Avi Abraham Benlolo
Statement: A New Low for the UNHRC
05/27/21: The United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) set a new low by adopting another anti-Israel resolution. In today's session, the organization adopted a resolution establishing an ongoing commission of inquiry to effectively investigate alleged "human rights violations and abuses" relating to Hamas's recent war with Israel.
"Instead of going after Hamas, an international terrorist group, the notoriously biased UNHRC went after Israel - a nation that was acting in self-defence against 4,000 rockets launched at its citizens indiscriminately. What this effectively does is empowers terrorist groups, while disables democracies to defend themselves" - commented Avi Benlolo.
In response, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin said: "the world turned upside down. Instead of the free world speaking out clearly against Hamas and its terror leaders. the UN Human Rights Council makes an inexplicable decision against Israeli citizens who faced the criminal fire of thousands of missiles against innocent civilians".
24 countries voted in favour of the resolution while only 9 voted against with 14 nations abstaining. Those who stood with Israel in opposition were Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Germany, Malawi, Marshall Islands, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
Many of the countries who voted against Israel are among the world's most oppressive regimes, yet they sit on the human rights council. They include Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Cuba, China and others.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Today's shameful decision is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council's blatant anti-Israel obsession".
Israel's Ambassador to the UNHRC in Geneva said: "For years the HRC has been creating a parallel universe where Hamas & Israel are given a moral equivalence, a parallel universe that has no grip in reality, where politics prevails over human rights. This session & this resolution are no different".
In a release, Canada's Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said that Canada delivered a statement to the UNHRC. In that statement Canada reiterated much of its previously stated position: "we support the principle of “two states for two peoples”, with both Israelis and Palestinians living within secure borders that are mutually respected and recognized".
But Canada still went hard at Israel stating: “The continued expansion of settlements, demolitions and evictions constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. Canada calls on Israel to stop settlement activities, including those in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. These activities are a violation of international law and must cease. Canada reiterates that it does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967".
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Avi Abraham Benlolo, BA MA, Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa)
Order of Vaughan, Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, Race Relations Award
ABOUT: Avi Abraham Benlolo has been described as the nation's most prominent and noted expert in Holocaust studies, in countering Antisemitism and promoting human rights. He has dedicated nearly three decades in executive capacities, was founding President and CEO of a major organization in the Jewish community, has raised over $150 million for charities and is a leading voice in Canada. His academic research, graduate degree, Ph.D. coursework and nearly three decades of professional work has focused on these arenas in addition to peace and security in the Middle East. He has published hundreds of articles in these areas. In recognition of his national and international leadership in this area, he has received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate from a prestigious Israeli university for his work in Holocaust studies and combating antisemitism; an Order of Vaughan for his distinguished contribution to anti-racism, equity and diversity; the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to Canada and a race relations award for best practice, based on distinguished service in promoting human rights.
As a supporter of Israel, he is proud to have established "The Avi Benlolo Scholarship Fund in National Security" at Haifa University.