Photo Credit: Flash90
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres laying a wreath in Ramallah, August 29, 2017.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday sent a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanding “the immediate removal of all three members of the Commission of Inquiry tasked with investigating Israel, and the disbanding of the Commission.”

On July 25, Mondoweiss reporter David Kattenburg published a podcast interview with Miloon Kothari, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, noting that “his views were both candid and cutting.”

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“We are very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by the Jewish lobby or specific NGOs,” was one of those candid and cutting views of the Indian commissioner.

“What has transpired in the occupied territories since ’67 is something that had already been happening inside the Green Line since ’48 – the levels of discrimination; the different laws; the dispossession of Palestinian-Israelis,” Kothari told Mondoweiss. “So, I think it’s important to make that distinction, but then also to draw the parallels.”
“I would go as far as to raise the question of why [Israel is] even a member of the United Nations. Because … the Israeli government does not respect its own obligations as a UN member state. They, in fact, consistently, either directly or through the United States, try to undermine UN mechanisms.”

You know, cutting and candid stuff.

“This cannot stand,” Lapid wrote Guterres. “Slurs about a ‘Jewish lobby’ that acts to ‘control’ the media, are reminiscent of the darkest days of modern history. 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. From Mr. Kothari’s outrageous slurs to Ms. Pillay’s defense of the indefensible, this Commission does not just endorse antisemitism — it fuels it.”

Commission Chairperson Navi Pillay said Kothari’s comments that a “Jewish lobby” controlled social media were “misquoted,” and that Kothari’s questioning of Israel’s UN membership “reflect the Commission’s disappointment” with Israel’s “lack of cooperation” and “address the issue that as a member of the United Nations, Israel is under an obligation to abide by the international legal framework, as well as independent bodies set up by the United Nations.”

Lapid thought differently. He wrote the Sec-Gen: “These antisemitic remarks are a stain on the entire United Nations and are not befitting of a person with such a position of responsibility. As such, they were firmly condemned by representatives of the United States, France, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, the European Union, and others.”

The PM reminded Guterres that “the fundamentally flawed nature of the Commission of Inquiry has been widely discussed, and a group of 22 nations, led by the United States, issued a joint statement during the June HRC session expressing their deep concern about this.”

“This latest shameful episode is a further example of its flawed and biased nature,” Lapid said, concluding, “I, therefore, ask you to take all necessary measures to bring about the immediate resignation of Ms. Pillay and the other commissioners, and the disbanding of the commission.”

Now we wait.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.
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