WJC urges UNHRC to treat Israel as an ally in defense of human rights

GENEVA - World Jewish Congress Jewish Diplomat Caroline Berdugo delivered a statement on the United Nations Human Rights Council floor last week on behalf of the WJC, asking the council to enact much-needed reform, including by treating Israel like any other country with the removal of Item 7.

“The value of an international body committed to defending human rights cannot be understated.

However, when the strongest democracy in the world announced, two weeks ago, its withdrawal from the Council, it highlighted one of the UNHRC’s biggest failures.

A failure in treating countries fairly. Indeed, Israel is the only country with its own permanent agenda item, and since the establishment of the council in 2006, has been systematically targeted by many more resolutions than countries such as Iran, the DPRK and Syria.

A failure in fulfilling its mission to address human rights issues objectively and non-selectively. By obsessively focusing on the State of Israel, to the detriment of other pressing situations that would require the Council’s immediate attention, the UNHRC has hindered its efficiency and undermined its credibility. 

A failure in exposing some of the members’ double standards, who wilfully participate in the demonization of Israel, yet criticize the Council for focusing on other country situations. This only serves to perpetuate the increasing politicization of this body.

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and should be treated as an ally in the defence of human rights and not as one of its worst violators.

The withdrawal of the United States has, without a doubt, weakened the Council. The World Jewish Congress will continue to actively engage with the HRC, but, once again, we urge the Council to enact much-needed reform, including by treating Israel like any other country with the removal of Item 7.”

Members of the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps, the flagship diplomacy program of the WJC, have delivered over 60 statements at the UNHRC in the past 4 years in defense of Israel, minority rights, and international human rights.

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