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US-Israel Relations: US Senators Unanimously Sign Letter Calling on UN to End ‘Unacceptable’ Bias Against Israel

In a strongly worded letter, the Senate of the United States called on the United Nations to put an end to its bias against Israel.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 15, 2017. Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein

In a strongly worded letter, the Senate of the United States called on the United Nations on Friday to put an end to its bias against Israel.

The letter, written by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) and signed by all 100 U.S. senators, told the U.N. to stop its "continued targeting of Israel," The Times of Israel reported.

"The United States co-founded the United Nations with the intention of saving future generations from war and reaffirming fundamental rights," the letter said. "While much good is being done and has been done by the body, many of its member states and agencies are using the U.N.'s privileged platform to advance anti-Israel agenda."

The letter stated that the international body is being "exploited" as a vehicle to target Israel, which reinforced anti-Semitism and kept U.N. agencies from focusing on their specific objectives.

The senators said despite their differences on certain issues, they are united in wanting to see the U.N. "improve its treatment of Israel" and "eliminate anti-Semitism in all forms."

The senators also commended U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley for saying that the international agency's bias against Israel is "long overdue for a change."

In the letter, the senators raised four issues involving certain committees or agencies of the U.N.

First, the senators pointed out that certain committees that "serve no purpose other than to attack Israel," promoting boycotts, sanctions and divestment agaisnt the nation, be eliminated or reformed.

Second, the U.S. senators also criticized the move of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to deny Jewish and Christians connections to Jerusalem and said such action undermines the organization's credibility.

Third, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is not living up to its role of helping Palestine refugees but is instead "perpetuating troubling anti-Israel bias and activities."

"UNRWA must pursue reforms or risk significant consequences," the letter said.

Fourth and "most troubling" of all is the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) "devoting" its effort to "unwarranted attacks against Israel" despite other countries like Russia, China, North Korea and Venezuela committing "egregious human rights abuses against their citizens on a daily basis," the letter said.

It also recommended that UNHRC remove Agenda Item VII, which mandates the agency to debate Israel's human rights abuses against the Palestinians in its sessions. In March, the U.S. State Department also released a statement opposing the existence of Agenda Item VII, saying it exhibits the agency's long-standing anti-Israel bias.

The senators strongly urged the U.N. to adopt reforms to stop the attacks against Israel.

"As both the U.N.'s principal founding member and its largest contributor, the United States should insist on reform," the letter said, adding that the "continued targeting of Israel by the U.N. Human Rights Council and other U.N. entities is unacceptable."

"This situation must change," the senators said in the letter. "We urge you to engage member states in a comprehensive effort to directly confront and root out this bias."

Tags : Israel, US Senate, US senators sign letter to UN, United Nations, UN anti-Israel, UN bias against Israel, Nikki Haley, Agenda Item VII, UNHRC, UNRWA, 100 senators sign letter