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At this point in time, the anti-Israel bias in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has manifested itself quite clearly. The number of anti-Israel resolutions adopted each year by the council surpasses those of infamous human rights violators around the world, including countries like North Korea and Iran and non-state actors such as ISIS and Hezbollah.

It is therefore not surprising that on Thursday, the Human Rights Council convened for their 30th special session on “the grave human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” where they decided to launch a probe into war crimes in “the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel.”

Like in the past, they decided not to investigate crimes in Gaza Strip, nor do they mention Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the resolution. In order to cover their bases, the probe only pertains to violations leading up to 13 April, 2021, and not any violations afterward, such as shooting rockets from civilian areas and launching rockets at civilian populations, both of which Hamas and the PIJ do frequently.

It is hypocritical on behalf of the 60-some states, led by Pakistan, to call for this special session and introduce the anti-Israel resolution. Of the 60-some states, 53 are ranked by the Cato Institute Human Freedom Index, which measures personal, civil, and economic freedom. All but one UNHRC members are ranked lower than Israel on the Cato Human Freedom Index of 2020. While Israel is ranked 53 in their index, the average ranking of the 53 countries is 118!

What separates this resolution from similar resolutions is that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in early 2021 also announced a probe into Israeli practices. By adopting the recent resolution, the UNHRC is clearly sending a signal to the ICC as to what outcome they expect after their probe.

More importantly, the ICC probe includes any war crime committed by any party in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The UNHRC resolution does not include Gaza and singles Israel out. They ignore Hamas and PIJ terrorist activities and violations of international law in Gaza Strip.

Although the UNHRC adopted similar resolutions in the past and nothing has come from it, it’s different this time. Normally, a UNHRC resolution alone does not have any ramifications. The probe can only recommend measures for countries and agencies to take against Israel. But if Israel or an Israeli citizen is convicted at the ICC, that could trigger sanctions or even force countries and agencies around the world to enforce the court’s sentence. The UNHRC resolution will clearly skew the ICC probe into Israel and lead to a considerably unfavorable outcome for the Jewish state.

It amazes me how the human rights body, in less than a week since the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, has managed to look into the potential war crimes, read reports and analyze what occurred, and then attribute it all to Israel. The UNHRC’s bias against Israel is self-evident. Representatives at the meeting threw the dart, and then drew the target around it. This body does not promote human rights; it promotes hatred toward Israel.

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About the Author

Benjamin Weil
Benjamin Weil is Director of the Project for Israel’s National Security at the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). He formerly served as the international adviser to Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of Israel’s Security Cabinet.

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