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Congress Laying Groundwork to Boycott U.N. Body After Rash of Anti-Israel Measures
Congress is laying the groundwork to remove America from a United Nations human rights body that lawmakers claim uses American taxpayer funds to unduly target Israel for criticism and promote anti-Semitism, according to officials familiar with the effort.
A new congressional resolution gathering support among lawmakers calls out the U.N. Human Rights Council, or UNHRC, for what many allege is its virulently anti-Israel bias and urges the body to enact massive reforms or face a cut off of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.
Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is spearheading the resolution, which puts the UNHRC on notice that its targeting of Israel could lead the United States to remove itself from the body and to consider cutting off some $23 million in funding.
The effort comes amid a push by not just the UNHRC but also a number of other U.N.-affiliated bodies to target Israel for criticism and promote boycotts of the Jewish state, an effort that many describe as anti-Semitic in nature.
The UNHRC was created in 2006, but the United States did not join the organization until 2009, when former President Barack Obama came into office.
The organization has long faced accusations of anti-Israel bias for having what many describe as an obsessive focus on the Jewish state. While the organization is tasked with promoting human rights across the globe, it has issued a record 78 condemnations of Israel in past years, while ignoring abuses by countries such as Iran, China, and Russia.
“The American people need to know this particular council has incredibly condemned Israel 78 times and North Korea nine times, and has never condemned the authoritarian conduct of China or Russia,” Wilson told the Washington Free Beacon. “It has targeted Israel more than any other country.”
By continuing to be a member of the UNHRC, the United States is “giving complicity to the outrageous conduct,” Wilson said.
The UNHRC most currently took up an effort to target U.S. companies that do business with Israel and to push them into cutting ties, an effort that fits in with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS), a global campaign to wage economic war on Israel.
Anne Bayefsky, a human rights scholar and head of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, said the U.N. efforts to blacklist American companies doing business with Israel is reason enough to withdraw from the organization.
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