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July 31, 2022 3:42 pm

Israel Urges UN Chief to Disband Gaza War Panel Over ‘Antisemitic’ Comments

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

The United Nations logo is seen at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Israel on Sunday demanded that a United Nations’ panel investigating its 2021 war with Palestinian militants be disbanded, condemning remarks made by one of its members as antisemitic.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid cited comments by the UN’s Human Rights Council commission of inquiry member Miloon Kothari in an interview.

“We are very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by, whether it is the Jewish lobby or specific NGOs, a lot of money is being thrown in to try to discredit us,” Kothari said in a July 25 Mondoweiss podcast.

Later, referring to Israel, he also said he would “raise the question as why are they even a member of the United Nations, because they don’t respect — the Israeli government does not respect its own obligations as a UN member state.”

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Israel has boycotted the inquiry, and said the panel’s June interim finding was the latest in a series of biased reports.

“The fight against antisemitism cannot be waged with words alone, it requires action. This is the time for action; it is time to disband the Commission”, Lapid said. “This Commission does not just endorse antisemitism — it fuels it.”

UN spokespeople did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But Mondoweiss published a letter by the head of the commission Navi Pillay, in which she claimed Kothari’s comments were deliberately taken out of context.

The United States and other Western countries, including Germany, Britain and Austria have also condemned Kothari’s remarks as antisemitic.

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