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August 15, 2022 3:24 pm
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Canadian Human Rights Group Calls for Dissolving UN Commission on Israel-Hamas Conflict

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Miloon Kothari, member of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, briefs reporters on the first report of the Commission. UN Photo/Jean Marc Ferré

The CEO of a leading Canadian human rights group has called for dissolving the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory (COI).

Michael Mostyn, who leads B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement issued Friday that “the sole outcome of this UN Commission is to exacerbate tensions, promote further destabilization and protract hostilities.”

“It goes without saying, Kothari needs to step down, but realistically, this biased commission must also be immediately disbanded,” Mostyn said.

Mostyn’s comments come in the wake of COI commissioner Miloon Kothari’s saying in a recent interview that Jews control social media and non-governmental organizations.

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David Matas, B’nai Brith Canada’s senior attorney, seconded the message.

“We call on human rights-respecting states to walk out of presentation of reports to the UN Human Rights Council by this commission, as well as the interactive dialogues which follow,” Matas said at a scholarly conference on antisemitism this month hosted at the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, England. “Rights-respecting states already do this in response to the anti-Israel Council agenda item.”

Matas slammed COI commissioner Miloon Kothari’s remarks that Jews control social media and non-governmental organizations, and claimed that COI’s commissioners are biased and predetermined to blame Israel for ongoing hostilities with Hamas.

Kothari’s comments, which he made in July on an episode of The Mondoweiss, an anti-Zionist podcast, touched off a wave of controversy and were roundly condemned by Jewish groups around the world.

He later apologized for making them in a letter to UNHRC president Federico Villegas.

“I wish to sincerely express my regret and unequivocally apologize for using the words ‘the Jewish lobby.’ The offense I have caused by using these words has deeply distressed me,” Kothari wrote. “My intention was to denounce the relentless and vitriolic personal attacks against the members of the commission on social media and some publications, launched to delegitimize and undermine its work.”

Formed by the UNHRC after the 2021 hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the COI is tasked with issuing annual reports on any human rights abuses committed during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has previously drawn scrutiny from Israeli and US officials for its unusually broad, open-ended focus.

 

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