Trump Administration Boycotts Anti-Israel Discussion at UN Human Rights Council

U.S. President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan walk with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny after attending a Friends of Ireland reception on Capitol Hill in Washington

"The United States will vote against every resolution put forth under this agenda item and is encouraging other countries to do the same", the U.S. said.

Israel is the only country that faces an examination of its rights record at every one of the council's three sessions each year under a standing agenda item - known as Item 7 - on "Palestine and other occupied Arab territories".

"Today's actions in the Council are yet another reminder of that body's longstanding bias against Israel", he noted.

A United Nations rights expert issued a scathing report criticizing Israel's policies Monday, just a few days after the world body withdrew a report that accused Israel of "apartheid" against Palestinians after USA and Israeli pressure. "The continued existence of this agenda item is among the largest threats to the credibility of the Council", Toner said. Item Four is a discussion that centers on any "human rights situations that require the council's attention".

The US held a council seat for six of Obama's eight years.

Israel and its supporters, notably in Washington, have repeatedly highlighted Agenda Item Seven as evidence of the council's credibility gap, arguing it can not be effective while disproportionately targeting Israel. In 2006, 60 percent of the country-specific resolutions passed by the HRC were against Israel. Under Obama the USA always voted in support of Israel and in the last few years of its membership it also refrained from participating in Agenda Item 7 debates.

Some of those groups - including the American Jewish Committee - oppose a pullout, saying that USA participation mitigates anti-Israel bias.

A letter from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to advocacy groups, obtained by the AP news agency last week, said the US would not continue participating unless the council undergoes "considerable reform". "We've wasted enough time and money on it".

Citing the USA boycott to the discussion on the matter, Barhoum demanded the formation of a Regional-Palestinian national action aims at ending the Israeli occupation's crimes against Palestinians as well as foiling the U.S. administration bias to the Jewish state.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon also blasted the UNHRC.

"The U.N. has been Israel-bashing for decades and what we are trying to do is make sure they understand that there's a new administration in town and we're not going to put up with it", she said in an interview with Fox News's "America's Newsroom" Friday.

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