Unprecedented: UN member states call Commission of Inquiry on Israel ‘antisemitic’

“Maybe the UN could learn from Adidas when it comes to hiring blatant antisemites,” Israeli Ambassador Erdan suggested.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

In a debate on Thursday at the United Nations, several countries, as well as the European Union, defended Israel against the biased Commission of Inquiry into Israel, including the Netherlands, Guatemala, Germany, Australia, Austria, the United Kingdom, the Marshall Islands, Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Liberia, Italy, Uruguay and Micronesia.

The commission was established to examine last year’s 11-day Israel-Gaza conflict, but it was given an unprecedented open-ended mandate to monitor Israeli actions. No UN inquiry has ever been tasked with an ongoing investigation, and Israel has refused to cooperate with the commission.

“The United States remains deeply concerned about the creation of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) last May. We reiterate our position that this does nothing to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The final report presented today includes recommendations that reflect the unwieldy scope of the COI,” U.S. Ambassador Lisa Carty stated on Thursday.

“We also reaffirm our condemnation of antisemitism and anti-Israel bias. We cannot ignore the fact that a current member of the commission made antisemitic comments in late August, referring disparagingly to the ‘Jewish lobby’ and questioning whether the State of Israel is meeting its obligations as a member of the United Nations. We categorically reject this statement, which we deem to be outrageous, inappropriate, and corrosive.

“We regret that senior UN leadership has still not publicly repudiated these repugnant statements or asked this commission member to step down. No country is above scrutiny, and we will continue to advocate that the UN system treat any concerns related to Israel the same way it treats concerns with other States,” Carty’s statement continued.

“We ask: Can you provide information on steps you are taking as chair of the COI to ensure related human rights monitoring and investigative mechanisms remain fully objective and impartial?”

The 28-page reported, submitted last week, cites “reasonable grounds” to conclude that the “occupation” of the Palestinians “is now unlawful under international law due to its permanence” as well as the Israeli government’s “de-facto annexation policies.”

Indeed, the panel included Miloon Kothari, who is on record as saying that social media is controlled by the “Jewish lobby” and that “a lot of money is being thrown into trying to discredit us” – for which he later apologized He had also suggested that Israel be thrown out of the UN.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry called Miloon’s apology “hollow,” describing it as a “pathetic and unconvincing maneuver” that does not compensate for his long record of anti-Semitic comments.

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The other two COI members were South African jurist Navi Pillay, who has been a supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and backed Palestinian efforts to label Israel a criminal state, and Australian human rights lawyer Chris Sodati, who is closely associated with non-governmental organizations in Ramallah and Australia that advocate for BDS.

‘How can you be so heartless?’

“Members of the COI, can you look into the eyes of Ido’s parents and explain to them why you deliberately ignore their son’s murder? How can you be so heartless?” Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said in a statement Thursday.

The ambassador was joined by Shani and Asaf Avigal, the parents of the late Ido Avigal, who was killed by a Hamas rocket that hit the bomb shelter of his home during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021.

“Ms. Pillay, calling Israel an apartheid state and supporting the boycott of Israel are the only reasons why you were chosen to lead this Commission,” Erdan charged.

“Could anyone honestly think you’re impartial? Mr. Sidoti, not only do you ridicule antisemitism, you’re also a strong supporter of numerous pro-Palestinian organizations. You’re definitely not an objective member. According to Mr. Kothari, Israel doesn’t even deserve to be a member of the UN, and that’s just a taste of his venomous statements.”

“I am 81 years old, and this is the first time I have been accused of antisemitism,” Pillay, a former UN human rights chief and chair of the Commission, stated, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

“Maybe the UN could learn from Adidas when it comes to hiring blatant antisemites,” Erdan concluded, referring to the sports giant’s ending of its partnership with Kanye West.