United States expected to disengage from UN's Human Rights Council

U.S. Expected to Withdraw From UN’s Human Rights Council

Jewish groups welcome Boris Johnson's criticism of UN Human Rights body over Israel

Echoing U.S. criticisms, the statement from Netanyahu's office said the council "has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights". But today we need to be honest.

The U.S. withdrawal deprives the council of a major voice in fighting for human rights and eliminates the strongest defender of Israel on the body.

Haley indicated that the USA was willing to consider rejoining the council if reformed were enacted to address her criticisms.

Efforts by Haley and other senior USA diplomats to reform the council have failed in recent months.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said the US focus on Israel's treatment has actually caused American officials to lose sight of the good work the council has done elsewhere. The United States and Australia cast the only "no" votes.

But envoys from Australia, the European Union and China - a frequent target of USA criticism over Beijing's rights record - used a break in the council's regular work to express disappointment and regret.

"By withdrawing from the council, we lose our leverage and allow the council's bad actors to follow their worst impulses unchecked", said Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), "including running roughshod over Israel".

Human Rights Watch criticized the move, warning that Washington's absence at the top United Nations body would put the onus on other governments to address the world's most serious rights problems.

The United States is half-way through a three-year term on the main UN rights body and had long threatened to quit if it was not reformed, accusing the 47-member Geneva-based body of being anti-Israel.

Since March 30, at least 118 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli military gunfire in the east of the Gaza Strip during mass demonstrations against the blockade and the U.S.'s decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. "The world's most inhumane regimes continue to escape its scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in its ranks". "By walking away, the USA is turning its back not just on the United Nations, but on victims of human rights abuses around the world, including in Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Myanmar".

Russian Federation blasted the USA decision, calling it "boorish" and saying Washington had "inflicted a powerful blow to its human rights reputation". Numerous countries were embarrassed by the council's treatment of Israel but would not stand up publicly, Haley noted.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon also welcomed the announcement.

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