(i24) A group of bipartisan US lawmakers called for the United Nations to discontinue the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza over what were considered anti-Semitic remarks made by an expert on the panel.
Miloon Kothari, one of the three human rights experts on the UN Human Rights Council’s COI, told the Mondoweiss website in July that he “would go as far as to raise the question of why [Israel is] even a member of the United Nations.”
“We are very disheartened by social media that is controlled largely by – whether it is the Jewish lobby or specific NGOs,” he added.
The UN investigator apologized days later for his comments, saying he was “completely wrong… to describe social media as being controlled largely by the Jewish lobby,”
Over a week later, the US lawmakers are urging UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to also remove Kothari from his position and take definitive action against anti-Semitism in the UN.
“These comments should have no place at the United Nations and clearly demonstrate the lack of impartiality and disproportionate focus on Israel by the COI,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter.
Israeli and US officials also condemned Kothari for the remarks.
The COI was established last year following the 11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas group in May.
“We were deeply disappointed last year at the formation of this unprecedented, open-ended, and biased COI to investigate Israel which completely ignores the role of terrorist groups such as Hamas in the protraction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the lawmakers added.
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