The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today welcomed Australia’s votes against 5 resolutions passed over the weekend condemning Israel at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The five resolutions passed during a session under Agenda item 7, a controversial provision of the UNHRC agenda which requires the Council to have a separate session to debate Israel, while there is another session to debate the rest of the world, every time it convenes. They were all sponsored by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – with one resolution demanding the Golan Heights be returned to war-torn Syria and another coming close to demanding an arms embargo against Israel.
AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler AC said, “We thank the Australian government for doing the right thing and voting in a principled way against these resolutions, which epitomize the terrible biases and counter-productive approach which have long dominated the UN Human Rights Council. We have written to Prime Minister Turnbull and Foreign Minister Bishop to express our gratitude – and to also call on them, working with the US and other allies, to continue their efforts from within the Human Rights Council to achieve reforms that will return it to the role of sincere and impartial guardian of genuinely universal human rights that the UN founders intended.”
“The fact that the UNHRC could demand that the Golan Heights be returned to Syria at a time when Syrians are slaughtering each other in horrifying ways, and where many Syrians are desperate to flee the country, only shows how out of touch with reality and politicised this body has become,” added AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein.
“As US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley noted in the aftermath of the vote, the Council has shown itself to be both ‘foolish’ and ‘unworthy of its name’ given the way it has allowed itself to be hijacked by undemocratic regimes with appalling human rights records as a vehicle for a politicised vendetta against Israel. We are very grateful that the Australian government seems fully aware of how much damage this is doing both to the UNHRC and the cause of universal human rights, and is committed to doing what it can to change this untenable status quo during its current term on the Council,” Rubenstein concluded.
For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660.