Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shalev: Rights Council obsessed with Israel

Israeli ambassador tells UN General Assembly annual human rights report a 'manipulation' aimed at turning Jewish state into a monster

Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON - The United Nations General Assembly on Friday discussed the annual Human Rights Council report, just several days before a special discussion on the Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev took advantage of the event in order to attack the Geneva-based Human Rights Council and accuse it of discussing Israel more than any other country and isolating the Jewish state intentionally.

The Swedish delegate, representing the European Union, hinted in his address that the GA should conduct itself in a more decent manner and discuss real violations of human rights.

The Goldstone Report was separated from the annual report in order to allow the GA to hold a special discussion at the request of the group of Arab countries, supported by a majority of 118 non-aligned countries. Nonetheless, the Egyptian representative and delegates of other countries addressed the Goldstone Report in detail, forcing the Israeli ambassador to respond.

Shalev said during the discussion that the annual report was a "manipulation and exploitation" by several of the HRC members, who she said were obsessed with turning Israel into a monster and ignoring its democratic nature.

'Is this the work of an objective council?'
She accused the UN of falsifying and distorting the principles on which the HRC was established. Shalev complained that the UN body was engaged constantly in political maneuvers rather than caring for human rights.

She said that the HRC continues to send a delegation to locate facts, giving it the mandate to condemn any Israeli action without considering the reality on the ground. "Is this the work of a decent Human Rights Council," she asked. "Is this the work of an objective council?"

She reminded the UN, which she said is comprised of a majority of undemocratic countries which violate human rights, that "Israel is a democracy honoring the foundations of freedom."

Ambassador Shalev warned that the real victims of the gravest cases of human rights violations in the world are calling out for help, hoping that the international community would deal with their suffering, while the HRC is "deaf and mute."

According to Shalev, the Council didn’t say anything when innocent Israeli citizens suffered from suicide bombings and terrorist attacks.

The Israeli ambassador was invited to address the GA by its president, Libya's Ali Treki, and she thanked him during her speech. The Libyans are boycotting Israel and in similar incidents in the past functionaries representing countries which have no diplomatic ties with Israel left the auditorium in order to allow their deputies to invite the Israeli delegate to speak.

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