When the British Government laid into the UN Human Rights Council last week, Israel’s supporters cheered. That is because the UNHRC is measurably, quantifiably and unequivocally obsessed with Israel. It even denotes a special, permanent agenda item to the state.
Israel advocates say that even if the country jumped through all five Olympics rings, UNHRC’s members would still try to ban it from the competition. The statistics are damning. Half of all critical country-specific resolutions adopted by the UNHRC in the 47-member organisation’s history have been aimed at Israel. HALF. The rest of the world only appears in Act Two. Still, the question for the US and UK is: ‘Better in than out’?
The US threat to leave – and the UK’s unprecedented criticism – may be both timely and tactical. Last year, the UNHRC asked the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights to compile a database on companies doing business in the settlements. If released, this would be the new BDS bible – a boon to boycotters everywhere.
Prince Zeid al-Raad was due to produce his report in Geneva this month, but it got kicked down the road and is now slated for release in September. If US-UK pressure pays off, his report may never see the light of day. This, no doubt, will be the price for continued membership.
Which is why, behind all the public PR bluster emanating from Israel’s leadership, Benjamin Netanyahu and co would secretly rather the U.S. and U.K stay in – for now at least.
Better the devil you can influence…