuse.
In 2015, the HRC published a report on Israel’s 2014 military operation against Hamas in Gaza accusing Israel of using disproportionate force in Gaza, and not doing enough to prevent civilian casualties. Israel and the United States both rejected the report.
In 2016, the HRC passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements and calling for the creation of a “blacklist” of companies operating in Judea and Samaria, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights.