Hundreds demonstrate at UN in Geneva over Human Rights Council’s anti-Israel bias


(JTA) — Hundreds of people from cities throughout Europe demonstrated in front of the United Nations in Geneva, protesting the Human Rights Council’s bias against Israel.

The demonstration took place Monday as the council reached Agenda Item 7, the only permanent agenda item, which is devoted solely to condemning Israel.

The council discussed seven separate reports alleging Israeli war crimes and other human rights offenses, the most against any country. Chief among them was one which found that Israel committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza border protests last year. An independent U.N. commission released its conclusions last month.

The report called on countries around the world to arrest Israeli soldiers and reservists and to sanction them with travel bans and asset freezes. The report also noted that the council keeps dossiers on Israeli officials involved in what it considers war crimes.

The pro-Israel watchdog group NGO Monitor said the report ignores the stated goal of Hamas officials to use the demonstrations as camouflage for terror activities and that it relies on 350 unverifiable and anonymous interviews.

The U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, told the rally that Agenda Item 7 “speaks to the fundamental flaws of the Human Rights Council that it singles out Israel on a permanent basis.”

“This is not just a form of bigotry. It is a sign of intellectual and moral decay,” he said.

Twenty-four groups that oppose anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias organized the rally.

Last year, the United States dropped out of the Human Rights Council, citing its treatment of Israel. Israel joined the U.S. in leaving. Neither could speak during Monday’s meeting.

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