Israel, US Decry Rights Monitor’s “Jewish Lobby” Remarks As Anti-Semitic

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Miloon Kothari, member of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, briefs reporters on the first report of the Commission, June 14, 2022. (UN Photo/Jean Marc Ferré)

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Israel, the United States and Britain on Thursday accused a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry of Israel’s “war crimes” in the Palestinian territories of antisemitism.

During an interview with the online outlet Mondoweiss, one of the three commission members, Miloon Kothari, was asked about the widespread criticism of the commission. Not only do the members of the commission have virulently anti-Israel pasts, but Israel is the only country out of 193 UN member states to be targeted with a permanent ongoing commission and has been the target of more Human Rights Council resolutions than any country, over double the number of those against Syria and North Korea.

Kothari responded by blaming the criticism on the “Jewish lobby” and said that Israel doesn’t deserve to be part of the UN.

“We are very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by, whether it is the Jewish lobby or it is specific NGOs, a lot of money is being thrown into trying to discredit us,” he said.

“I would go as far as to raise the question as why are they even a member of the United Nations, because they don’t respect — the Israeli government does not respect — its own obligations as a U.N. member state,” he concluded.

Anti-Israel commission head Navi Pillay, in a letter to UN Human Rights Council President Federico Villegas defended Kothari, saying his comments “seem to have been taken out of context” and that the commission “feels it necessary to clarify certain issues given the seriousness of the accusations.”

Israel’s ambassador in Geneva Meirav Eilon Shahar sent a letter to Villegas on Friday decrying Pillay’s “defense of the indefensible” as an “endorsement of anti-Semitism.”

“She has brought shame to the whole institution,” she wrote in the letter, as quoted by AFP. “It is time to disband this commission. There is no possible way for any of the three Commissioners to carry on their roles in an effective manner, and as such, call on all three of them to resign immediately.”

Keren Hajioff, a spokeswoman for Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, said the international community should be “outraged” over Kothari’s comments.

“His racist remarks about ‘the Jewish Lobby’ that controls the media and his questioning Israel’s right to exist as a member of the family of nations echo the darkest days of antisemitism,” she said.

In a statement, the U.S. ambassador to the rights council, Michele Taylor, and the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, Deborah Lipstadt, called antisemitism and anti-Israel bias a “poisonous venom” that has affected international discourse for too long — including at U.N. institutions.

They said Kothari’s comments were “outrageous, inappropriate, and corrosive” and echoed “age-old antisemitic tropes.” Britain’s ambassador in Geneva, Simon Manley, called them “unacceptable and offensive.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem & AP)


3 COMMENTS

  1. So how about USA cutting off all money to UN and immediately deporting all UN staff from the USA.
    This is know as :- “Put your money where your mouth is” {In this case remove the money from where your mouth is}

  2. An appropriate reminder during the Nine Days of the fact that we are in Golus.

    “Kivsa Achas Bein Shiviim Zeevim “ (a single lamb amongs 70 wolves) isn’t just Chazals description of Golus in general, it’s also an apt description
    Of the UN!