U.S. Continues to be Deeply Troubled By Human Rights Council’s Biased, Disproportionate Focus on Israel

Item 7 General Debate

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe
Human Rights Council 20th Session

Geneva,
July 2, 2012

Thank you, Madame President.

The human rights record of all states must be addressed under a robust common rubric.  As such, the United States continues to be deeply troubled by this Council’s biased and disproportionate focus on Israel, as exemplified by this standing agenda item.  As we have said in the past, the Human Rights Council must treat all countries by the same standards.  The effectiveness and legitimacy of this Council can never be complete as long as one country is unfairly and uniquely singled out for its own agenda item.

Our goal remains a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.   Ending the underlying conflict is vital to addressing the human rights issues in Israel and the Palestinian territories and forging a comprehensive peace.   As we’ve said time and again, direct negotiations provide the only way for the parties to address and resolve their differences and achieve lasting peace.

Let there be no doubt, the United States believes that the Palestinian people must be able to govern themselves and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.  It is for this reason that the United States has invested so much effort in the building of a Palestinian state, and the negotiations between the parties.  The United States remains committed to supporting the efforts of humanitarian agencies, including the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, which addresses the critical needs of five million Palestinian refugees, and we urge our fellow Council members to join us in doing so.  We urge this Council to take a balanced, objective and constructive approach to the human rights situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.  It is our sincere hope that this Council will eliminate this agenda item, as we have called for in the past.

Thank you, Madame President.