Israel May Sever Contacts With UNHRC

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel, which is not a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council, will likely sever ongoing contacts that it has with the body, following the pullout earlier this week by the United States, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

Israel may feel compelled to do so, given the dramatic decision by the U.S. and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statement praising it as “a courageous and ethical decision.”

“How can we stay, when the U.S. slammed the door on our account?” a former senior diplomat was quoted as saying, and adding that “once the U.S. has left the council because of us, we have no choice but to cut ties.”

Yet, Israel has so far not indicated any change in its status as an observer to the council.

Meanwhile, the seat of the U.S. envoy to the council remained empty, as the body met this week to discuss such rights issues as summary executions, freedom of expression, the rights of migrants, and other issues.

The U.S. “resigned its seat effective immediately,” a U.S. government official said on Wednesday. “We will not participate in Human Rights Council sessions going forward, including in the session currently underway.”