The Trump administration is seriously considering pulling out of the UN Human Rights Council. Such a move would deal a blow to one of the most anti-Israel, anti-American appendages of the United Nations.
We’ve threatened to do this before, but this time, there appears to be general agreement among the foreign policy experts at the White House.
A final decision on membership in the council would likely involve Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as well as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and of course the president himself.
A former State Department official briefed on the discussions said while the council’s targeting of Israel is likely part of the debate, there also are questions about its roster of members and doubts about its usefulness overall.
Countries known for human rights abuses, such as China and Saudi Arabia, have managed to snag seats on the 47-member council.
“There’s been a series of requests coming from the secretary of state’s office that suggests that he is questioning the value of the U.S. belonging to the Human Rights Council,” the former official said.
In a recent meeting with mid-level State Department officials, Tillerson expressed skepticism about the council, which has a number of powers, including the ability to establish panels that probe alleged human rights abuses.
A spokesman for Haley did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday. White House press aides also did not immediately offer comment.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner did not address whether U.S. membership on the council was being reconsidered, but said, “Our delegation will be fully involved in the work of the HRC session which starts Monday.”
The Human Rights Council was established in 2006. It replaced the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which had faced severe criticism because countries with poor rights records became members and prevented it from carrying out its mission to the fullest.
The Bush administration refused to join the new council, questioning whether it would be much different. But under President Barack Obama, the U.S. felt it was more useful to be part of the council and try to influence it from the inside, including by speaking out in support of Israel.
Still, supporters of Israel have accused the council of being overly focused on the Jewish-majority state, by pushing critical resolutions, for example.
Here is a list of Human Rights Council member states. They are listed by the year their seat expires.
Who are they trying to kid? Cuba, a one-party dictatorship? Egypt, a military dictatorship? Countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE where Sharia law dominates? Venezuela?
The list of oppressive, authoritarian and dictatorial countries is a who’s who of human rights violators. That they got a seat on the council at all is reason enough to leave.
But the primary reason the U.S. should ditch this bunch of hypocrites is their myopia regarding the state of Israel. “Arabs can do no wrong while Israel is the devil incarnate” seems to be the HRC’s raison d’etre. And many of the members take their turn bashing the U.S. and the west for “Islamophobia” and other supposed sins. Meanwhile, some of them throw gays off the roofs of tall buildings and stone women to death for adultery.
Good to see someone in Washington is finally waking up to the fact that we don’t have to humor the truly bad actors in the world just because they’re at the UN.