President Trump’s administration has reportedly accused the UNHRC of being biased against Israel, as a result the administration is questioning its usefulness while President Donald Trump is considering withdrawing the United States from the UN Human Rights Council.
Reports from Press TV indicate that the final decision as to whether the US will leave the council is expected to be made by the president himself, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the new US ambassador to UN, Nikki Haley.
One of the former State Department official familiar with the discussions said that there has been a series of requests from the secretary of state’s office that suggests that Trump is questioning the importance of the US being part of the Human Rights Council. The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently questioned the effectiveness of the UNHRC in a meeting with State Department officials. The UNHRC is a 47-seat inter-governmental body that is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the globe.
The UNHRC has been accused by supporters of Israel of being biased towards the regime by pushing critical resolutions and issuing contemptuous statements. The body was established back in 2006 to replace the UN Human Rights Commission.
The council angered Israeli politicians after condemning the lenient prison sentence that was handed down to an Israeli soldier who was convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting a wounded Palestinian. The soldier who goes by the name Sergeant Elor Azaria was sentenced to only 18 months in prison this week for shooting Abdel Fattah al-Sharif point-blank in the head.
The incident prompted UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani to say that she was deeply concerned at the lenient sentence that was given by the Tel Aviv Military Court earlier this week to an Israeli soldier who was convicted of unlawfully killing a wounded Palestinian in an apparent extrajudicial execution of a man who was not a threat.
President George W. Bush’s administration refused to join the UNHRC after it was created, he was skeptic that it wouldn’t make much difference from the previous commission. However, Obama decide to join the council as he hoped to influence it from the inside.
The relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama was dysfunctional as it hit an all-time low in December when he chose not to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Isarel settlement construction on Palestinian land.
The Israel Prime Minister has pledged that he is looking to working with President Trump, who is very skeptic about the UN. This comes as the new US ambassador voiced Trump administration’s interest in shielding Israel at the global arena.