UN nominates ‘Israel apartheid’ activist to be Palestine rapporteur

GENEVA,  February 24, 2022 — A radical pro-Palestinian advocate who routinely calls Israel an “apartheid” state and equates Palestinian suffering with the Nazi Holocaust has been nominated by the UN’s top human rights body for a 6-year term as its Special Rapporteur on Palestine, a position with an unchanged mandate dating from February 1993 to investigate only “Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law.”

The decision to nominate Francesca Albanese, a lawyer and former UNRWA official, was announced in a letter published today by Federico Villegas, Argentina’s ambassador in Geneva who this year heads the 47-nation Human Rights Council.

Albanese has repeatedly accused Israel of “apartheid,” “genocide” and “war-crimes.” She said the Jewish state’s response to Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians was “horrific” and “immoral,” and she organized and hosted events on “Israeli apartheid.”

In 2019, Albanese addressed an event organized by the Hamas-linked organization PRC.

“The president’s decision to nominate a radical activist that is so prejudiced against and politically opposed to Israel constitutes a gross violation of the council’s own rules, as set forth in resolutions that require impartiality and objectivity in the selection and appointment of mandate-holders,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Swiss-based non-governmental organization that monitors the world body.

“Francesca Albanese completely fails even the minimal standards of impartiality and objectivity, because this is an individual who has quite simply devoted her life to militant advocacy against Israel, as even a fleeting glance at her social media and public statements reveals. She’s the very opposite of  impartial.”

Neuer noted that there were other applicants for the UN post who had “far more objective and impressive credentials, yet who were rejected for purely political reasons.”

“Appointing Francesca Albanese to be an impartial and objective investigator of Israel would be like appointing Vladimir Putin to be an impartial and objective investigator of Ukraine. Albanese hates Israel with a passion, and doesn’t really hide it. She calls it an evil, racist and colonialist state. This nomination is absurd, and a travesty of justice,” said Neuer.

“We are calling on the governments of the U.S., Canada, Australia, Britain, France, Germany and other democracies that support human rights at the United Nations to condemn this gross violation of UN rules, a nomination that shows contempt for the basic principles of ethics and justice. Because appointments typically require consensus approval, the minority of democracies on the council can demand that the president cancel the nomination, and choose someone who is not a political partisan.”

 

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