It's official: Israel cutting off contacts with the 'human rights council'On Monday, the foreign ministry announced that Israel has officially decided to cut all contacts with the United Nations 'human rights council,' and that it will urge other countries to do the same.
From now on, the officials said, Israel's ambassador to the UN organizations in Geneva will not appear before the council, answer any phone calls from the council, or cooperate with them in any way. The ambassador is not going to be withdrawn from Geneva, however, because there are a lot of other organizations that Israel does fully cooperate with and will continue to do so.The action was taken in response to last week's 'human rights council' decision to appoint a 'fact-finding mission' to investigate Israel's 'settlement activity in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
The official said that Israel will make efforts to get other countries on the council to follow suit, even though he acknowledged that this will be difficult.
No decision, however, has yet been made on what sanctions to take against the Palestinian Authority, which initiated this action at the UN body. Amid speculation that Israel may once again cut off monthly tax revenues that it transfers to the PA, as it did following UNESCO's decision to accept the Palestinians into the organization in November, the source said that there are other measures that can be taken. He did not elaborate.
The official said that the Palestinians are adopting a strategy of unilateralism aimed at avoiding an agreement. "They link everything to settlements," he said. "Attempts to spearhead uncoordinated projects in Area C as well as efforts in the International Court of Justice are meant to impede any political move."What's not said here is whether Israel will allow members of the 'fact-finding mission' into the country, including into Judea and Samaria. There have been hints in the media here that the decision will depend upon the mission's make-up. But I wouldn't take that as meaning much. Richard Goldstone is a Jew and was a trustee of Hebrew University in Jerusalem until the commission that bears his name was established. Goldstone was not allowed into the country with his commission.
The official said that the Palestinians' aim is to achieve UN recognition using unilateral means.
Despite the bold move to sever ties with the UN council, the Foreign Ministry remains concerned about the political stalemate. Minister Lieberman is working on a series of unspecified steps to end the deadlock.