The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the decision to sever Israel's ties with the UN Human Rights Council after the body decided to condemn Israeli settlements and voted to send an international fact-finding mission to the Palestinian territories. Israel's Mission to the UNHRC confirmed that it will not respond to calls from the council, nor will the mission appear before it.
The following is the official response to the resolution from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
The resolution by the Human Rights Council to establish a "Fact Finding Mission on the Influence of Settlements on Palestinians" is yet another surrealistic decision from the workshop of a Council that is instrumentalized as a tool to push for one-sided politicized moves instead of promoting human rights.
While all over the Middle East human rights are violated in an unprecedented scale, the HRC ridicules itself by dedicating its time and resources to establish a superfluous and extravagant body whose sole purpose is to satisfy the Palestinians' whims and to harm future chances to reach an agreement through peaceful means. The Palestinians must understand that they can't have it both ways: they can't enjoy cooperation with Israel and at the same time initiate political clashes in international fora.
Turning to international bodies is a breach of concluded Israeli Palestinian agreements. Had the Palestinians wanted to solve the settlements issue, they would resume without delay direct and unconditional negotiations on all core issues within the framework of a comprehensive agreement. Their deliberate choice to foster confrontation and provocation rather than compromise and reconciliation is nothing but a destructive strategy that the international community should firmly reject.
Statement to the UNHRC by Israel's Ambassador Aharon Leshno-Yaar
As much as I like to speak to this Council, I will ask the floor today only once, before the draft resolution being considered now. My remarks though are relevant to all 5 item 7 draft resolutions.
Although this is my fourth year in Geneva, and the 12th regular session of the Council that I have the pleasure to attend, I am still perplexed if not shocked with the level of hypocrisy and double standards that have taken root in this room and refuses to go away.
Only this morning, in the context of the consideration of another draft resolution, one distinguished delegate said ''such resolutions make little impact on the ground if the country concerned is not on board''. He voted NO.
Another delegate gave us a long lesson on how this Council should conduct itself. He said, for example, that ''it is a cooperative forum and we don't want to turn it into a selective exercise''. He also lectured us that a resolution should be the last resort and that resolution will violate that principle. He then asked whether the country concerned has been consulted. Finally, he expressed concern about the budget implications of that resolution. Well, we heard from the secretariat, that there were none. Nevertheless, he, too, voted NO.
The Palestinian proposal is certainly selective. It is not a last resort. Israel has not been consulted. All finally, you all know, or will know soon, that there are significant budget implications. I wonder if it would make any difference to this morning's speaker and whether he will vote in favor.
Many of the speakers today and in many other occasions in this room repeatedly emphasize the ideals of non-partiality, non-selectivity, non-politicization. Why are these principles no longer relevant when it comes to item 7 resolutions?!
Israel is strongly committed to a two state solution and wishes to see the resumption of direct bilateral talks without preconditions with the Palestinians. We call upon the PA to resume the talk that began in Amman in January as a follow up to the Quartet initiative of last September. A bilateral negotiated peace agreement towards the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with its neighbors is the only feasible outcome to the long conflict between the Palestinians and Israel.
In conclusion, the resolution is unjustified and counterproductive. It will add tension and bitterness to an already explosive situation. This Council, by its own doing, is adding fuel to a fire which is our duty to try and extinguish. Today will not be remembered as a glorious day for this Council.
PM Netanyahu's Response to decision by the UN Human Rights Council
This is a hypocritical council with an automatic majority against Israel.
This council ought to be ashamed of itself.
Until today, the council has made 91 decisions, 39 of which dealt with Israel, three with Syria and one with Iran. One only had to hear the Syrian representative speak today about human rights in order to understand how detached from reality the council is. Another proof of its detachment from reality came last week when it invited before it a representative of Hamas, an organization whose ideology is based on the murder of innocents. This particular individual condemned the United States for disposing of the arch-murderer Bin Laden, and he represents an organization that indiscriminately targets children and grown-ups, and women and men. Innocents - is their special favorite target. They kill Jews anywhere – that’s their constitution – kill Jews wherever you find them – that’s what they do.
So I have one thing to say to the UN Human Rights Council: What do you have to do with human rights? You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs