National Security

U.N. Human Rights Council President Rebukes Pro-Israel Speech as Disrespectful

Slovenia's Vojislav Šuc doesn't criticize slew of anti-Israel remarks

The president of the United Nations Human Rights Council made a point on Tuesday to chide a pro-Israel speech as undignified and disrespectful, but he did not criticize a single anti-Israel remark, of which there were many at a council meeting in Geneva.

Vojislav Šuc, permanent representative of Slovenia to the U.N. Office at Geneva, currently serves as the Human Rights Council's president. During Tuesday's council meeting, Šuc singled out a rare pro-Israel voice before the body for criticism.

Anne Bayefsky of the Touro Institute on Human Rights & the Holocaust read a speech to the body in which she recounted how Jordanians defecated on Jewish graves while controlling the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967.

"It's a fact: Jordanian dung heaps were piled on eons of Jewish spiritual life," Bayefsky said. She then accused the U.N. high commissioner for human rights—Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, a Jordanian—of "attempting to recapture the past" by producing a report "trashing and criminalizing Jewish ‘settlements'—U.N.-defined as Jews living anywhere Arabs say they can't, including Jerusalem."

Bayefsky also called another day of "Jew-hatred" at the U.N. "business as usual," noted that a Palestinian recently stabbed to death a Jewish father in Jerusalem's Old City, and chastised European countries for refusing to oppose numerous resolutions from the council that "demonize Jews."

Šuc took issue with Bayefsky's remarks, addressing them directly after she spoke.

"Before moving to the next speaker, I may request the delegations to deal with human rights issues with dignity and respect," he said. "Everyone has the right to express his or her views, but this should remain within the accepted framework."

Šuc did not respond to several other speeches during the council meeting that accused the Jewish state of "apartheid" and "ethnic cleansing."

"Israel continues to murder, to pursue ethnic cleansing," a representative of the Palestinian Authority told the council.

South Africa's representative repeatedly accused the Jewish state of "apartheid."

"There's no difference between what is happening to the people of Palestine with what was done under apartheid," the South African delegate said.

Another South African delegate characterized Israel as "depravity and sheer inhumanity."

Libya's representative accused Israel of "heinous crimes" and "Judaization."

One non-governmental group accused Israel of  "racist demographic goals."

Another non-governmental delegate saluted Muslim "martyrs" after accusing Israel of "Judaization."

An additional non-governmental delegate said Israel is committing "genocide against the people of Palestine."

From June 2006 through June 2016, the Human Rights Council adopted 135 resolutions criticizing countries, 68 of which have been against Israel, according to U.N. Watch.

"Since its creation, the [Human Rights Council] has passed more than 70 resolutions targeting Israel," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told the Graduate Institute of Geneva last June. "It has passed just seven on Iran."