Israel: Impunity for UN officials speaking of ‘Jewish Lobby’ must end

Israel's mission to the UN in Geneva spoke out after a report on Francesca Albanese used the phrase “the Jewish Lobby.”

 THE UNITED NATIONS headquarters building in New York City, and the UN logo: Today’s UN needs to be reimagined and reformed to address the limited problems it can effectively handle, says the writer. (photo credit: CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)
THE UNITED NATIONS headquarters building in New York City, and the UN logo: Today’s UN needs to be reimagined and reformed to address the limited problems it can effectively handle, says the writer.
(photo credit: CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)

Israel on Wednesday called on the United Nations to stop turning a blind eye at UN officials who use the antisemitic phrase the “Jewish Lobby.”

“The lack of accountability and impunity for comments made by UN officials only works to legitimize antisemitism and endangers the Jewish people,” it said.

Israel’s mission to the UN in Geneva spoke out after Israeli media reported that “UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967” Francesca Albanese had used the phrase the “Jewish Lobby.”

Albanese is tasked with reporting on alleged Israeli human-rights abuses to the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

Other reports of the use of the antisemitic phrase

 A view of an entrance of the United Nations multi-agency compound near Herat November 5, 2009. (credit: REUTERS/MORTEZA NIKOUBAZL) A view of an entrance of the United Nations multi-agency compound near Herat November 5, 2009. (credit: REUTERS/MORTEZA NIKOUBAZL)

Earlier this year, The Jerusalem Post reported that Miloon Kothari, one of three members of the UNHRC’s Commission of Inquiry on Israel, had said in a public interview that social media was largely controlled by the “Jewish lobby.” He later retracted that statement due to its antisemitic connotations.

Albanese’s comment “that surfaced today are yet another stain on the credibility of this body and yet another example of the impunity that exists today regarding antisemitism and antisemitic comments made by UN officials,” the Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva said.

It referenced a Facebook post she wrote in 2014, prior to entering the post of special UN rapporteur, in which she wrote, “America and Europe, one of them subjugated by the Jewish Lobby, and the other by the sense of guilt about the Holocaust remain on the sidelines.”

Israel’s mission said the term “Jewish Lobby” is a well-known, millennia-old antisemitic trope. It has been used to direct hatred toward the Jewish people for hundreds of years with horrific consequences.

“Sadly, this is not the first time we have been made aware of the term ‘Jewish lobby’ being used by UN officials that are charged with investigating Israel,” the Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva said. “It is a deplorable term that no one should ever use, especially those representing the UN or officials appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.”

Albanese had made a number of other “alarming” statements, it said, including dismissing “Israeli security concerns as paranoia,” talking about “Israel’s greed” and comparing Israeli action to that of the Nazis.

In the past, she has said that “it is very convenient” to charge critics of Israel with antisemitism, the Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva said.