Israel castigates senior UN official for ‘genocide’ accusation

The UN report argues Israel’s leaders have expressed genocidal intent toward the Palestinians.

By Jack Elbaum, The Algemeiner

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories has released a new report accusing Israel of carrying out “genocide” in Gaza, continuing a pattern of the UN official singling out the Jewish state for particularly harsh condemnation.

“By analyzing the patterns of violence and Israel’s policies in its onslaught on Gaza,” one can conclude “that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met,” reads Francesca Albanese’s 25-page report, titled “Anatomy of a Genocide.”

She cites Hamas statistics that claim 30,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel, of which 70 percent are civilians.

However, independent analyses have concluded those statistics systematically undercount the number of men and Hamas terrorists killed. Israel claims it has killed more than 13,000 Hamas fighters.

The UN report argues Israel’s leaders have expressed genocidal intent toward the Palestinians. It quotes Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant describing Hamas terrorists as “human animals,” for example, but falsely claims he was talking about all Palestinians.

It also claims that genocide is inherent to “settler colonialism” and that it is the “peak” of a process that began at least in 1948, when the modern state of Israel was established, and was continued by Israel in 1967 — but does not mention the wars, instigated by Arab countries, in either of those years.

“Israel’s genocide on the Palestinians in Gaza is an escalatory stage of a longstanding settler colonial process of erasure,” the document reads.

Albanese says Israel’s system of evacuating urban centers in Gaza before entering on the ground can also be considered “genocidal tools to achieve ethnic cleansing.”

This is due to “the sheer scale of evacuations amidst an intense bombing campaign, and the haphazardly communicated safe zones system, along with extended communications blackouts, increased levels of panic, forced displacement, and mass killings,” she wrote.

However, John Spencer, the chair of urban warfare studies at West Point’s Modern Warfare Institute, notes that “one of the best ways to prevent civilian casualties in urban warfare is to provide warning and evacuate urban areas before the full combined air and ground attack commences.”

He adds, “This tactic is unpopular for obvious reasons: It alerts the enemy defender and provides them the military advantage to prepare for the attack.” Even so, Israel has employed it numerous times during this war despite the fact that it is not required to do so under international law.

Israel lambasted the report’s findings, arguing they are misleading and excuse terrorism.

“Since the war, she [Albanese] has continued this campaign unabated, excusing and legitimizing the attacks of Oct. 7, dismissing their antisemitic nature and dismissing any concrete evidence of acts of savagery that were perpetrated on that day,” the Israeli diplomatic mission to Geneva said in response to the report.

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The report does not mention any details about Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, which began the current war when the terrorist group killed 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages.

“It is clear from the report that the Special Rapporteur began with the conclusion that Israel is committing genocide, and then tried to prove her distorted and politically-driven views with weak arguments and justifications,” it continues.

The mission emphasized that “Israel’s war is against Hamas, not against Palestinian civilians.”

This is not the first time that Albanese has been accused of being ideologically driven.

In February, she claimed Israelis were “colonialists” who have “fake identities.” Previously, she defended Palestinians’ “right to resist” Israeli “occupation” at a time when over 1,100 rockets were fired by Gaza militants at Israel.

Last year, US lawmakers called for the firing of Albanese for what they described as her “outrageous” antisemitic statements, including a 2014 letter in which she claimed America was “subjugated by the Jewish lobby.”

Albanese’s anti-Israel comments have earned her the praise of Hamas officials in the past.

David Friedman, who served as the US ambassador to Israel from 2017 to 2021 under former President Donald Trump, said Albanese’s latest claim was “Exhibit A why the UN is a failure and why we no longer belong in that bastion of hypocrisy and corruption.”

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Additionally, in response to French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron calling the Oct. 7 attack the “largest antisemitic massacre of the 21st century,” Albanese said, “No, Mr. Macron. The victims of Oct. 7 were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel’s oppression.”

However, Hamas’ founding charter, in a section about the “universality” of its cause, reads: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Nevertheless, Albanese has argued that Israel should make peace with Hamas, saying that it “needs to make peace with Hamas in order to not be threatened by Hamas.”