USA boycotts UN Human Rights Council session on Israel

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

According to the sources, Haley and other senior administration officials are committed to boycotting the human rights council until it ceases to be an organ to attack Israel, at which point the USA might rejoin the group.

"As an expression of our deeply held conviction that this bias must be addressed in order for the council to realize its legitimate objective, the United States decided not to attend the council's Item Seven General Debate session", Mark Toner, the State Department's acting spokesman, 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".

He called for regional action to end Israel's crimes against Palestinians as well as to foil American's bias.

"No other nation has an entire agenda item dedicated to it at the Council".

Similarly, in his confirmation hearing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the United States would continued participation in the UNHRC but that its representatives would "reiterate our strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council's biased agenda against Israel".

The UNHRC, which includes member countries cited for mass human rights abuses, is poised on Monday to adopt at least five anti-Israel resolutions, prompting outrage in the Trump administration over what officials described as the council's unjust bias against the Jewish state.

In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had no question "whatsoever" that Obama was behind the controversial United Nations resolution.

"The argument that the USA has to participate in bodies like the United Nations Human Rights Council or risk losing our influence over it is ridiculous", one unnamed official told the Free Beacon.

In a letter last week to a number of non-profits that are urging the U.S.to remain in the council, Tillerson said "While it may be the only such organization devoted to human rights, the Human Rights Council requires considerable reform in order for us to continue to participate". Under former President George W. Bush, the USA never participated in council debates, but former President Barack Obama believed it was important for the country to engage with the group.

In 2009, President Barack Obama applied for membership, hoping it could help change the council.

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