Israel blasts U.N. list of human rights violators

Israel’s Foreign Ministry criticized as “absurd” the country’s inclusion on a list of countries that restricts the activities of human rights and advocacy groups.

The response came April 30 after the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights placed Israel on a list that includes Egypt, Belarus, Venezuela, Algeria and Ethiopia.

Israel is the only democratic country to appear on the list; the rest are either dictatorships or developing countries.

Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner, said in a statement that the listing was due to the potential bill in the Knesset that would restrict the funding of nonprofit organizations by foreign governments. The bill was approved by a ministerial committee but never reached the full Knesset for a vote. — jta