Compendium of World Condemnations of Antisemitic UN Investigator Miloon Kothari

UN Watch

Top United Nations officials and the international community recently joined together to take an important stand in identifying and combating antisemitism within the world body, in relation to remarks made by Miloon Kothari, member of the Commission of Inquiry on Israel. Following is a compendium of these statements and condemnations.

UN and International Organizations

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: “The Secretary-General…has always been extremely clear in saying that there is no room for antisemitism in the work of the UN. Second, Israel is unquestionably a Member State of the United Nations, with the same rights and responsibilities as the other 192 countries that make up this organization.”[2]

 

  • UNHRC President Federico Villegas: Commissioner Miloon Kothari’s remarks “could reasonably be interpreted as stigmatization of the Jewish people. . . which is at the heart of any expression of antisemitism.”[3]

 

  • UN Freedom of Religion Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed: “Last year in May, a foreign minister claimed that Israel controls the global media. Now this trope has come to the UN! The UN must take up my call to use the IHRA Working Definition for awareness-raising across the UN system, in line with international human rights standards.”[4]

 

  • European Commission, Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi: “Outraged by the antisemitic and hateful statement of member of Commission of Inquiry, questioning also Israel’s UN membership. Antisemitism has no place in our society. These remarks cannot go unaddressed.”[5]
  • Under-Secretary-General Miguel Ángel Moratinos, UN Focal Point to monitor antisemitism: “I am determined to continue to work with all UN Member States, particularly the State of Israel, as well as all relevant non-state actors, UN entities and relevant bodies to combat and monitor antisemitism, as well as enhance a system-wide response. Words matter. Hate rhetoric is toxic. Therefore education about antisemitism is key to combating it in all its forms. It is also essential to agree on a definition on antisemitism. UNAOC remains committed to take a firm stance against antisemitism including any comments or actions seen as stigmatizing the Jewish people.” [1]

UN Member States

  • U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council Michele Taylor and Special Envoy on Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt: “Recently, Miloon Kothari, an appointed Commissioner of the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry related to Israel made comments in a media interview referring disparagingly to the “Jewish lobby,” echoing age-old antisemitic tropes, and questioning the right of the state of Israel to be a member of the United Nations.  The United States is in solidarity with the Government of Israel and the Israeli people.  We categorically reject antisemitism and anti-Israel bias, including the comments by Mr. Kothari, which are outrageous, inappropriate, and corrosive.”[6]
  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield: “There should be no place for such antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment at the UN. These remarks by a COI Commissioner at the UNHRC cannot go unaddressed.”[7]
  • U.S. Congress, Bipartisan Letter of 23 Representatives: “Mr. Kothari’s comments indicate an inherent bias against Israel and the Jewish people with a mindset fundamentally incapable of adjudicating questions about Israel in an objective manner. Furthermore, his comments demonstrate that the very worst of our suspicions regarding the prejudicial nature of the COI have been fully justified.”[8]

 

  • Canadian Ambassador Bob Rae: “A Commission of Inquiry is different from a never ending Inquisition. Blatantly biased, anti-semitic comments are completely unworthy of the UN, the UN Human Rights Commission, and are a disgrace to institutions supposedly dedicated to the rule of law.”[9]

 

  • UK Ambassador Simon Manley: “Recent comments by Miloon Kothari, a member of the UNHRC Israel Commission of Inquiry, questioning Israel’s UN membership and speaking of “the Jewish lobby” controlling social media are unacceptable and offensive. Antisemitism has absolutely no place in the UN.”[10]

 

  • Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely: “Deeply concerned by recent comments made by UNHRC Israel Commission of Inquiry Commissioner Miloon Kothari. Antisemitism is unacceptable and we condemn it wherever it appears.”[11]

 

  • Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky: “I note with regret that the recent comments by Mr. Miloon Kothari, a member of the UNHRC Israel Commission of Inquiry, undermine the impartiality of UN Special Procedures, which is a cornerstone of the UN human rights system.”[12]

