Erdan breaks the HRC report in the General Assembly

To illustrate his disdain for the bias of the United Nations, Israel’s ambassador, Gilad Erdan, dramatically tore a report from the organization’s Human Rights Council during a speech to the General Assembly.

“There is always an open season for Israel in the human rights council,” Erdan said at the General Assembly in New York on Friday.

Since the council’s inception in 2006, it has issued 142 convictions against UN member states, 95 of which were directed against Israel, Erdan told the General Assembly as he debated an annual council report summarizing its actions.

This included the passage of four resolutions against Israel. A special session was also held in which the UNHRC voted to open a permanent investigation into alleged human rights abuses by Israel in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as within the sovereign State of Israel. Israel is the only country that is opposed to such an open investigation being launched.

To help put the issue in perspective, he noted that the UNHRC had issued 35 convictions against Syria and 10 against Iran.

“The voices of the victims, of the terrible crimes against humanity that we have already seen in the first decades of this century, cannot be heard over the obsession of the so-called Human Rights Council to attack Israel,” Erdan said.

As a result, “the suffering of the victims of humanity’s greatest crimes goes unnoticed. What a shame, what a shame!”

Erdan said the UN has a history of anti-Israel bias and specifically referred to the infamous 1975 General Assembly resolution declaring Zionism is racism, which was repealed in 1991.

When it was approved in 1975, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN, Chaim Herzog, tore the document up in his speech to the General Assembly.

Recalling that moment, Erdan said: “It was on this stage, in this very body, where the very right of the Jewish people to have a national home was declared racist. A decision that was justly reversed.

Ambassador Gilad Erdan at the UN General Assembly (credit: ISRAEL MISSION TO THE UN)

“A decision that the Israeli ambassador at the time, Chaim Herzog, broke before the United Nations.

“And this is exactly what should be done with this one-sided, distorted, anti-Semitic report. Just as that 1975 resolution, which equated Zionism with racism, was itself a gross form of anti-Jewish racism, which has no place in This international body, like the obsessive anti-Israel bias of the Human Rights Council, embodied, once again, in this report, should have no place in anyone concerned about human rights, security or peace.

“It is the only place in the dump of anti-Semitism, and that is exactly how we will treat it,” Erdan said, tore a copy of the report into four parts and then walked away from the podium.

HRC President Nazhat Shameem, who is Fiji’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, as well as in New York for the General Assembly debate.

In a press conference with journalists later that day, he defended the HRC against accusations of anti-Israel bias. He also rejected consultations on the inclusion of abusive states in the 47-member Human Rights Council.

Shameem said that “there was no country in the world with a perfect human rights record.”

“If we were to say that the UNHRC is only for counties that have no human rights violations, I’m not sure we will stick with anyone.”

Regarding the UNRHC discussions, he said Israel has been a constructive and helpful partner when it comes to general discussions. “We have heard the voice of Israel on a number of constructive issues,” he said.

Shameem said there were 420 country-specific resolutions, 92 of which were on Israel, but he did not expand further on the HRC’s disproportionate focus on Israel, except to state that the council had many productive conservations on many issues.

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