The U.S. is expected to issue an ultimatum to the United Nations Human Rights Council Tuesday: either remove anti-Israeli bias or America may withdraw.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Saturday that Washington would decide whether to withdraw after a three-week session in Geneva, Switzerland wraps up this month, according to Reuters.
“When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with an abysmal human rights record, you know something is seriously wrong,” Haley said in a Washington Post op-ed.
U.S. Diplomat Michele Sison spoke out against what the U.S. considers “unfair singling out of Israel” during a closed session of the U.N. Security Council May 24. The U.S. has long been a critic of the council, leading to a three-year boycott from 2006 to 2009 under former President George W. Bush.
The Trump administration took issue with the most recent U.N. report that asserted Israel was endangering the territorial viability of a potential sovereign Palestine by vastly accelerating the pace of housing announcements for Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The U.S. historically vetoed U.N. Security Council resolutions that condemned Israel for years. That pattern changed in December when former President Barack Obama’s administration allowed a critical resolution to take effect by abstaining rather than vetoing the resolution.
Western nations and allies are responding now that the Trump administration is putting the U.N. on notice. Eight groups, according to Reuters, wrote to Haley in May, saying that withdrawal would actually hurt Israel more than it would help, according to Reuters.
Haley made it clear that the U.S. is looking for the U.N. to make some changes within the Council in order for it to feel comfortable as a member.
Haley also asserted that membership on the Council must be determined through competitive voting, in order to keep human rights abusers from obtaining seats. “As it stands, regional blocs nominate candidates that are uncontested,” she explained in the op-ed. “Competition would force a candidate’s human rights record to be considered before votes were cast.”