It was no bolt from the blue that the grotesquely misnamed UN Human Rights Council played host (albeit somewhat indirectly) to a Hamas representative, Gazan “parliamentarian” Ismail al-Ashqar.

Although for technical reasons he couldn’t address the UNHRC’s official 19th session in Geneva this week, he did participate in one of the NGO forums ancillary to it.

This event, organized by the Ma’arij Foundation for Peace and Development, was conducted at the UN’s Geneva facility, parallel to the UNHRC session and publicized on UNHRC’s website.

Had Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not slammed this travesty, it’s doubtful much attention would have been paid the creeping legitimization of Hamas in the Swiss-based subsidiary of the UN General Assembly. Not that this should surprise anyone with even rudimentary familiarity with the Council.

Pro forma, it was born only in 2006, but in actual fact it started out as the much-discredited UN Human Rights Commission. Former UN chief Kofi Annan took the extraordinary step of abolishing it because of unabashed politicization that mostly manifested itself in its fixated demonization of Israel – singled out for censure on any occasion and under any pretext.

The unlamented commission was replaced by the council amid promises for sincere introspection, contrition and most of all cleaning up of the commission’s admittedly shameful record. Nonetheless, the commission’s preposterous patterns reasserted themselves in full from the get-go.

The council consistently discerns nothing more urgent to occupy itself with than Israel’s alleged human rights abuses.

The council is the commission’s carbon copy, with one exception. The commission held a single yearly session. The council treats us to multiple annual extravaganzas.

The majority of its 47 seats are Third World, which not only guarantees massive anti-Israel bias but makes mockery of human rights. Thus Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya was among the UNHRC’s movers and shakers until civil strife made the sham too untenable.

Among the council’s members are such stalwart champions of civil liberties as Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Djibouti, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, Malaysia, Qatar and Cuba.

Little wonder that the Americans expressed profound displeasure with the current UNHRC agenda. Theirs is no trifling rebuke precisely because it comes from the Obama administration that pointedly reversed a Bush administration decision not to seek a seat on the council due to its loss of credibility, obsessive preoccupation with Israel and failure to confront the world’s real serial rights abusers.

US Ambassador to the UNHRC Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe noted the council’s Agenda Item 7, under which, at every session, Israel’s human rights record is seemingly scrutinized. No other country has an agenda item reserved for it.

The US “continues to be deeply troubled by this council’s biased and disproportionate focus on Israel, as exemplified by this standing agenda item,” Donahoe told the council Monday, during a daylong debate on five UNHRC resolutions on Israel.

This is the same council that commissioned the Goldstone Report and which followed it up by scathingly condemning Israel for the Mavi Marmara incident.

The UNHRC is the last organization that should be relied upon to take into account the fact that the Hamas Charter rejects “so-called peaceful solutions.... There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad.”

Hamas’s charter also calls for Israel’s obliteration because “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.”

Citing the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, it accuses Jews of having “stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most other revolutions... via clandestine organizations like the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith – all destructive spying organizations.”

Jews, the Hamas charter charges, “instigated WWI and WWII,” and Jews later “inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary.”

This should particularly interest the UNHRC, which needs ask itself how it can abide a xenophobic terrorist organization, which, while branding the UN as a Jewish scam, exploits it to pillory the Jewish state.

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