UN Watch report highlights anti-Israel bias at UN Human Rights Council

Among the claims made against Israel at the UNHRC include Israel hindering the Palestinians in their fight against COVID-19.

UN HIGH COMMISSIONER for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet makes a speech at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in February. (photo credit: DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)
UN HIGH COMMISSIONER for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet makes a speech at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in February.
(photo credit: DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)
The watchdog organization UN Watch published its first-ever report on Monday detailing the strong anti-Israel claims made at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) by various countries.
The release of the report comes amid the 46th session of the UNHRC, which is scheduled to take place on February 22 in Geneva and will run until March 23.
The 58-page report titled “Agenda Item 7: Country Claims & UN Watch Responses” focuses on how claims put forward against Israel by notorious human rights abuses, such as the Palestinian Authority, Syria, North Korea, and dozens of other council members that frequently accused Israel of various crimes and human rights violations.  
Among the claims made against Israel at the UNHRC include Israel hindering the Palestinians in their fight against COVID-19, Israel occupying Palestinian land, Israel committing apartheid against the Palestinians, damaging holy sites, and the blockade of Gaza being illegal.
Under Agenda Item 7, Israel is the sole country discussed at the council, while all the other 193 countries in the world are addressed under Agenda Item 4. Likewise, the report notes that no special agenda items were filed on Iran, Syria, North Korea, and other prominent human rights abusing countries.
“Israel has become a convenient punching bag and scapegoat for non-democratic states, many of them members of the UNHRC such as Cuba, Pakistan, and Libya, to divert attention away from their own gross and systematic human rights abuses," said UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer in response to the report.
At the same time, the report notes that all Western countries have refused to participate in the Item 7 debate, due to the claim it is biassed against Israel.
"It makes sense for democracies not to legitimize discrimination, but the problem is that many spurious claims go on the record at the United Nations with no fact-checking or accountability. This report provides the first examination of claims made under Item 7, using detailed analysis and citing sources of fact and international law. It's time to confront the toxic brew of hate and misinformation at the UN,” Neuer added.