March 29, 2024 | Flash Brief

U.S. Rejects ‘Unfounded’ Genocide Claim in UN Report Targeting Israel

March 29, 2024 | Flash Brief

U.S. Rejects ‘Unfounded’ Genocide Claim in UN Report Targeting Israel

Latest Developments

Washington on March 27 dismissed a new United Nations (UN) report that accuses Israel of genocide. “Allegations of genocide are unfounded,” said State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller about the report, authored by UN special rapporteur Francesca Albanese. Miller also stated that the Biden administration has “opposed the mandate of this special rapporteur,” noting “a history of antisemitic comments that she has made.” He added that she “appeared to justify the attacks of October 7th.” In her report, Albanese called for an arms embargo against Israel, a UN General Assembly plan to punish Israel for provoking the war Hamas launched, and an “international protective presence to constrain the violence” against Palestinians.

Expert Analysis

“It’s time to ask why the United States is still a member of a body that promotes antisemitism. Engagement in the UN Human Rights Council has not proved an effective strategy for reform.”Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“Albanese’s false accusation that Israel is committing genocide is based on absurd and incompetent mischaracterizations of both the facts and the law. Albanese’s blatant anti-Israel bias, both prior to her current role and in her performance of it, means that her appointment was, and her service is, contrary to UN ethics rules. The appropriate remedy is to terminate Albanese’s appointment.” Orde Kittrie, FDD Senior Fellow

“Albanese has made a career of erasing Israel’s legitimate security concerns and arguing that Israel’s policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians can only be guided by hatred and malice. She fits well in a UN system irredeemably biased against the Jewish state.” David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Albanese’s History of Antisemitism and Justifying Terrorism

On social media, Albanese has described the United States as “subjugated by the Jewish lobby” and claimed that the “Israeli lobby,” directed by “Israel’s greed,” has skewed media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Senior U.S. officials condemned these remarks as antisemitic. In February 2023, she argued that Israel was responsible for Palestinian terrorists murdering Jews. In a July 2023 report, Albanese justified terrorism and violence against Israelis and dismissed Israel’s security needs.

Biased Report Part of a Flawed System

Albanese’s report ignores Hamas’s actions that have contributed to civilian deaths in Gaza and uses the terrorist group’s misleading casualty figures to accuse Israel of genocide. For example, the special rapporteur claims that Israel has attacked Gazan healthcare facilities to depopulate the territory rather than as a response to Hamas’s documented use of these facilities as bases of operations.

Albanese also relies on decontextualized quotes and problematic statements from Israelis who are not in charge of policy to prove genocidal intent against Palestinians. For example, Albanese quoted Israeli President Isaac Herzog as saying, “an entire nation out there … is responsible” for Hamas’s October 7 massacre. However, Albanese omitted Herzog’s remark later in the same press conference that “there are many, many innocent Palestinians.”

Albanese released her report under the Israel-focused Agenda Item 7 of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the only agenda item dedicated to scrutinizing a country. Albanese’s position, the only open-ended special rapporteur role, has a mandate exclusively dedicated to investigating supposed Israeli crimes.

More outrageous UN anti-Semitism: High-level official says Israel to blame for Palestinians murdering Jews,” by David May and Richard Goldberg

How to Keep Antisemitism Away From Turtle Bay,” by David May and Richard Goldberg

UNHRC Special Rapporteur Report Justifies Terrorism, Ignores Israeli Security Needs,” by David May


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