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Israeli lobbyists put pressure on UN leaders: Ex-OHCHR Chief

Craig Mokhiber is regularly and repeatedly highlighting Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, including West Bank and Gaza. Read More

Monday November 13, 2023 4:38 PM, ummid.com News Network

Israeli lobbyists put pressure on UN leaders: Ex-OHCHR Chief

Riyadh: Craig Mokhiber, who resigned as Director of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) criticising the United Nations response to the Zionist’s war in Gaza and the massacre of Palestinians, said Israeli lobbyists put pressure on the global platform of world leaders.

Appearing on Arab News “Frankly Speaking”, Craig Mokhiber accused the United Nations of failing the people of Gaza and showing timidity in confronting the ongoing genocide and apartheid there, despite a huge evidence to support these charges possibly because of the lobbyists.

Craig Mokhiber - an American Lawyer and Specialist in International Human Rights Law, Policy and Methodology, served the United Nations since 1992. He resigned as Director OHCHR on October 28, 2023 about three weeks after the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) started relentlessly bombing the residential buildings, schools, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches, and indiscriminately targeting civilians, including women and children, UN staff, aid workers, medical staff and journalists.

Also Read | Arrest Netanyahu for war crimes: South Africa FM

In a 4-page resignation letter addressed to UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk, Craig Mokhiber said the Israeli killings in Gaza is a “text-book case of genocide”.

"Once again, we are seeing genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it”, he wrote in his resignation letter.

"This is a text-book case of genocide. The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine," he added.

Craig Mokhiber is regularly and repeatedly highlighting Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, including West Bank and Gaza, during his association with the United Nations. He lived in Gaza during the 1990s while working as an advisor for the United Nations. Besides Palestine, Mokhiber also served as UN Specialist in Afghanistan, and Darfur.

In March 2023, Mokhiber wrote to High Commissioner Volker Türk to express his concerns about human rights violations on the West Bank and to inform him that he would be resigning his post later that year.

Also Read | Israel-Palestinian conflict deliberately neglected: UNHCR Chief at UNSC

Talking to Arab News, Mokhiber said because of his publicly voicing concerns about human rights violations in Palestine and other conflict zones and the UN inaction, he had always been criticised by the lobbyists. He said one of the reasons why he resigned is the “smear campaign against him” and demand from the United Nations to take action against him.

Asked what took him so long to resign given that he had made clear his concern that the rights of the Palestinian people were not being addressed, Mokhiber acknowledged that the conversation began in March between himself and the OHCHR in the wake of “a series of Israeli atrocities on the West Bank, including some military attacks on civilians in the West Bank and the pogroms by Israeli settlers in Hawara."

“At that point, I was speaking quite publicly about those violations in public and on social media. The UN was taking a more careful, inappropriately trepidatious, approach to those events”, he said.

Also Read | The Wider Goal of Israel in Gaza

“I was speaking particularly forcefully about that publicly, as I have on human rights situations in countries around the world for 32 years. But what happened in this case, there was an organized campaign by a group of Israeli lobby organizations that decided to target me by smearing me on social media, and also by (handing a protest note to) the UN in an effort to have me punished, in spite of the fact that I’m a UN human rights official, whose job it is to speak out on human rights violations."

“That created an atmosphere where there was even more trepidation and an effort on the part of the UN to tell me to be silent on these issues, which was something that I clearly could not do", he said.

“So, already in March, as a result of this, I wrote and indicated that this deference to powerful states — because the critique was coming also from Western countries and to these lobby groups — was undercutting our principled application of UN norms and standards, and that we needed to stand up against these things and not be intimidated into silence by them. To the contrary, I would encourage that we should be speaking out more loudly”, he said.

Also Read |Silence of Palestinians no indication things in West Bank are calm

That the Israel and its supporters and lobby groups working for the Zionists also becomes clear when UN Secretary General António Guterres was publicly humiliated when he said Hamas Oct 7 attack is the result of Israeli aggression against the Palestinians committed in the last 57 years.

How the Zionist lobby groups work can also be gauged from the fact that Craig Mokhiber resigned as Director OHCHR condemning the UN inaction against the far right Zonist regime in Israel also sharing the resignation letter dated Oct 28 on social media, the UN on its record maintains he has retired after completion of his term, and not resigned from the post.

“Former OHCHR staff member Craig Mokhiber had retired rather than resigned, and the views he had expressed in the published letter were his personal”, Elizabeth Throssell, Media and Communications Officer • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a UN Press Briefing released on November 03, 2023.


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