Israel cuts contact with UN rights council, to protest settlements probe

Haaretz reports: Israel decided Monday to sever all contact with the United Nations human rights council and with its chief commissioner Navi Pillay, after the international body decided to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements.

The Foreign Ministry ordered Israel’s ambassador to Geneva to cut off contact immediately, instructing him to ignore phone calls from the commissioner, a senior Israeli official said.

Israel will also bar a fact-finding team dispatched by the council from entering Israel and the West Bank to investigate settlement construction.

“We will not permit members of the human rights council to visit Israel and our ambassador has been instructed to not even answer phone calls,” said the official. “The secretariat of the human rights council and Nabi Pilawai sparked this process by establishing an international investigative committee on settlements, and we will thus not work with them anymore and will not appear before the council,” said the official.

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra’am-Ta’al) criticized the move, saying that it amounted to a “boycott of the UN,” and asked what “Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu have in common with human rights.”

MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) also condemned the decision, saying that Israel “prefers settlements over human rights and contact with the international community.” Khenin called the move “dangerous,” saying that “through disconnecting from the world, the government is only isolating itself.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Friday that the move by the UN body proves that the Palestinians do not want to renew negotiations with Israel. “We are dealing with Al-Qaida terror on the one hand and diplomatic terror by Abu Mazen on the other,” Lieberman said, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Bureau and the Foreign Ministry said then that Israel would not cooperate with the UN committee. The Prime Minister’s Bureau decided Friday that the committee’s members – who are yet to be determined – would not be allowed into Israel.

Israel is also considering sanctions against the Palestinian Authority in response to the human rights council decision.

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2 thoughts on “Israel cuts contact with UN rights council, to protest settlements probe

  1. Norman

    Talk about a sniveling group of whinny brats, they should be tossed out of the U.N. and the U.S. should stop pandering to them. There is only on direction that Israeli leaders are taking, and that is to destroy the M.E. as well as the economy of most of the world. They are getting out of hand.

  2. Tom Hall

    When Abu Mazen, a nakedly collaborationist figurehead, can be dismissed by the Israelis as a “diplomatic terrorist”- whatever that means- we are witnessing a complete refusal to acknowledge that a legitimate issue exists between Israel and the Palestinians. And for Israel to reject even the trappings of a UN investigation into the settlements on the West Bank, where crimes-within-crimes are the order of the day, gives the lie to the fantasy that the Occupier is prepared to negotiate. Negotiate what? The refusal to communicate with duly mandated international structures is potentially legitimate only in the case of one’s own national territory, which is how this and previous Israeli governments have consistently regarded the West Bank. They have gone far beyond the point where the territory could be repatriated in an agreement with the Palestinians. In the minds of Netanyahu, Lieberman, and yes, the loyal opposition, the West Bank is the heart and soul of Israel. Many would say that it’s more Israeli than that hot house of decadence Tel Aviv. The settlers, with Torah and gun, segregated highways, paramilitary vigilantism, and the insatiable hunger for land, represent the true Zionist spirit.

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