U.S. envoy to U.N. slams Human Rights Council’s Gaza panel

Anthony Weiss

(JTA) — Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, criticized the world body’s panel created to investigate the recent conflict in Gaza.

At a private meeting on Friday with American Jewish communal leaders, Power said the U.N.’s Human Rights Council “has shown itself incapable of engaging constructively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to one attendee of the meeting.

Power also slammed the commission of inquiry announced last week as “wildly unbalanced,” according to the same source, and said “the process for the appointment of the commissioners was ill conceived, poorly executed and does nothing to dispel the perception of bias within the council.”

The meeting was held at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in New York City.

The commission of inquiry has already drawn stiff criticism from Israel and a number of its allies for including Canadian human rights academic William Schabas as its head. Schabas has criticized both Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in past statements.