Report: Netanyahu asked European leaders to vote against Israel at U.N.


(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked several European leaders to support the United Nations Human Rights Council report that slams Israel’s Gaza war actions, a British newspaper reported.

Netanyahu called British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other “key allies” last Friday before the Human Rights Council vote later that day, according to the Jewish Chronicle of London. The Israeli leader reportedly wanted the resolution to be adopted so that an alternate version, which could have been more critical of Israel, would not be drafted.

An unidentified source close to Cameron said that the British prime minister, who is publicly pro-Israel, initially thought the move would be “pure madness” but eventually voted in favor of the resolution after being assured that other European leaders were also voting for it.

Of the 47 members on the Human Rights Council, only the United States voted against the resolution, which accused both Israel and the Palestinians of possible war crimes but devoted more criticism toward Israel. Five nations abstained from voting.

In a statement on Monday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry “all but denied” the allegations that Netanyahu reached out to the European leaders, the Times of Israel reported.

“Israel announced to all the members of the Human Rights Council that it is strongly opposed to the resolution that was adopted, as was expressed in the State of Israel’s formal response,” the Foreign Ministry said. “At the same time, Israel asked the members of the council to ensure that the proposed text is not made harsher.”

“Both the Israelis and the Brits will deny this,” the source close to Cameron told the Jewish Chronicle. “It sounds bonkers. But it’s true.”

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