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Ted Cruz calls on US to withdraw from UN rights body over Israel

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Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz has called on the United States to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after the body voted to condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer.

“It is time to stop ceding moral authority to the UNHRC and tell the truth about this hopelessly biased and anti-Semitic institution,” Cruz said in a statement posted on his website Friday.

“The United States should stop legitimizing the UNHRC with our membership and withdraw now,” the Texas Republican added.

The US was the only country that voted against a resolution passed Friday by the 47-member UN body, which condemned Israel for targeting civilians in the Gaza Strip during its 50-day military offensive against the impoverished enclave. Five countries abstained.

Israel’s war on Gaza, which started on July 8, 2014, killed 2,140 Palestinians, about a third of them children. Israeli losses amounted to 67 soldiers and six civilians.

US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Keith Harper said the resolution was one-sided. “We are troubled that this current resolution focuses exclusively on alleged Israeli violations, without any expressed reference to Palestinian violations.”

In his statement, Sen. Cruz hailed “Israel’s extraordinary efforts to protect civilians” during the war and accused Palestine’s resistance movement Hamas of using the Palestinians as “human shields.”

On Wednesday, Cruz said the Obama administration’s decision to reopen the US embassy in the Cuban capital, Havana, was a “slap in the face” of Israel.

He made the comments after President Barack Obama announced that the US and Cuba have reached an agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals and re-establish diplomatic ties.

Cruz called Obama’s announcement “unacceptable and a slap in the face of a close ally that the United States will have an embassy in Havana before one in Jerusalem (al-Quds).”

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