As well as

The BBC reports that what it calls the ‘next UN investigator into Israeli conduct in the occupied territories’ has defended his comparison of Israeli actions in Gaza to those of the Nazis. But a couple of paragraphs down it adds something that should be (but isn’t) decorated with little red warning flags.

Professor Falk is scheduled to take up his post for the UN Human Rights Council later in the year.

Ah – the UN Human Rights Council. How depressing it is that that sounds like a good thing and is in fact a very bad thing. The IHEU explains why.

By 2005, the Commission for Human Rights had become widely discredited…The Commission was abolished by vote of the UN General Assembly in 2006 and replaced by a shiny new Human Rights Council…Of the first four resolutions passed by the Council, three were resolutions condemning Israel. Whatever breaches of human rights law Israel may have committed, it beggars belief that these were the only violations of human rights on the planet worthy of condemnation by the Council. By way of contrast, the Council adopted a resolution which inter-alia congratulated the Sudan for its efforts to bring peace to Darfur.

The Human Rights Council is a terribly compromised body which doesn’t actually support universal human rights at all.

Professor Richard Falk said he believed that up to now Israel had been successful in avoiding the criticism that it was due.

Yet the Human Rights Council singles Israel out for censure while remaining silent on gross human rights violations in many other places, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe to name two. So has Israel really been successful in avoiding the criticism that it is due? It may have avoided it in the US; I think that’s a fair claim; but in the world at large, and at the UN? Not so much.

A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that Israel wanted the UN investigator’s mandate changed, so that he could look into human rights violations by the Palestinians as well as Israel.

As well as, not instead of. The Human Rights Council, appallingly, seems to be all about instead of.

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