U.S. Statement at the UPR of Israel
Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – 17th Session
Intervention for Israel
As delivered by Peter Mulrean,
U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
UN Human Rights Council
October 29, 2013
The United States warmly welcomes Ambassador Manor and the Israeli delegation, and welcomes Israel’s decision to re-engage with this forum and process.
The Universal Periodic Review provides an opportunity for every state to undergo what should be a transparent, thoughtful and non-political review of its particular human rights situation. We believe strongly that the Universal Periodic Review enables concrete, positive change to be achieved in states under review and that every UN member state should fully participate in this process.
We commend Israel for its strong commitment and track record in upholding human rights, political freedom, and civil liberties. Israel is justifiably proud of its democratic traditions and values, its free elections, and its open society. In the spirit of seeking to strengthen these commitments and make our societies even freer, we offer the following recommendations:
1. Evaluate regulations and laws, including those which grant the Orthodox Rabbinate the right to determine policies affecting non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews, to ensure that they do not discriminate against persons, especially women, based on their religious beliefs or lack thereof;
2. Implement previous commitments to increase state resources allocated to Arab Israeli and Bedouin communities, especially for education, and ensure equal access to education, housing, healthcare, and employment for individuals in these communities;
3. Ensure asylum seekers have access to a timely individualized refugee status determination, and provide for the release of those detained under the Anti-Infiltration Law, in accordance with the recent decision by the Israeli High Court of Justice.