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US Leaves UN “Human Rights” Political Theater

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The US is OUT! No more participating in the political theater that is the UN Human Rights Council. 

This is a good thing. Why? Because our involvement in the UN Human Rights Council has been giving legitimacy to a group of dictators and human rights violators who comprise this “human rights” council, countries that are farthest from having any legitimate authority on human rights. (See Egypt, China, Venezuela, etc.) These countries sit on a high-horse of fraudulent moral authority with the sole intent of concealing their own human rights violations. 

Picture Richard Gere as Billy Flynn, singing Razzle Dazzle in Chicago. The song is about diverting attention craftily, in order to conceal the underlying truth. 

    Give 'em the old hocus pocus, 

    Bead and feather ‘em

    How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

    Razzle dazzle 'em

    And they'll never catch wise!

That’s Gere singing about the UN Human Rights Council.

A majority of the UN Human Rights Resolutions are issued against Israel. From its creation in June 2006 through June 2016, the UN Human Rights Council over one decade adopted 135 resolutions criticizing countries; 68 out of those 135 resolutions have been against Israel (more than 50%). This is mind-boggling, considering that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that respects human rights, and the countries that accuse Israel of human rights violations are themselves some of the greatest aggrievers of human rights. The US and the UK have time and time again spoken out against the anti-Israel agenda that permeates this council, and the lack of human rights consideration for actual human rights violations. With sarcastic shock, I can announce that barely any of the resolutions have been against the member countries of the Human Rights Council.

“You can’t have a police force run by criminals — but that is essentially the UN Human Rights Council”— Elan Journo.

Journo is the director of policy research at the Ayn Rand Institute, an expert on American foreign policy, and public policy analyst. Journo spoke to me about his support of US departure from the council. “The UN does not exclude members who are dictators or who violate human rights. The UN is morally bankrupt. That is the true character of the UN,” he declared. Journo is pleased to hear that we are leaving the political theater that is the “human rights” council. 

Niki Haley has powerfully denounced the outrageous discussions and resolutions that come out of that council, accusing the Human Rights Council of inflicting “damage [to] the cause of human rights” and calling the council a “protector of human rights abuses, and a cesspool of political bias.”

In actuality, UN Human Rights Resolutions are more about bark than bite, and serve primarily as theatrical admonishment. Unfortunately, many reporters, students, and people unfamiliar with the nature of these Resolutions unwittingly accept them as consequential proclamations. Journo says this type of recognition by the public gives “undeserved moral standing to countries which in fact participate in human rights violations, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia." The US involvement in the council has been substantiating their legitimacy, he explains. 

Yet some politicians are concerned that withdrawal will have adverse consequences for our ally Israel. “By withdrawing from the council, we lose our leverage and allow the council’s bad actors to follow their worst impulses unchecked — including running roughshod over Israel,” said Eliot L. Engel, the top Democrat on the House committee that oversees the State Department. But Journo disagrees. “When the US was not part of the human rights council it was more apparent what they were doing was morally bankrupt. Western countries raise the moral standing by association — why would we continue to do that? US presence wasn’t helping Israel, so leaving will not hurt Israel.” Remember, the resolutions are merely illusory, so Journo’s contention that Israel will not be injured as a result of the exit makes sense.

US withdrawal will help the world to see the thespians issuing these UN resolutions for what they really are, and the resolutions for what they really are — a charade. 

Elan Journo’s latest book, What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, is on my nightstand right now. It has been a highly educational and enjoyable read. I strongly recommend it. 

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