 

  • Germany: “Germany firmly stands against any form of antisemitism. We therefore deeply deplore recent statements by Miloon Kothari, member of the COI on Israel/OPT @UN_HRC.”[13]

 

  • Netherlands: “The Kingdom of the Netherlands is shocked by a recent interview with a member of the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on Israel/OPT in which he refers to the “Jewish Lobby” and questions Israel’s UN membership. We strongly condemn antisemitism – these COI member remarks are unacceptable.”[14]

 

  • France: “Strong disapproval of the remarks of Miloon Kothari, a member of the Commission of Inquiry on OPT and Israel. We must be ‘uncompromising in the contemporary fight against antisemitism’ as President Macron has said.”[15]

 

  • Italy: “Italy firmly stands against any form of antisemitism and deplores recent statements by Miloon Kothari, member of the COI on Israel/OPT @UN_HRC.”[16]

 

  • Austria: “We are concerned about recent comments by CoI on OPT/Israel member Miloon Kothari. Austria continues to strongly stand against any form of antisemitism.”[17]

 

  • Belgium: “[Belgium] is firmly engaged in the fight against antisemitism. We deplore recent statements by Mr. Miloon Kothari, member of the CoI on OPT and Israel.”[18]

 

  • Switzerland: “Switzerland is troubled by recent comments by a member of the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on OPT and Israel. We stand firmly against antisemitism in any form.”[19]

 

  • Sweden: “Sweden strongly believes in zero tolerance against antisemitism and deplores recent statements by Mr. Miloon Kothari, Member of the CoI on OPT and Israel.”[20]

 

  • Norway: “Norway is deeply troubled by recent comments made by Miloon Kothari, member of the UNHRC CoI on OPT and Israel. We stand firmly against antisemitism in any form.”[21]

 

  • Denmark: “Denmark deplores recent comments made by Miloon Kothari, member of the UNHRC CoI on OPT and Israel. We stand firmly against antisemitism.”[22]

 

  • Brazil: “The Mission of Brazil in Geneva took note with deep concern of the recent comments made by Mr. Miloon Kothari, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel (CoI). As member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, Brazil considers that the antisemitic references made by Mr. Kothari in his statement are unacceptable and should be immediately retracted. Brazil reaffirms that mandate holders of international human rights mechanisms should at all times act with impartiality, objectivity and equanimity. Under no circumstances should they express political views or opinions, especially on issues within the purview of their mandate. Brazil calls on the CoI to strictly respect the rules of procedures and the code of conduct of special procedures of the Human Rights Council.”[23]

 

  • Hungary: “The government of Hungary has declared zero tolerance against anti-Semitism and strongly condemns all its forms and considers the statement of the member of the investigation committee unacceptable. The Hungarian Government will continue to act against expressions against Israel and the Jewish people and other discriminatory, politically biased behavior.”[24]

 

In addition, numeorous instituions and organizations condemned the antisemitism of commissioner Miloon Kothari, including:

  1. ADL (July 27, 2022)
  2. Bnai Brith (August 5, 2022)
  3. American Jewish Committee (August 1, 2022)
  4. Conference of Presidents (July 29, 2022)
  5. American Israel Public Affairs Committee (July 29, 2022)
  6. Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization of America (July 29, 2022)
  7. Jewish Council for Public Affairs (July 29, 2022)
  8. Jewish Federations of North America (July 29, 2022)
  9. Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (July 29, 2022)
  10. British Board of Deputies (July 29, 2022)
  11. Foundation for Defense of Democracies (August 7, 2022)
  12. Simon Wiesenthal Center (July 27, 2022)
  13. Beverly Hills City Council (August 4, 2022)
  14. World Jewish Congress (August 2, 2022)
  15. Zionist Federation of Australia (August 4, 2022)
  16. StandWithUs (July 29, 2022)
  17. European Journal of International Law (August 1, 2022)

 

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