Report: Trump administration considering pulling out of UN Human Rights Council

Nikki Haley, Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations Press Conference after her Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, (Rex Features via AP Images)

(JTA) — The Trump administration is considering pulling out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in part over its targeting of Israel, Politico reported.

The withdrawal is not expected in time for the council’s new session, which starts on Monday, Politico reported Saturday, citing two unnamed sources in regular contact with former and current U.S. officials.

While the council’s targeting of Israel is one reason that the U.S. would quit the council, questions over its members and its overall effectiveness would also be part of the decision, an unnamed former State Department official told the news magazine.

Countries known for committing human rights abuses currently have seats on the council.

“There’s been a series of requests coming from the secretary of state’s office that suggests that he is questioning the value of the U.S. belonging to the Human Rights Council,” the former State Department official told Politico.

Earlier this month, the new United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, slammed the UN Security Council for its obsession with Israel.

She said following the meeting on Feb. 16: “The Security Council just finished its regular monthly meeting on Middle East issues. It’s the first meeting like that that I’ve attended, and I have to say it was a bit strange. The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hezbollah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East,” she said, in remarks that were widely disseminated,

“I’m here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore,” Haley also said.

A final decision on remaining a member of the council would involve Haley,  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as well as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and President Donald Trump.

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