UN official supports pro-Hamas protests on college campuses

‘Hope comes from the Watermelon Revolution (if its brave souls allow me to call it such),’ Francesca Albanese posted on X.

By Algemeiner Staff

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories has praised the anti-Israel demonstrations that have erupted on university campuses across the US over the last week.

“Hope comes from the ‘Watermelon Revolution’ (if its brave souls allow me to call it such),” Francesca Albanese wrote on Monday, hours before the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, on X/Twitter, referring to the ongoing college campus protests against Israel.

The nationwide protests erupted last week with an ongoing wave of anti-Israel demonstrations at Columbia University in New York City, where school officials were forced to shutter the campus. Footage of Columbia students — who commandeered a section of campus and named it “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” — showed them chanting in support of the Hamas terrorist group, calling for the destruction of Israel, and even threatening to harm members of the Jewish community on campus. Amid the chaos at Columbia, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety.

Beyond opposing and supporting Hamas, many demonstrators also uttered death threats directly at Jews.

The anti-Israel protests quickly spread to other campuses such as Yale University in Connecticut and continued into this week.

On Wednesday, state highway patrol troopers in riot gear and police on horseback broke up a demonstration at the University of Texas in Austin. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 34 people had been arrested.

At the University of Southern California, meanwhile, officials declared its campus closed and asked the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to clear a demonstration. The LAPD said that 93 people were arrested for trespassing and one for assault with a deadly weapon. No injuries were reported.

Anti-Israel activists have also demonstrated at several other campuses across the country. Police officers had arrested dozens of demonstrators at Yale and Columbia for staging riotous, unauthorized demonstrations.

Despite the chaos, Albanese sided with the protesters while falsely accusing Israel of genocide and apartheid against Palestinians.

“Recently: Columbia arrested students for protesting against Israel’s #GenocideinGaza and the university’s investments in Israeli apartheid. Universities in Europe are increasing their securitization and repression against students expressing solidarity with Palestine,” she wrote. “Simultaneously, support from states, corporations and institutions for Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza has continued … What lessons are Western universities and governments imparting to their young citizens and students when they attack the very values and rights that are said to be foundational to Western societies?”

Albanese argued that “this sustained, global Palestinian-driven mobilization is a bold new phase in an ongoing wave of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against Israel’s decades-old system of occupation, apartheid, and settler-colonialism and for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to justice, freedom, dignity.”

She then claimed that “Palestinian emancipation” has become “the center of the global struggle for justice, including climate justice, and for human rights and dignity for all, not just a privileged few.”

Such rhetoric has become routine for Albanese, who has used her role at the UN to campaign against the world’s lone Jewish state and the only democracy in the Middle East.

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Earlier this month, for example, Albanese accused Israel of destroying Gaza and committing genocide in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave, from which the terrorist group launched the current war by invading the Jewish state on Oct. 7, massacring 1,200 people, and kidnapping 253 others as hostages. At a public hearing at the European Parliament on April 9, the UN rapporteur devoted much of her time to accusing Israel — but not Hamas — of lying about its conduct in Gaza.

That hearing came about two weeks after Albanese released a 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,” read the report, titled “Anatomy of a Genocide.”

Albanese cited Hamas statistics that claim over 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, who embed themselves in the civilian population and use civilian sites, such as hospitals, to house their terror operation centers.

Albanese’s report did not mention any details about Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel. Israeli officials lambasted her findings, arguing they were misleading and excused terrorism.

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Last month was not the first time that Albanese was accused of being ideologically driven.

In February, she claimed Israelis were “colonialists” who had “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.

Additionally, in response to French President 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.”

Video footage of the Oct. 7 onslaught showed Palestinian terrorists led by Hamas celebrating the fact that they were murdering Jews.

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.”

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