Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz called Friday for the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), after the body voted to condemn Israel's conduct during the 2014 war in Gaza.
The U.S. was the only country to vote against the resolution put before the council Friday, with 41 voting in favor, and five countries abstaining. The resolution condemned Israel's targeting of innocent civilians during the conflict, and also called for an end to the impunity of Israeli officials responsible for alleged war crimes.
In a statement posted on his website, Cruz said that the single U.S. vote against the censure was a “meaningless gesture.”
“It is time to stop ceding moral authority to the UNHRC and tell the truth about this hopelessly biased and anti-Semitic institution. … The United States should stop legitimizing the UNHRC with our membership and withdraw now,” he added.
Other critics of the resolution argued that it ignored criticism of the Palestinian side raised in an earlier U.N. Report, which accused both sides in the conflict of committing war crimes.
“We are troubled that this current resolution focuses exclusively on alleged Israeli violations, without any expressed reference to Palestinian violations,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva Keith Harper said as he explained why his country voted against the resolution, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the UNHRC in a statement, saying that the body was neither interested "in facts nor in true human rights," Haaretz reported.
The United Nations has long been a target of Republican ire. President George W. Bush's former ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, famously once remarked that if the U.N. building “lost ten stories it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”