Two pro-Israel organizations have called for the removal of Francesca Albanese, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for occupied Palestinian territories. The demand was made in an open letter addressed to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Tuerk. The reason for the call for her dismissal is due to comments made by Albanese on Twitter in response to recent terror attacks. In her tweet, she suggested that Israel cannot claim its right to self-defense against the “people it oppresses and whose lands it colonizes.”
The letter, sent on behalf of the International Legal Forum and the Solomon-Observatory on Discrimination, expressed “utter dismay and outrage at the abhorrent statements” made by Albanese. The organizations find it “unfathomable that such a statement would ever be made by a U.N. representative.”
The International Legal Forum is a global network of lawyers and activists working to combat antisemitism, promote peace in the Middle East, and advance human rights. The Solomon-Observatory on Discrimination is an Italian-based NGO that works to combat antisemitism.
Albanese, an Italian lawyer, has been in her current position since 2022 when she was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Her tenure has been frequently criticized by Israel, and groups who fight antisemitism. In one notable instance she accused the United States of being controlled by the “Jewish lobby”, which brought condemnation from not only Israel, but several U.S. lawmakers. She has also publicly compared Israelis to Nazis.
Albanese’s comments were made in response to an increase in violence that has been seen in the region since the start of this year’s Passover holiday. Among the recent victims were three members of the Jewish Dee family who were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in a firearms incident with a suspected Kalashnikov rifle.