John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, criticized the Human Rights Council of the United Nations for its excessive “obsession with Israel”. In a speech delivered in Geneva on Monday while addressing the U.N. intergovernmental body, he told that the Council’s directed focus on human rights record of Israel may lead to the undermining of the organization itself. He added emphatically that the U.S. would oppose any move or effort by any group or participant in the system of the U.N. to delegitimize arbitrarily or isolate Israel. He further added that no country should be immune from the scrutiny of human rights record; however, no country should unnecessarily be harassed on unfounded beliefs.
The comments of Kerry has only a day prior to Netanyahu’s controversial address in Washington to the joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Netanyahu is slated to denounce a likely agreement between Iran and some of the world powers on Iran’s nuclear program. A senior official of the State Department told that a constant concern and focus on Israel by the Human Rights Council was undue and improper. He further added that U.S. stood for, and backed, Israel so far as its human rights record is concerned. The official further revealed that the U.S’s greatest concern lied with the report of Commission of Enquiry on Gaza likely to be placed in the UNHRC session. The report, scheduled to be released before 23rd March, would focus on the 50-day war of Israel with militants in Gaza between July and August 2014. A man William Schabas, appointed by the UNHRC to investigate war crimes committed in Gaza by Israel, resigned due to his being accused of bias by Israel. Netanyahu earlier called for the scrapping of all inquiries relating to war crimes in Gaza as the three member commission instituted for the purpose was an “anti-Israel body.”