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Members of Congress urge UN to fire official over antisemitic comments

Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese has likened Israelis to Nazis and justified Palestininan terorism.

Francesca Albanese, U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. Source: Twitter.
Francesca Albanese, U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. Source: Twitter.

Members of Congress from both parties are calling for the removal from her post of Francesca Albanese, who holds the title of “U.N. special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories,” over her history of antisemitic comments.

“No one should get a free pass for engaging in antisemitism—including at the U.N.,” tweeted Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), along with a copy of the letter he signed calling for the Italian diplomat’s dismissal. “Today, I led my colleagues in calling on the U.N. to remove Special Rapporteur Albanese from her post following her refusal to take accountability for her antisemitic comments.”

The letter was also signed by Reps. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Jared Golden (D-Maine), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), Brian Mast (R-Fla.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.).

Among her antisemitic claims, Albanese has asserted that the “Jewish lobby” controlled the U.S. and has likened Israelis to Nazis. The U.N. special rapporteur also sympathized with terrorist organizations and accused the Jewish state of potential war crimes.

“You have a right to resist this occupation,” Albanese said in a speech translated in real-time to Arabic that was attended by senior members of the U.S.- and E.U.-designated terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In an interview with the Italian magazine Altreconomia, she claimed that “Israel says ‘resistance equals terrorism,’ but an occupation requires violence and generates violence,” adding that the “Palestinians have no other room for dissent than violence.”

Albanese also repeated long-running accusations of Israeli apartheid and suggested that Israelis holding dual citizenship could be tried for crimes in countries of their secondary citizenship if they live in eastern Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria, and in any other location deemed “occupied Palestinian territory.”

Albanese has attempted to distance herself from her comments but she has dismissed criticism of her statements and actions as “politically motivated” attacks ever since a Times of Israel report exposing her comments was published last month.

“Failure to take meaningful action on repeated instances of antisemitism by U.N. officials undermines the U.N.’s credibility,” the Congress members’ letter concludes. “We urge you to demonstrate that the U.N. is capable of genuinely addressing antisemitism by removing Ms. Albanese from her post.”

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