A total of 24 member countries of the Human Rights Council voted against Israel and in favor of creating a commission to investigate the alleged crimes committed in Gaza. The group of nations that spoke out against Israel has a long history of human rights violations and crimes against humanity.
Russia, China, Cuba and Venezuela were the four countries that pushed for the vote. These are nations that have been seriously questioned and investigated for committing violations against their population; governments that, in principle, should not be part of the UN Council.
The decision to create the commission was taken at an emergency session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). The resolution received 24 votes in favor and 9 against, with 14 countries abstaining.
Another striking fact about the 24 countries that voted against Israel is that they are mostly left-leaning authoritarian governments.
Argentina, for example, is led by the progressive government of Alberto Fernández, who has been an accomplice of Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela in the face of constant human rights violations and crimes against humanity.
Armenia governed by Armen Sarkissian, Bahrain by Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and Bangladesh led by Abdul Hamid, have been respectively accused by civil organizations of violating human rights and holding political prisoners in their nations.
The same is true of Cuba, Burkina Faso and China, authoritarian countries that also have a long history of outrages against their populations.
This also applies for Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Uzbekistan: most of these countries have forms of government that are far from democratic.
Israel: “the creation of the Commission is a travesty”
In response to the approval of the investigation against Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “shameful decision.”
The vote on the investigation “is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession”, he declared in a statement, in which he accused those who approved the investigation of whitewashing “a genocidal terrorist organization that deliberately targets Israeli civilians while turning Gaza’s civilians into human shield”; this, in reference to the Islamist movement Hamas, which has ruled the strip de facto since 2007.
Netanyahu argued that Israel is “a democracy acting legitimately to protect its citizens from thousands of indiscriminate rocket attacks” and described the creation of the commission of inquiry as a “travesty makes a mockery of international law and encourages terrorists worldwide.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry also referred to Thursday’s decision and said that “any resolution that doesn’t condemn the firing of more than 4,300 rockets by a terrorist organization against Israeli civilians, or even mention the Hamas terrorist organization, is nothing but a moral failure and a stain on the international community and the UN.”
Curiously enough, a large number of the countries leading the UN “Human Rights Council” are the most repressive and authoritarian in the world, which certainly delegitimizes the functions of the institution.