This month, anti-Israel terrorists murdered a mother and her two daughters in one attack, as well as an Italian tourist in a separate attack in Tel Aviv. Instead of condemning these murders, Francesca Albanese, the UN’s special rapporteur on Gaza, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem became embroiled in controversy after suggesting that Israel doesn’t have the right to self-defense against Palestinian terrorists.
Her claim was that these are, “people it [Israel] oppresses/whose lands it colonizes.” As calls for her resignation have since mounted, such as this petition by the International Legal Forum, the special rapporteur then took to Twitter to simply deny responsibility and accuse critics of misrepresenting her.
Albanese’s appearance on the Hezbollah-affiliated channel Al Mayadeen this past week appears to confirm that Albanese’s sympathies lie with those who seek Israel’s destruction, rendering her unfit for an office where UN guidelines require her to exercise “impartiality and objectivity.” Albanese’s track record is irredeemably tainted by bias, antisemitism and sympathies for terrorism. She must resign.
For context, Twitter temporarily shut down Al Mayadeen’s Twitter account for hosting an interview with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Secretary General Ziyad Nakhalah, whom Al Mayadeen’s CEO, Ghassan Ben Jeddou, has hailed as an adamantly exceptional leader. Al Mayadeen has also interviewed Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, who Ben Jeddou has called a friend.
Both Hezbollah and the PIJ are Iranian-sponsored, United States-designated terrorist groups that seek Israel’s destruction. Hezbollah’s attacks on US targets have killed hundreds and its 150,000 rocket arsenal remains aimed at Israel.
During the recent interview with Al Mayadeen’s Zeinab Al Saffar, Albanese accused Israel of colonization, segregation and apartheid, as the reporter led with questions rooted in bias that Albanese refused to challenge. Al Saffar accused Israel of fascism and ethnic cleansing, despite the Palestinian population having increased by millions since 1948, including a whopping 150% increase since 1990 alone, according to World Data.
There was nothing impartial or objective about this interview, where Albanese discussed her intentions to help change the language and discourse surrounding the conflict and then audaciously complained about being accused of supporting terrorism, of being biased and of being antisemitic, which she brushed off as a form of aggressive and abusive attacks against whoever tries to call for justice and accountability.
Her appearance is not at all surprising
ALBANESE’S APPEARANCE on the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen is not surprising. She has previously encouraged terrorists to exercise violence. NGO Monitor reports that in November 2022, Albanese spoke at a conference hosted by a Hamas body and attended by senior officials of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Albanese declared to the audience, “You have a right to resist this occupation.”
Albanese’s antisemitic statements do not deviate far from the antisemitic groups she associates with. She has engaged in Holocaust inversion, accusing Israel of Nazi-like behavior, and in 2014, she accused the US and Europe of being subjugated by the Jewish lobby and Holocaust guilt.
Given her track record of antisemitism, it’s no surprise that Albanese has tried to subvert efforts by the Jewish community to define and combat antisemitism, opposing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism and reportedly asking the European Union to refrain from tying itself to a single definition of antisemitism.
Keeping antisemitism undefined benefits Albanese and others by shielding them from accountability for promoting bigoted ideas. Albanese has no standing to define antisemitism.
In response to Albanese’s bigotry, a bipartisan delegation of 18 US congressional members earlier this year called for Albanese’s removal from her position at the United Nations and its Human Rights Council, where systemic antisemitism and anti-Israel bias have only grown worse over time.
According to UN Watch, nearly 70% of all condemnatory resolutions in the General Assembly have targeted Israel since 2015 and over 50% of all condemnatory resolutions in the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) have targeted Israel since 2006.
Anti-Israel bias has only been fomented in the Human Rights Council over the past year, due to the emergence of the UNHRC’s discriminatory Commission of Inquiry on Israel, whose commissioners have their own records of anti-Israel bias and antisemitism and whose mandate has no end date, in contrast to similar bodies that focus on other parts of the world.
Simply put, the United Nations and its Human Rights Council cannot purport to protect human rights worldwide as they continue to indulge in antisemitic double standards and seat a rapporteur who embraces terrorists and espouses antisemitism. For the sake and integrity of its mission, it must immediately see Francesca Albanese’s resignation.
The writer is the director of policy education at StandWithUs, a nonprofit and nonpartisan international Israel education organization.