In Brief: Biden administration leads criticism of unbalanced UN report

White House, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Biden administration has joined 20 other countries in issuing a harsh rebuke on Monday to the UN Human Rights Council after a Commission of Inquiry formed to probe Israel released a report last week condemning the Jewish state.

The report blamed Israel’s “persistent discrimination against Palestinians” for the 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups in May 2021.

US ambassador to the UN Michele Taylor made clear that Washington “believes the nature of the COI established last May is further demonstration of long-standing, disproportionate attention given to Israel” and that it “must stop”.

Taylor went on to add that the Human Rights Council “should address all human rights concerns, regardless of country, in an even-handed manner” and warned that such disproportionate scrutiny of Israel would “contribute to the polarisation of a situation about which so many of us are concerned”.

The US was joined by Israel, the UK, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands in critiquing the unbalanced approach.

Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid thanked the countries that had criticised the report, characterising it as “a day on which morality is overcoming hypocrisy”.

The UN Human Rights Council currently includes authoritarian regimes such as China, Cuba and Eritrea. Russia was a member until February 2022.