U.S. Remains Troubled by Human Rights Council’s Stand-Alone Item Directed Against Israel

Item 7:  Resolutions Entitled “Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan,” “Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” “Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the Occupied Syrian Golan, and “Human Rights Situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,”,” A/HRC/28/L.3, A/HRC/28/L.32, A/HRC/28/L.33, A/HRC/28/L.34

Explanation of Vote by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper

Human Rights Council 28th Session

Geneva, March 27, 2015

 The time, effort and resources the United States has devoted to trying to forge peace in the Middle East over the last several decades underscore our deep concern for both Palestinians and Israelis.  The only way to resolve this tragic conflict is a comprehensive peace which creates two states living side by side in security and peace.  The status quo is not sustainable for either the Palestinians or Israelis.

In light of our overarching efforts to bring to reality both Israeli and Palestinian aspirations for peace we are troubled once again to be presented with a slate of one-sided resolutions that do not further the important and credible work done in this Council.

We all share a responsibility to promote and protect human rights.  Actions which help move the parties toward a two-state solution remain the surest way to protect the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis alike.  The United States works continuously to support social and economic development in the Palestinian territories, as well as the legitimate political aspirations of the Palestinian people.  To this end, we continue to provide financial and technical support to the Palestinian Authority and assistance directly to the Palestinian people.  The United States is the largest single country donor to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, which provides critical humanitarian services to Palestinian refugees.

We remain troubled, however, by this Council’s stand-alone agenda item directed against Israel, and by the many repetitive and one -sided resolutions under that agenda item.  None of the world’s worst human rights violators, some of whom are the object of resolutions at this session, have their own stand-alone agenda item at this Council.  Only Israel receives such treatment.  All parties to this conflict have direct responsibilities for ending it, and we are disappointed that this Council continually singles out Israel for criticism without acknowledging the violent attacks directed at its people, nor the obligations and difficult steps required of both sides.  In short such singling out undermines the credibility of the Council.

Especially disturbing is this Council’s complacency with the repeated introduction of a resolution focusing on the Golan Heights.  To consider such a resolution while the Syrian regime continues to slaughter its own citizens by the tens of thousands exemplifies the sheer absurdity of this agenda item.

For these reasons, we call for a vote on this resolution and each of the other resolutions under agenda Item 7, and we urge our fellow Members to join us in voting “no” on each of them.

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