United States Explanation of Vote
Gaza Commission of Inquiry Resolution
As delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper
Human Rights Council 29th Session
July 3, 2015
The United States remains deeply concerned for both Palestinians and Israelis and have consistently demonstrated this concern through word and deed. The United States has devoted considerable time, effort, and resources in trying to forge peace in the Middle East for decades.
The only way ultimately to resolve this tragic conflict is a comprehensive agreement that creates two states living side by side in security and peace. The status quo is not sustainable for either the Palestinians or Israelis. Actions that help move the parties toward a two-state solution remain the surest way to protect the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis alike.
We are troubled once again to be presented with a resolution that calls into question the important and otherwise credible work done in this Council. Last July, we strongly opposed the resolution adopted by the special session that established a Commission of Inquiry to review alleged violations in the context of the recent conflict in Gaza. We opposed that resolution for numerous reasons, including that it demonstrated a continuing bias against the State of Israel and would not be constructive. This resolution suffers the same and other deficiencies. We are troubled that this current resolution focuses almost exclusively on alleged Israeli violations, without any express reference to Palestinian violations, even the ones discussed in the report itself.
We remain greatly troubled by this Council’s stand-along agenda item directed against Israel, under which this resolution is being considered. None of the world’s worst human rights violators have their own stand-alone agenda item in this Council. Only Israel receives such treatment. We are disappointed that this Council does not acknowledge the violent attacks directed at Israel. All parties to this conflict have direct responsibilities for ending it, and there are obligations and difficult steps for both sides.
Accordingly, the United States calls for a vote and will vote NO on this resolution. We urge our fellow Members to join us in voting against it.