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AJCommittee raps Swiss vote

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The American Jewish Committee criticized Switzerland on its vote in favor of a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution critical of Israel.

Not only was Switzerland the only European Union or Western country to approve the March 6 resolution, it also lobbied other E.U. countries to vote for the measure, AJC Executive Director David Harris and President Richard Sideman noted in their letter to Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs Micheline Calmy-Rey.

Canada was the only country to vote against the resolution; 33 voted in favor and 16 abstained.

The resolution, sponsored by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the League of Arab States, condemns Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip, accuses Israel of “collective punishment” and of undermining international efforts aimed at invigorating the peace process. It calls for the cessation of the firing of “crude rockets” at Israel, but does not mention the firing of long-range Katyusha missiles.

Harris and Sideman wrote that the Human Rights Council “has been derailed by countries that have little regard for human rights, and whose only agenda, it seems, is to single out and censure Israel.”

“We deeply regret that last Thursday your government saw fit to join forces with such countries, to the detriment of efforts to rectify the situation in the Human Rights Council, and even more importantly, to promote peace in the Middle East,” their letter said.

The resolution was adopted on the same day that a Palestinian man murdered eight students at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem.

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