12 March 2015 – Strasbourg – The AJC Transatlantic Institute is dismayed at a European Parliament resolution that calls on EU member states to back discriminatory policies against Israel at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).
In its resolution, the European Parliament called on the EU to “re-engage with Item 7 of the HRC.” Agenda item 7 indicts Israel alone among all the nations of the world for special scrutiny in violation of the UN’s own charter commitment to “equality of all nations large and small.” Because of this and other discriminatory policies, which both UN Secretaries General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon criticized, Israel stopped cooperating with the HRC in May 2012. As part of the agreement for Israel to return to the HRC, EU Member States agreed to no longer participate in the Agenda Item 7 proceedings.
“To call on the EU Member States to break its agreement with Israel and to participate once more in this institutionalized discrimination against the Jewish state is detrimental to the good standing of the EU, the pursuit of justice and the cause of international law,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute. “The UN Human Rights Council’s continued ‘obsession’ with Israel, as US Secretary John Kerry called it recently, is not only an affront to the only democracy in the Middle East but undermines the UN’s very own credibility.”
It is equally deplorable that the European Parliament urged EU governments to publicly support the UN Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza War. In July 2014, EU Member States had refused to back the HRC resolution setting up the Gaza War inquiry because, in the EU’s own words, it is “unbalanced, inaccurate, and prejudges the outcome of the investigation.” The UN resolution creating this inquiry condemned Israel 18 times but, as the EU also pointed out at the time, “fails to condemn explicitly the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israeli civilian areas as well as to recognize Israel´s legitimate right to defend itself.”
“Why European lawmakers would now urge EU member states to reverse their just and reasonable policy is incomprehensible,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute. “Sadly, Parliament’s vote today does not serve the cause of human rights but only serves the cause of those who abuse and manipulate the HRC to isolate Israel.”