I was well aware of the inherent bias employed there and admittedly had not set my expectations very high. Yet I naïvely envisaged the decision-makers employing some measure of objectivity. But I was in for a nasty surprise, for what greeted me was a complete circus of a council, staffed with disillusioned dictators, totalitarian regimes with appalling records of human rights abuse voicing laughable “concerns”, all of them engaged in complete mockery of human rights.
I sat in the main hall witnessing the absurdity of Iran criticising Ireland's record of human rights abuse of children, and saw Syria criticising the council for focusing on the murder of more than 9,000 civilians but ignoring what it claims is happening in the West Bank.
I later spent time with the Ugandan ambassador to the HRC who in an official capacity occupies a dual role as ambassador to Geneva as well. He was completely unaware of the content and subject of an item regarding Israel, but this did not stop him from airing his concerns about the perceived grip the “Jewish lobby” has on the US Congress.
The real bombshell came at the conclusion of the meeting, when he asked, in all seriousness: “Are there any Christians in Israel?”
A week later Uganda was one of the countries lending support to the five condemnations directed at Israel. At the French embassy I was told by the press attaché that he could not elaborate on antisemitism in France since he had not familiarised himself with the relevant reports and was not Jewish.
The general incompetence displayed was astonishing...Astonishing--but by no means unusual. Par for the course there, really.