United Nations rights chief calls out uncooperative council members

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Ignoring abuses perpetrated by both its allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel, ambassador Nikki Haley says the US may exit the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Nikki Haley warned that if the council doesn't address its shortcomings, the USA might pull out, The Washington Post reports.

When an audience member at the Graduate Institute asked Haley to clearly pronounce herself, she said: "We're not gonna commit today whether we're gonna stay in or out of the Human Rights Council".

"We're happy to host in our country a true friend of Israel", said Israeli UN ambassador, Danny Danon, who will accompany Haley through most of her visit.

The mission said Haley's visit to Israel on June 7-9 will also include visits to United Nations operations in the region.

Haley recently penned an antagonistic op-ed for the Washington Post, in which she questioned whether the Council "actually supports human rights or is merely a showcase for dictatorships that use their membership to whitewash brutality".

The council's members have taken a strong position against Israel's continued occupation of territory seized in the 1967 Six-Day War, its treatment of Palestinians, and its building of Jewish settlements.

"I don't know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we've always seen it and that's how we should pursue it", she said in a May 17 interview.

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"Everyone wants to try and create a divide because I'm speaking out on human rights and humanitarian issues, and the President may not mention it", Haley acknowledged in an interview with CBS over the weekend.

"This is not the time - and the Human Rights Council is not the place - for the United States to embolden rights-abusing governments by withdrawing from, or otherwise undermining, the council".

Haley suggested that no decision has yet been reached, saying "America does not seek to leave the Human Rights Council".

Earlier this year Ms Haley accused the UN Security Council of neglecting to discuss the threat posed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in favour of criticising Israel. "If it fails to change, then we must pursue the advancement of human rights outside the Council".

She named Venezuela, Cuba, China, Burundi, and Saudi Arabia as not upholding the highest standards despite their membership and said that the forum was becoming "discredited" like its predecessor body, the Human Rights Commission.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU's human rights program, criticized Haley's stance in a statement to Reuters.

In Geneva, Haley said UNHRC must "address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it is to have any credibility".