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UN claims antisemitic posts are due to employee account being hacked

The world body, which has long been accused of Jew-hatred, waffled on its explanation of the situation.

Laptop displaying the logo of UN Women, a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women. Credit: Monticello/Shutterstock.
Laptop displaying the logo of UN Women, a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women. Credit: Monticello/Shutterstock.

In what reads like the plot of a thriller no one would write, the United Nations claims that an unknown party hacked an employee’s social-media account, posted Jew-hatred (including comparing Israelis to Nazis) and then evidently out of concern for the reputation of the woman that he or she had hacked, deleted the account.

Even that sequence of events took some time to get there. At first, the United Nations claimed that the account was a fake and didn’t belong to its employee in Germany, a writer and consultant named Lamia Burkart, and told a man being targeted by the account to delete his posts connecting the account to Burkart.

Khaled Hassan, a researcher on Islamist terrorism and former member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, posted a video, including screenshots, on Jan. 5, following what he said were deceptive and inadequate responses from the United Nations.

Hassan noticed last month that Burkart posted a string of tweets comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and declared, “We prefer Hamas to Israel 1,000 times.” Those posts came to his attention after the account bearing Burkart’s name—the one that the United Nations first said wasn’t hers and then says was hers but was hacked—accused him of being a paid agent of Israel who supported “genocide” in Gaza.

Soon thereafter, as Hassan tells it in the video, he noticed that a LinkedIn account bearing Burkart’s name had viewed his profile on the professional social network. Information from his LinkedIn profile was used in a public attack on him, he said.

When Hassan contacted the United Nations about the posts, Alessandra Vellucci, director of the U.N. Information Service in Geneva, told him that Burkart did not own the X account in question and hadn’t been active on the platform for years. Vellucci further claimed that Burkart’s LinkedIn account was hacked and told Hassan to urgently delete his accusations, and thus correct the record.

Hassan replied, noting the string of coincidences that made Vellucci’s claims highly unlikely. He received no response, he said in the video.

‘The matter is being dealt with’

When the Jewish Chronicle of London sought further comment, the United Nations changed its response. It acknowledged that the offensive messages did come from Burkart’s X account but said now that her X account was also hacked. Burkart had since closed the account to prevent further use, it said.

The United Nations, which has long been accused of Jew-hatred at much higher levels than a writer and consultant, has thus far provided no evidence that Burkart’s accounts were hacked nor explanation why it changed its story.

Last week, the United Nations told JNS that Sarah Douglas, a senior official at U.N. Women, breached its code of conduct over a series of anti-Israel social-media posts and endorsements. It said the matter was “being dealt with.”

“We are aware of reports relating to a mid-level manager in personal social-media activity and its compatibility with the standards of conduct required of U.N. staff members,” Kiri Jo Ginnerup, a U.N. Women spokeswoman, later told JNS. 

“U.N. Women takes these concerns seriously,” she added. “The standards of conduct are clear and breaches are dealt with appropriately and in accordance with U.N Women’s accountability and legal framework. Such processes are internal and not made public.” 

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