Denmark and Australia have called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to stop its biased treatment of Israel by eliminating the controversial Agenda Item 7 at next week’s session.

“As a member, Denmark will work for a council that treats all states in an equal and fair manner. It undermines the credibility of this council and its members when it insists on singling out one country, Israel, a democracy, under its own agenda item [7],” Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said.

He reference the UNHRC mandate that alleged Israeli human rights abuses must be debated at each session under Agenda Item 7. Human rights allegations against all other UN member states are debated under Agenda Item 4. Only Israel is singled out with its own separate listing on the agenda.

Samuelsen directly called on all of the 47 UNHRC member states to stay silent during the Item 7 debate, which will take place on March 18, days before the 40th session ends on March 22.
“All countries should be treated on an equal footing. Therefore, we will not speak under Item 7, but address the situation in Israel/Palestine under other country-specific items [Agenda Item 4] where it belongs. We encourage others to do the same,” Samuelsen said.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne added: “It is our firm view that a separate agenda item focusing on a single country situation – in this case Israel – is inappropriate. It does not occur in any other context for any other country.”

At the UNHRC 40th session that starts on Monday, Israel will again being singled out in the notorious “Agenda Item 7” – a permanent fixture at every UNHRC session, with no other country in the world receiving its own agenda item.

Among the items being voted on will be the biased report into Israel’s defensive actions at the Gaza border – although described as “assaults” on “civilian protesters”, even though many of those killed had proven links to Hamas.

In June last year, Britain warned the UNHRC that the UK will vote against all anti-Israel resolutions unless it stopped its anti-Israel bias by the end of 2018.

More than six months have now passed, however the UNHRC has clearly not changed its anti-Israel bias. With the Council meeting next week, Britain MUST keep its promise.

That is why CUFI is calling upon the current Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, asking the UK government to make an important stand against hatred for Israel at the United Nations.

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