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World

United Nations Singles Out Israel for Violating ‘Women’s Rights’

The Israeli flag flies near the Western Wall in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem’s old city. (Reinhard Krause/Reuters)

The United Nations economic and social council recently singled out Israel for violating women’s rights by a vote of 40–2 with nine abstentions and three countries absent.

The resolution criticized Israel for posing a “major obstacle” for Palestinian women “with regard to their advancement, self-reliance, and integration in the development of their society,” UN Watch reported.

The Council then resolved Israel should address these issues by complying with the 1994 agreement signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): fully opening Palestinian access to border crossings in the Gaza Strip, as well as restoring and replacing “civilian property, vital infrastructure, agricultural lands and government institutions that have been damaged or destroyed due to its military operations,” according to a UN press release.

Iran, Saudia Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan were among the 54-nation committee which proposed the resolution — all countries that have seen their fair share of criticism for human-rights abuses.

“It amazes me how the U.N. condones votes like these. It is a total mockery of human rights to allow Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Yemen to name Israel as the world’s only violator of women’s rights,” wrote Nikki Haley, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, on Twitter.

Only the U.S. and Canada voted against the resolution, while Brazil, Cameroon, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Romania, Togo, Ukraine, and United Kingdom abstained.

Jonathan Cohen, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, expressed concern about the insertion of “one-sided and unhelpful language” in the resolution, pointing out that Hamas, the Palestinian terror group active in the Gaza Strip, limits women’s ability to move freely and appear in public. A UN press release noted that Cohen “stressed that politicized efforts at the United Nations will do nothing to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The U.K., which abstained from the vote, was concerned that the resolution was one-sided.

The Israeli representative to the committee said that many of the issues facing Palestinian women stem from internal cultural issues and shouldn’t be projected onto Israel — especially as the Palestinian Authority ignores Israeli outreach efforts.

Shortly after, the council adopted a second resolution censuring the state of Israel for “economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation.”

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