(JTA) — The Trump administration is threatening to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council, citing among other things the intergovernmental body’s “biased agenda against Israel.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter this week to nine nonprofit groups opposed to withdrawal — including one affiliated with the American Jewish Committee — in which he explained that the United States may quit the council unless it makes reforms, Foreign Policy reported.
In the meantime, Tillerson said the U.S. would “reiterate our strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council’s biased agenda against Israel.”
Tillerson wrote that the U.S. was concerned as well about the council membership of countries accused of human rights violations, such as China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The nine groups, which include the AJC-affiliated Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human rights, wrote a letter last month to Tillerson arguing that the U.S. can better protect Israel from disproportionate criticism if it remains a member, according to Foreign Policy.
Israel and its supporters have accused the Human Rights Council of disproportionately targeting the Jewish state with criticism while overlooking abuses by other countries.