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U.N. Rights Council Displeased by "10 Basic Facts" 




Geneva, September 28 - The U.N.'s human rights council signaled its displeasure yesterday after hearing a non-governmental organization testify on the council's selectivity, hypocrisy, and grant of impunity to gross violators.

Leon Saltiel of UN Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog organization, took the floor during a day-long debate on alleged Israeli violations, and presented "Ten Basic Facts" on the council.

In a rare expression of displeasure with a NGO statement, the chair of the council debate, Norwegian Ambassador Bente Angell-Hansen, used diplomatic language to indicate that UN Watch was out of order for mentioning, by way of context, the council's praise of Sri Lanka after it killed 20,000 civilians, and the council's grant of impunity to gross violators like Iran, China, North Korea and Zimbabwe.


Statement by UN Watch
Agenda Item 7 (Palestinian territories), UNHRC 15th Session
As Delivered by Leon Saltiel, 27 September 2010


Thank you, Mr. President.

Today and this week, this council is saturating the media with a plethora of reports on alleged Israeli sins. We are given the flotilla report, the Goldstone follow-up, and more. Lost in this blitz, however, are basic facts:

1. The flotilla probe was created in a June 2nd resolution sponsored by the council’s Islamic and Arab states. The outcome was predetermined. Israel was condemned “in the strongest terms,” as guilty of committing an “outrageous attack.” No mention was made of the flotilla organizers’ Jihadist intentions and actions.

2. Supporter of the one-sided mandate included countries like Sudan, China, Pakistan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

3. The greatest supporter of the inquiry was the terrorist group Hamas. As this council convened, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal issued his request: “We need a new Goldstone report, which will condemn Israel.” Now that the report is out, Hamas has been among the first to praise it.

4. The Palestinian Authority itself opposed the probe. According to a news article on the Electronic Intifada website, dated June 22nd, the PA actively sought to frustrate creation of the inquiry, understanding it would only strengthen the Hamas terrorists.

5. Likewise, the Goldstone follow-up committee was created on March 25th by a one-sided resolution that attacked Israel but said nothing on Hamas terrorism. It was sponsored by the Arab and Islamic states. Seventeen refused to support the resolution, including countries like the United States, Britain, France, Belgium Italy and the Netherlands.

6. Since the council was created in 2006, out of 40 resolutions criticizing countries, 33 were against Israel—and seven for the rest of the world combined.

7. Out of 10 emergency debates that criticized countries, seven were against Israel.

8. Today’s meeting takes place under an agenda item that permanently singles out Israel for discriminatory treatment. Even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on 20 June 2007, criticized the item’s bias.

9. In May 2009, after Sri Lanka killed some 20,000 civilians, this council praised it for the “promotion and protection” of human rights.
10. In this session there is not a single resolution on any of the world’s worst violators of human rights. Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Zimbabwe—all enjoy impunity.

Mr. President, we challenge any of the distinguished delegates to dispute these basic facts.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Meeting Chair (Norwegian Ambassador Bente Angell-Hansen):

Let me just remind everyone that we are presently considering Item 7, Human rights situation in the Palestinian and other Occupied Arab Territories.


UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.