Human Rights Council Agenda Item 7 – Biased Israel

Many speakers condemned the disproportionate focus on Israel and the demonisation of the world’s only Jewish State. They said that the Council and the international community should be doing more to address Israeli occupation practices and entrenchment.

They also condemned the one-sided resolutions submitted under agenda item 7. They urged the HRC to abide by its own principles of universality, impartiality and objectivity.

Israel’s Occupation of the Palestinian Territories

The United States is deeply concerned that the Human Rights Council has adopted an agenda item seven – an annual group of resolutions that are biased against Israel. No other country has an entire agenda item dedicated to it at this Council, and the continued existence of this unbalanced matter threatens its credibility.

Several speakers emphasized the need to ensure justified and proportional scrutiny of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, including the illegal transfer of its own population into occupied territory and the expansion of settlements. They called on States that singled out Israel and demonized it to abandon their double standards and end their systematic hatred of the world’s only Jewish State. They also urged them to end the impunity they afforded despots around the globe by demanding accountability for others. They should not be using the Council to promote their own political interests. They should instead be helping people all over the world achieve their full human rights.

Israel’s Separation of Church and State

Several speakers called for the end of Israel’s occupation and related practices. They noted that such actions violate international law and harm the prospects for a two-State solution and a shared Jerusalem.

Manley (United Kingdom) said the UK was committed to working with both Israelis and Palestinians in the hope of reaching a peace agreement that would allow for the full realization of their aspirations. But it could not support resolutions that singled out Israel for disproportionate scrutiny, which undermined efforts to advance dialogue, stability and mutual trust and understanding between the two peoples and jeopardized the two-State solution.

Taylor (United States) said she strongly and unequivocally opposed the Council’s biased agenda item 7. She noted that no other State, including those whose human rights records were the subject of resolutions at this session or of which the Council was unable to agree to hold a debate, received such treatment. This undermined the credibility of the Council.

Israel’s Separation of Children from Parents

In order to reduce the traumatic effects and long-term impacts of children’s detention, Save the Children calls on the Government of Israel to ensure that they have sustained and meaningful communication with their families and caregivers. We also call on the authorities to end the arbitrary separation of children from their parents.

Some speakers argued that the Council had a legacy of biased focus on Israel and an inability to stand up for universal human rights principles, especially in its treatment of agenda item seven. They questioned the credibility of the Council when it devoted one third of its meetings to discussing a single country and when resolutions adopted at that meeting were based on selective and false allegations.

Others argued that draft resolutions under agenda item 7 were biased and that the sponsors of those proposals were engaging in the same double standards that they decried, including by trying to undermine fact-finding mechanisms on other situations such as in Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Israel’s Separation of Women from Men

The U.S. is committed to remaining engaged with the Human Rights Council, leveraging a policy of principled engagement to achieve important wins on a wide range of country-specific priorities. These include the creation of groundbreaking Commissions of Inquiry on Syria, North Korea, and Iran, as well as the appointment of a first-of-its-kind independent expert to address violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

However, the United States unequivocally opposes the Council’s biased agenda item 7, which enables Israel to deflect scrutiny from its own abuses and to distract from the progress made by many other countries around the world in promoting basic human rights. Item 7 represents a clear case of double standards, which undermines the credibility of the Council and jeopardizes its ability to advance global accountability. We therefore strongly oppose all resolutions sponsored by States with Special Consultative Status to the United Nations that are introduced under this item.

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