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Embattled UN Official Doubles Down At Harvard On Anti-Israel Views

via ABC
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Francesca Albanese, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, reiterated controversial statements at Harvard University, maintaining that Hamas isn’t motivated by anti-Semitism and that Israel lacks the right to defend itself.

She accused Israel of falsely claiming anti-Semitism and argued that it had no right to respond to Hamas.

“Saying that the motivation was anti-Semitism is wrong and dangerous,” Albanese said. “I’m not saying that people in Hamas are absolutely not anti-Semitic. This was not the argument, but the argument is that this attack was launched as a way to break the occupation against the apartheid.”

Albanese also criticized Israel’s actions following the attack, emphasizing the need for a different approach.

“I understand why Israel is using this argument of antisemitism because by saying ‘we were attacked, because we are Jews,’ it’s bringing the existential threat that many Jews fear,” she said. “The real threat is the apartheid that Israel imposes on the Palestinians, which is a threat to both Palestinians and Israeli Jews.”

“Israel had to act under the framework of international humanitarian law in terms of law enforcement, because this is the powers that it has as an occupying power,” she said. “It didn’t have the right to act in self defense, meaning waging a war because it couldn’t wage a war against the people it maintains under occupation.”

She expressed doubt about the intent of the October 7 attacks and downplayed Hamas’s capacity for genocide.

“What Israel had to do was to repel the attack on its own territory, arrest and detain and treat humanely the people who had been arrested and ensure justice,” she added. “You could have used justice, used its own justice system, go to International Criminal Court and the, the other instead of taking revenge against the entire population.”

“After four months, there is no official reconstruction, no official investigation, and no independent investigation on what has happened on the 7th of October and I’m not saying that to say, ‘oh it was not criminal,’ of course it was criminal, but I do not have evidence to establish the intent.”

“Hamas doesn’t have the capacity to really carry out a genocide,” she added.

The discussion sparked criticism from various officials, with Israel barring Albanese from entry and calling for her removal from the UN.

The French Foreign Ministry and U.S. officials condemned her remarks, citing a history of perceived bias against Israel.

“So let me just say, also, thank you for doing this kind of talk,” Mathias Risse said. “I think this is really the kind of work that the United Nations should be doing.”

“The time for Jewish silence is past,” Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz wrote on X. “Barring her entry to Israel will serve as a stark reminder of the atrocities committed by Hamas, including the ruthless targeting of innocents.”

“Francesca Albanese has a history of using antisemitic tropes,” the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council Michèle Taylor wrote. “Her most recent statements justifying, dismissing, & denying the antisemitic undertones of Hamas’ October 7 attack are unacceptable & antisemitic.”

A bipartisan group of U.S. Congress members previously called for her removal due to alleged bias and silence on terrorism targeting Israelis.

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This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak,...