Israel has rejected a new report published this week by the UN Human Rights Council’s “Commission of Inquiry” that accused the Jewish state of pursuing an “intentional strategy” of “delegitimizing and silencing” Palestinian “civil society” groups.
“This includes criminalizing Palestinian civil society organizations and their members by labelling them as ‘terrorists,’ pressuring and threatening institutions that give a platform for civil society discourse, actively lobbying donors and implementing measures intended to cut sources of funding to civil society,” the report — which can be read in full here — claimed.
The Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN and International Organizations in Geneva firmly denounced the report, stating, “The Commission of Inquiry against Israel has no legitimacy. It never had.”
“A year after its first report, Israel’s warnings about this Commission of Inquiry have been realized,” it continued. “In just a year, this Commission and its three Commissioners have used antisemitic tropes, they have denied Israel’s right to exist as a member of the United Nations, they have attacked the widely embraced IHRA working definition of antisemitism, and they have come out in support of BDS. Their political activism only serves to advance pre-existing biased prejudices against Israel, under the guise of a supposedly independent UN mandate.”
It concluded, “The claims and false accusations against Israel presented in the latest report are widely based on so-called public hearings which would be better described as kangaroo trials. The COI also appears to reject all NGO submissions and official public records that do not fit its prejudged narrative. Israel has a robust and independent civil society which is composed of thousands of NGOs, human rights defenders, national and international media outlets, that can operate freely throughout the year.”
The Commission of Inquiry against Israel has no legitimacy. It never had.
A year after its first report, Israel’s warnings about this Commission of Inquiry have been realized. In just a year, this Commission and its three Commissioners have used antisemitic tropes, they have… pic.twitter.com/np5k9kRodi
— Israel in UN/Geneva🇮🇱🇺🇳 | #Israel75 (@IsraelinGeneva) June 8, 2023
The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) also condemned the UN report, saying it was “filled with slander, inaccuracies, and outright biases.”
“The report whitewashes Palestinian terrorism while overlooking the systemic antisemitism being fueled by Palestinian leaders in both Gaza and the West Bank,” CAM noted.
It continued, “A reminder: the institutionalized biases against the world’s only Jewish state are not new. According to UN Watch, the UN’s largest body has adopted 140 resolutions condemning Israel while adopting less than 70 for all other UN member states. In what world can the Middle East’s only liberal democracy be seen as a greater violator of the principles enshrined in the UN charter than Iran, China, and Russia? This is how modern antisemitism manifests itself.”
The United Nations’ General Assembly has released its Report on the of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The report is filled with slander, inaccuracies and outright biases.
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) June 9, 2023
NGO Monitor said the report revealed “more obsession, antisemitism, lies, distortions, biases and methodological flaws than ever before.”
The report, purporting to investigate Israel’s “attacks, restrictions and harassment of… pic.twitter.com/iMDW4RgTzR
— NGO Monitor (@NGOmonitor) June 8, 2023
A full NGO Monitor analysis — titled “UN Human Rights Council COI Report: Defamation and Disinformation” — can be read here.
Last August, antisemitic comments made by Miloon Kothari — one of three members of the UN Human Rights Council’s “Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel” — drew global condemnation, including from top U.S., German, British, French, Canadian, Dutch, Austrian, Czech, and Israeli officials, as well as the heads of major Jewish organizations.
In an interview with the anti-Israel website Mondoweiss, Kothari said, “We are very disheartened by the social media, whether controlled by the Jewish lobby, or specific NGOs, a lot of money is being thrown to try and discredit us.”
Kothari also questioned why Israel was “even a member of the UN,” asserting, “The Israeli government does not respect its own obligations as a UN member state. They consistently, either directly or through the U.S., try to undermine UN mechanisms.”