Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced on Thursday that the comments of Miloon Kothari, a member of the United Nations (UN) Commission of Inquiry into the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2021, “echo the darkest days of antisemitism”.
The Times of Israel reported Lapid’s spokesperson calling for the UN committee to be disbanded.
Kothari stated on a podcast for Mondoweiss that a lot of money was being spent on efforts to “discredit” the UN Human Rights Council, which set up the commission, and that social media was “controlled largely by the Jewish lobby.”He added: “It’s not only governments. We are very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by, whether it is the Jewish lobby or specific NGOs. A lot of money is being thrown into trying to discredit us.”
Meanwhile, Kothari questioned why Israel was a UN member: “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.”
Responding to Kothari, Keren Hajioff, Lapid’s international spokesperson, urged in a statement: “The international community should be outraged by Miloon Kothari’s antisemitic comments.”
Hajioff added: “His racist remarks about ‘the Jewish Lobby’ that controls the media and his questioning Israel’s right to exist as a member of the family of nations – echo the darkest days of antisemitism.”
The statement also described the commission as the “epitome of moral hypocrisy” and “makes a mockery of the UN Human Rights Council’s own supposed standards of independence and impartiality.”
“This illegitimate and biased commission must be disbanded and its commissioners disqualified from UN work,” the statement concluded.