The United States boycotted a discussion by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on alleged Israeli violations in the disputed Palestinian territories, signaling American support for Israel in the world body despite ongoing tension between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.
“Today (Monday) the United States, in support of Israel, made no statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council debate on alleged Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories, otherwise known as Item 7,” U.S. Ambassador to the UNHRC Keith Harper said. “Our non-participation in this debate underscores our position that Item 7 lacks legitimacy, as it did last year when we also refrained from speaking. The United States strongly and unequivocally opposes the very existence of Agenda Item 7 and any HRC resolutions that come from it.”
The U.S., along with several other Western countries, have long boycotted the discussion of Item 7-which mandates that Israel be discussed at every UNHRC meeting, a distinction no other country shares. The agenda item is used as a platform by Arab and Muslim-majority countries to criticize the Jewish state.
America’s boycott of the discussion comes despite recent reports that the Obama administration is considering a change in the longstanding U.S. policy of opposing U.N. actions that single out Israel for criticism.