Sunday, March 25, 2012

Angry over latest probe, Israel may recall Geneva UN envoy

U.N. Human Rights Council. An anti-Israeli agenda. [Archive] 

 Photo credit: Reuters 

Israel mulls recalling its ambassador to United Nations Human Rights Council over its decision to investigate the "impact of Israeli settlements on Palestinians in Judea and Samaria" • Investigative committee will not be allowed to enter Israel, says official.
Mati Tuchfeld, Yoni Hirsch and Israel Hayom Staff

Foreign Minister Lieberman says Israel may recall its envoy to the Human Rights Council. 

 Photo credit: AP 

Israel was considering recalling its ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council over the council's recent decision to investigate the impact of Israeli settlements on Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said over the weekend.

The Human Rights Council passed the resolution to launch the investigation in light of Israel’s planned construction of new housing units for Jewish settlers in Judea, Samaria and neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. The council says such actions "undermine the peace process and threaten a potential two-state solution and the creation of a contiguous and independent Palestinian state."

The 47-member forum adopted the resolution to launch a probe by a vote of 36 states in favor, including China and Russia, with one against (the United States). Ten abstained, including European Union members Italy and Spain.

The text was introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and cosponsored by states including Cuba and Venezuela.

“In violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, Israel is continuing construction of illegal settlements in the occupied territories including East Jerusalem,” Pakistan’s ambassador, Zamir Akram, told the talks.

The three investigators are to be named at a later date.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly dismissed the Geneva forum on Thursday evening as “hypocritical” and having an “automatic majority against Israel.”

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva Roni Leshno-Yaar told Army Radio Sunday morning that “unfortunately, we already have experience with such one-sided organizations.”

“The way Israel handled similar cases in the past proved very successful, be it with the Goldstone Commission or with the U.N. commission investigating the Gaza flotilla,” Leshno-Yaar added. “We handled those in the correct manner, with all the difficulty that accompanied the process.”

“Out of eight European Union states on the [Human Rights] Council, six chose to abstain in order not to support this initiative,” he said. “As far as I am concerned, that is a good indication.”

Pointing to the fact that more than half of the resolutions passed by the Human Rights Council have condemn Israel, Leshno-Yaar said “we must keep in mind that during the six years of the council’s existence, 46 resolutions condemning Israel have been approved, while only 36 resolutions dealing with all other countries, including Syria and Iran – have been approved in that time,” he stressed. “This goes to demonstrate this body’s legitimacy and degree of professionalism.”

Meanwhile, a senior government official in Jerusalem said that “Israel will not cooperate with the investigation just as we didn’t cooperate with the Goldstone Commission,” adding that the members of the investigative committee would not be permitted to enter Israel.

Vice Prime Minister Moshe (Bogey) Ya’alon issued a response to the HRC decision, saying, “The decision to investigate the settlements perpetuates the Human Rights Council’s definitive anti-Israel line, with record-breaking hypocrisy, ugliness and shamelessness.”

“A cursory look at some of the members of this council, who voted against Israel, reveals corrupt nations with cruel dictators who do not hesitate to massacre their own people, and other nations that deprive women, homosexuals and members of minorities of basic human rights,” Ya’alon added.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon also addressed the controversial decision, saying, “Once again, the Human Rights Council has proven to be a rubber stamp for the Palestinians. It was once again demonstrated that the Palestinians do not seek a historic compromise or peace, but that they only seek confrontation and battle.”

“This is an extension of the same diplomatic and political incitement campaign that the Palestinians have been waging against us in recent months, without pausing for a second. As far as Israel is concerned, the U.N. investigative committee has no validity – neither moral nor political - and therefore we will not allow them to operate here,” Ayalon concluded.

General director of the left-wing NGO Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheimer, also responded, saying, “We must make the distinction between the topic being investigated and the body doing the investigating,” Army Radio reported. “Obviously we think that settlements harm not only Palestinians, but also Israel – but the stance of the [Human Rights Council] is well known, and in fact, the report has already been written.”

“This is a predetermined report written by a committee that has lost its validity as an objective committee,” he added. “I expect that I will agree with some of its conclusions, but the framing of the thing and the fact that this committee will determine the conclusions will only serve to undermine the issue – it will rob the entire issue of its gravity and credibility.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress released $86.6 million in Palestinian aid on Friday – more than half the amount U.S. lawmakers froze six months ago.

Texas Rep. Kay Granger, a Republican and the chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, said that she would approve the transfer of the entire sum - some $147 million - arguing that Palestinian stability was in order now more than ever.

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, also a Republican, sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rescinding her objection to the transfer of the $86.6 million

SEE:   Breaking: Ayalon tells Israel Radio that 'human rights council' 'fact-finding mission' won't be allowed in ... POSTED by Israel Matzav

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