GENEVA, December 22, 2023 — On Monday, December 20th, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a now-viral statement echoing extreme allegations made by the NGO Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor. The only problem? The claims are unverified and the NGO’s officials are notoriously biased and antisemitic.
The news release accuses the IDF of committing atrocities against Palestinians similar to those documented as having been perpetrated by Hamas against Israelis on October 7th. It claims that the IDF allegedly “separated a group of men from the women and children, and then shot and killed at least 11 of the men in front of their family members. The IDF then allegedly ordered the women and children into a room, and either shot at them or threw a grenade into the room, reportedly seriously injuring some of them, including an infant and a child.”
The IDF investigated these claims and found no record of any such incident. Nevertheless, Euro Med-Monitor published a video by the shady Islamist news agency Middle East Eye purporting to present testimonies of these events by unidentified individuals making the claims impossible to verify.
OHCHR’s choice to publicize these egregious accusations as evidence of possible war crimes by Israel, knowing that they are nothing more than unverified allegations, is a testament to the highly partisan nature of OHCHR’s reporting on this war which prioritizes demonizing Israel over verifying facts. Considering the overt prejudice of the officials who run Euro-Med Monitor, OHCHR’s decision to amplify these allegations through the UN’s platform is even worse.
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor’s leadership routinely posts antisemitic and pro-Hamas content online.
The chairman of Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor’s Board is none other than Richard Falk—the former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine who has hailed Hamas’ “spirit of resistance,” justified Palestinian violence, and claimed that Hamas aims for “long-term peaceful co-existence.” While he was Special Rapporteur, Falk was at the center of multiple controversies that led to continuous calls for his resignation by the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and others. According to the U.S. State Department, this was because of his “despicable and deeply offensive comments, particularly his anti-Semitic blog postings, his endorsement of 9/11 conspiracy theories, and his deplorable statements with regard to the terrorist attacks in Boston.” Falk had first called the Boston bombing a false flag and then justified it as a form of “resistance” that was “bound” to result from U.S. “military undertakings.” Even Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had to come out several times to publicly denounce Falk’s statements. Falk’s antisemitism has even gotten him fired from a Human Rights Watch committee.
Ramy Abdu, Euro-Med’s founder and current chairman who is in charge of the organization’s day-to-day operations, is no better than Falk. In fact, he may be much worse. Abdu is not just a terrorist sympathizer but rather an active supporter of Hamas on Twitter. Just in the past week, he has compared Israel to the Nazis, said that “Israel’s future ends here“, and retweeted a post denying that Hamas sexually assaulted Israeli women on October 7th, referring to this as “a fabricated lie.”
On October 7th and 8th Abdu justified and ecstatically celebrated the Hamas massacre on Twitter:
- “In this battle, Palestine presented its elite young men and women on the path to freedom and dignity. Successive generations will remember you, and history will immortalize you as heroic knights who created for us pure glory, not stained with mud. Remember their names well and teach the stories of their eternal heroism to your children and grandchildren.” (October 8)
- “The scenes of clashes in the Ofakim and Majin Hollywood colonies are amazing. How did the youth of the resistance reach this level of craftsmanship and boldness? amazing!” (October 8)
- “Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them. -Assata Shakur” (October 8)
- “Resilience and sumud of Palestinians in Gaza despite all death & destruction proves again and again that our struggle is a rally race, one generation passes the baton to the other until we finally gain our freedom and free #Palestine.” (October 8)
- “According to Hamas military leader Muhammad Daif: the Hamas attack is “a reaction to Israeli occupation brutally assaulting Palestinian women and desecrating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque” (October 7)
Here are some of Abdul’s other pro-Hamas tweets from this past week:
- “Unlike the Allies, who did not attempt to humiliate the people of Dresden, Israeli violence, particularly in its destructive power and evident desire to humiliate, is akin to the atrocities and humiliation witnessed during Kristallnacht.” (December 22)
- “It’s truly astounding to see how Palestinian resistance treats Israeli prisoners of war compared to the Israeli monstrous treatment of Palestinian prisoners.” (December 21)
- “This is the day that life has set for us For the great revolution against the ghouls, enemies of life If we fall, my friend, into the heat of battle Look and find a flag flying above the fire of battle It’s still carried by your comrades, battle comrade -Moeen Bseiso” (December 21)
- “The Israeli army is a cowardly, bloodthirsty, savage force, akin to a Nazi killer.” (December 21)
- “74 days and the resistance is striking here and here!” (December 18)
- “By God, we will not compromise” (December 17)
- “The resolute stance of the Palestinian resistance, refusing any negotiations on exchange deals without a complete cessation of aggression and withdrawal of forces, reflects the unified will of the people in Gaza. Any Israeli attempts to circumvent this position are rejected by the people before the resistance.” (December 17)
- “I went to meet a colleague and friend in a hurry, and by chance, he was sitting with a group of “Arab elites.” I sat down for a while and their conversation and analysis began about the Al-Aqsa flood and the mistakes the resistance had made. As soon as one of them finished, he turned to me and said, “What do you think?” I told him that I believed that there was one strategic mistake that the resistance had made, which was that it believed that behind it was a living nation that knew the meanings of chivalry and honor, and it bet on business arms outside Palestine that was nothing but an illusion and a mirage.” (December 17)
- “I read in the Israeli media that the “IDF” purged Jabaliya in northern Gaza and established “operational control” there. But this new video by the al-Qassam Brigades shows a different picture of Jabaliya. Who should we believe?” (December 22)
- “The sheikhs and elites of the nation Instead of taking to the street and leading it to besiege the embassies of countries that support the aggression and put pressure on the regimes, they are only using “slams” on Twitter.” (December 15)
This is nothing new for Abdul who has been justifying and actively calling for violence in Gaza since he founded Euro-Med:
- “The complete image! The above image is of a Plastinian [sic.] child shot dead by an Israeli sniper. The other image is of the Palestinian resistance retaliation by shooting the same Israeli sniper from zero distance. #GazaResist” (August 22, 2021)
- “#Palestinians have the right to resist. Palestinians should resist. #Resistance to #occupation is not terrorism, the occupation is” (October 2, 2016)
- “Resistance to colonial-settlers is always justified. Israel is a system of subjugation, murdering and dehumanizing native Palestinian” (October 27 2015)
- “Resistance against oppression is not terrorism. #GazaUnderAttack #ICC4Israel” (July 31, 2014)
Through their own words, the leadership at Euro-Med Monitor has made clear that its objectivity is compromised and that they stand firmly on the side of Hamas. This raises the question: why did OHCHR choose to immediately amplify such serious allegations made by this group without the least bit of due diligence and verification?