NEW YORK – Vice President Mike Pence issued a strong defense of Israel during an impassioned speech to the United Nations Security Council Wednesday, telling members of the body the U.N. Human Rights Council has become "a forum for anti-Semitism."
Seated next to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, who expressed similar concerns in June about the council's alleged anti-Israel bias, Pence urged the 15-member body to "immediately embrace reforms of the membership and practices of the Human Rights Council and end the [council's] blatant bias against our cherished ally Israel."
"I think of what President John F. Kennedy warned more than 50 years ago: that the U.N. must not become, in his words, ‘a forum for invective,'" Pence said in his remarks. "Unfortunately, today, the Human Rights Council has become exactly that – particularly, the Human Rights Council has become a forum for anti-Semitism and invective against Israel."
He continued, "The council's agenda item 7 actually singles out Israel for discussion at every single meeting, something no other country must endure."
Pence slammed the UNHRC for adopting more than 70 resolutions critical of Israel "while largely ignoring the world's worst human rights abusers." He noted Cuba and Venezuela, two countries where many citizens have died under their dictatorial regimes, have not once faced repercussions.
"It is, as President Trump said yesterday, a massive source of embarrassment," Pence told his foreign counterparts.
The vice president later voted in favor of the Security Council's resolution for peacekeeping reform, something the U.S. had joined U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in advocating for.