Withdrawing from the Human Rights Council Is a Mistake
The Trump administration has pulled the U.S. out of the U.N. Human Rights Council:
The United States withdrew on Tuesday from the world’s most important human rights body in protest of its frequent criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It was the latest effort by the Trump administration to pull away from international organizations and agreements that it finds objectionable.
It was the first time a member has voluntarily left the United Nations Human Rights Council. The United States now joins Iran, North Korea and Eritrea as the only countries that refuse to participate in the council’s meetings and deliberations [bold mine-DL].
There are legitimate reasons to criticize the U.N. Human Rights Council, but as usual the administration has managed to find the least compelling reason for its bad decision. The Human Rights Council’s failing is not that it criticizes Israel for its abuses, but that it frequently fails to hold other member states accountable for theirs. It is ridiculous to have some of the most abusive governments in the world as part of this body, but that is all the more reason why the U.S. should remain a member and seek to hold those states accountable for what they are doing. It is embarrassing that the U.S. now joins a handful of some of the most abusive governments in the world in refusing to participate. Withdrawing from the council can only benefit the worst governments in the world.
The U.S. has often been an enabler of the abuses of its clients, and it has helped them to whitewash their crimes and shield them from international scrutiny. There is nothing quite so hypocritical as condemning the Human Rights Council for hypocrisy when the U.S. is providing cover for illegal Israeli shootings of Palestinian protesters and aiding and abetting Saudi coalition war crimes in Yemen. Withdrawing from the council does nothing to remedy any of its defects, but it does forfeit U.S. influence for the sake of pandering to one of its reckless clients.