British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has defended the U.N.’s main human rights body, alluding to signs the U.S. may withdraw from it over its bias against Israel.
Speaking to the Human Rights Council, Johnson nonetheless said that its dedicated agenda item on Israel and the Palestinians was “disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace.”
Addressing the opening of the 38th council session, Johnson criticized the council’s Agenda Item 7, a permanent fixture on the schedule exclusively devoted to discussing alleged rights abuses in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
“We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7,” Johnson said.
“But I stress that that does not mean that we in the U.K. are blind to the value of this council.”
Johnson said the council’s work on the Israel-Palestinian conflict could have value under the right conditions.
Diplomats have told The Associated Press that a U.S. withdrawal from the 47-member council could come as early as Tuesday.