The Trump administration will boycott the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, or UNHRC, due to its efforts to advance an anti-Israel agenda, according to senior administration officials familiar with the effort who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
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.
The action on these items has prompted the Trump administration to boycott the council and refuse to attend the Monday meeting, according to administration officials apprised of the situation who spoke with the Free Beacon.
The boycott comes on the heels of the resignation of a Jordanian U.N. official who had sought to advance an anti-Israel agenda opposed by the U.S. and other nations.
Trump administration officials said the increased pressure on the U.N. is part of a larger effort by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley to significantly reform the international organization and root out those who use it as a platform to push anti-Israel initiatives.
On Monday, the UNHRC is set to consider an agenda known as the “human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” It is said to include several anti-Israel declarations that the Trump administration fiercely objects to.
Senior Trump administration officials who spoke to the Free Beacon said the upcoming resolutions affirm the U.N.’s unacceptable bias against Israel, which remains the only member nation that has specific agenda items aimed against it.
The efforts to criticize Israel threaten the council’s credibility and are said to have motivated the Trump administration to boycott Monday’s meeting.
Haley and other senior administration officials have determined that this anti-Israel bias must be addressed before the U.S. rejoins the council and gives it legitimacy, according to sources.
The Trump administration told the Free Beacon it is fully committed to voting against “every resolution” targeting Israel and that it will encourage allies to do the same.
“The argument that the U.S. has to participate in bodies like the United Nations Human Rights Council or risk losing our influence over it is ridiculous,” said one senior administration official familiar with the boycott. “The UNHRC is, like its predecessor, morally bankrupt and the only good news is that its actions have little practical effect in the real world. We’ve wasted enough time and money on it.”
The declaration signals a vast departure from the Obama administration, which, in its final days in office, helped craft and garner support for a fiercely anti-Israel resolution. The Obama administration’s efforts, which were widely condemned by Israel and U.S. pro-Israel groups, broke with decades of U.S. policy when it promoted this effort.
Newly installed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated recently that the U.S. intends boycott the UNHRC until it implements much needed reforms, chiefly its anti-Israel bias.
The latest move is meant to bolster this policy and send a message that the UNHRC’s bias against Israel must cease before the U.S. considers the group legitimate.
The Trump administration intends to vote against every U.N. resolution against Israel and will urge other nations to do the same, according to officials.
The administration also is pushing other nations to criticize the UNHCR’s anti-Israel bias and promote significant reforms.
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