United States quits United Nations human rights body, citing bias vs Israel, alarming critics

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Especially given the timing of the decision, directly following the U.N. human rights chief's valid criticism ("unconscionable") of Trump's child separation policy that American medical experts have said amounts to child abuse, the discussion now centers on the United States' delinquency on human rights - not on the UNHRC or on the U.N.'s more general hypocrisy on human rights.

Haley said the United States had given the human rights body "opportunity after opportunity" to make changes.

Since 2006, the Human Rights Council has passed more than 70 resolutions critical of Israel, 10 times as often as it has criticized Iran.

The US and Israel have repeatedly pointed to the HRC's relentless stream of resolutions against Israel's policies, but Haley noted that it had consistently failed to condemn actual flagrant human rights abuses by countries from Venezuela and South Sudan to Cuba, Congo and Cambodia.

Trump exhibited the most unctuous form of moral equivalence in an interview with Fox News's Bret Baier when asked about North Korea's human rights violations.

The administration cited a "chronic bias against Israel" as the reason for pulling out of the United Nations group.

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Washington's decision to leave the UN's top human rights agency drew criticism from foreign partners, including some of America's closest allies.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said on Twitter that "the USA should be stepping up, not stepping back".

"China will continue, working with all sides, to make its contribution to the healthy development of human rights around the world via constructive dialogue and cooperation", he added.

But as long as the rest of the civilized world clings to these organizations - even if it demands reforms, as the United Kingdom did - they will not only continue to exist but also enjoy a great deal global legitimacy, even without the U.S. administration.

"You know, we're actually self-governing in this country".

What you need to knowMinutes later, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, called the announcement by US President Donald Trump's administration "disappointing, if not really surprising".

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office called the USA decision "courageous, " saying it was "an unequivocal statement that enough is enough".

Rights groups including Human Rights Campaign, Care International and Freedom House, said the USA pullout from the United Nations human rights council would "make it more hard to advance human rights priorities and aid victims of abuse around the world".

"We did not make this decision lightly". Its calculation is that the United States is better able to protect itself from the world's challenges by acting unilaterally first, and with others only if it must.

Last year, Haley announced that the United States was considering withdrawing from the council unless changes were made in relation to the "biased" stance against Israel. Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row. The U.S., as at other United Nations organizations, is Israel's biggest defender.

The council is a waste of time and money but does the former number three at the UN Helen Clark, who not surprisingly lost the vote to become the boss on a reform ticket, have a point?

Many politicians echoed the Obama administration's reasons for joining the council when speaking out against the decision.

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