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Top UN official resigns over body’s failure to stop ‘genocide’ of Palestinians

The organization has “surrendered to the power of the US” and given in to the “Israeli lobby,” Craig Mokhiber has said

The director of the UN’s human rights office (OHCHR) in New York, Craig Mokhiber, has resigned from his post, citing the body’s failure to properly address the Israel-Palestine crisis. Instead of doing its job, the UN has “surrendered to the power of the US” and given in to the “Israeli lobby,” while the “European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase,” the senior official argued.

“Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it,” Mokhiber said in a letter to UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Volker Turk, published on Tuesday.

The official squarely described the ongoing Israeli action in the Gaza Strip as “genocide,” acknowledging that this word “has often been subject to political abuse.”

“But the current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler colonial ideology … leaves no room for doubt or debate,” Mokhiber argued.

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.

The governments of the US, the UK, and “much of Europe are wholly complicit in the horrific assault,” not only through a mere failure to fulfill their international obligations but by “actively arming the assault, providing economic and intelligence support, and giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel’s atrocities,” Mokhiber stated. The “cover” is further reinforced by “Western corporate media, increasingly captured and state-adjacent,” which has been “continuously dehumanizing Palestinians to facilitate the genocide, and broadcasting propaganda for war and advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred,” he stressed.

Respect! The Director of the NY Office of UN High Commissioner of Human Rights just resigned: “Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it.” Letter below- pic.twitter.com/1S2U4QrCv1

— Mona Fawaz (@mona_fawaz) October 31, 2023

Mokhiber believes the UN used to have “principles” and “authority” rooted in the body’s “integrity,” such as during apartheid in South Africa, but it has lost all of the above over the years. The UN has repeatedly failed to stop genocides, Mokhiber noted, listing events in Rwanda and Bosnia, the genocide of the Yazidis by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), and the Rohingya in Myanmar as examples.

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“In recent decades, key parts of the UN have surrendered to the power of the US and to the fear of the Israel Lobby, to abandon these principles, and to retreat from international law itself. We have lost a lot in this abandonment, not least our own global credibility. But the Palestinian people have sustained the biggest losses as a result of our failures,” he stated.

To fix the situation, the UN should “learn from the principled stance taken in cities around the world in recent days as masses of people stand up against the genocide, even at risk of beatings and arrest,” he suggested. Apart from that, he called upon the body to drop the “illusory two-state solution,” advocating the creation of a “single, democratic, secular state in all of historic Palestine,” which would ensure the “dismantling” of Israel, described by the official as a “deeply racist, settler-colonial project.”

 

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