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On the U.N. Human Rights Council, Quitters Are Losers
On the U.N. Human Rights Council, Quitters Are Losers
Counting the Costs of U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
Counting the Costs of U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
Op-Ed / Global

On the U.N. Human Rights Council, Quitters Are Losers

Originally published in Foreign Policy

The United States should stay and fight, not cut and run.

The Trump administration struck a blow to yet another multilateral institution this month when it slashed funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA is not a perfect institution, but it has provided critical humanitarian services, including healthcare and education, to Palestinian refugees since 1950. What will be next on the chopping block? We fear it may be the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

After all, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has placed caustic criticism of the council near the center of the U.S. government’s current U.N. policy. Even before it withdrew from the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, turned its back on the U.N. migration compact, and lashed out at UNRWA, the Trump administration threatened to make for the exits in Geneva if the council could not meet U.S. demands. The White House wanted the council to tighten its election procedures to make it harder for abusive governments to join, and to get rid of a standing agenda item that singled out Israel for a unique level of criticism.

The problem isn’t so much with the administration’s objectives for the council (we support both of them), but with the way Trump has chosen to pursue them, seeking to use the threat of quitting as leverage to achieve reform. This strategy won’t work, and will damage both the council and U.S. human rights policy. Here are five reasons why:

The full article can be read at Foreign Policy.

Contributors

Program Director, United States
StephenPomper
Keith M. Harper
Partner at Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton
A man walks by as the Israeli national flag and an American one are projected on a part of the walls surrounding Jerusalem's Old City, on 6 December 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Counting the Costs of U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

President Donald J. Trump on 6 December 2017 declared U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking decades of precedent even while saying the U.S. was not “taking a position of any final status issues”. In this Q&A, Ofer Zalzberg and Nathan Thrall, Senior Analysts for Israel/Palestine, examine what the decision means for Israelis, Palestinians and the future of their conflict.