The United States is committed to advancing human rights in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and, importantly, dignity. Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms is important in its own right and as a means of preserving and advancing the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution.
As we have stated repeatedly, we firmly oppose the open-ended and vaguely defined nature of the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, which represents a one-sided, biased approach that does nothing to advance the prospects for peace. The report of the Commission, released today, does nothing to alleviate our concerns. While the United States believes the HRC plays a crucial role in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms globally, this COI and report do not advance this goal.
Israel is the only country subject to a standing agenda item at the HRC and has received disproportionate focus at the HRC compared to human rights situations elsewhere in the world. While no country is above scrutiny, the existence of this COI in its current form is a continuation of a longstanding pattern of unfairly singling out Israel. We reengaged with and later re-joined the HRC in part to be in a better position to address its flaws, including this one, and we will continue to seek reforms.
The United States remains deeply committed to helping achieve peace for both Israelis and Palestinians and will support actions in the UN that bring the parties together to advance prospects for peace.