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In an embarrassing development for the United Nations, Human Rights Watch has issued a public scolding of Turtle Bay's Human Rights Council for its obsession for criticizing Israel. The successor of the Human Rights Commission has learned little from the failures of its predecessor, according to the international organization not exactly known for its Israeli sympathies:
Human Rights Watch on Monday criticized the new UN Human Rights Council for its one-sided attacks on Israel and disproportionate attention to the Middle East.
The New York-based human rights organization issued a statement urging the council to "expand its focus beyond the Middle East" and address other crises, such as those in Darfur and Sri Lanka.
The statement also pointed out that in the meetings that have occurred since the council was created in March, it has adopted three resolutions on "human rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law" by Israel. But, the organization noted, it "has ignored the responsibilities and roles of other parties in the Middle East, including Hizbullah and Palestinian armed groups, who have committed violations."
It continued, "In taking a one-sided approach, the council failed in its duty to act to protect the rights of all citizens in the region."
When the UN launched its revamped human-rights panel, many warned that the "reform" involved little more than changing the letterhead on the paper that got pushed at Turtle Bay. HRW has confirmed our suspicions. Once again, just as with the Commission, the member nations of the HRC spend more time and effort devising resolutions decrying Israel than they do investigating the crimes and abuses of Israel's enemies.
HRW has little reputation as a shill for the Israelis, either. Most of the criticism of Israel's war tactics came from HRW and from Amnesty International, which only last week acknowledged that Hezbollah actually committed war crimes during the last conflict. In fact, Israel's NGO Watch didn't think much of the accusation, claiming that HRW helped create the atmosphere for the anti-Israeli attitude at the UN.
The UN has had a number of opportunities to clean up its human-rights panels. Instead, it allows members such as Cuba, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other abusers to obsess on their bigotry and turn the effort to protect human rights into a joke. When HRW calls out the global community for its anti-Semitism, people understand just how bad that gets.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on September 19, 2006 4:05 PM
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