The expert in question, the Indian Miloon Kothari, is a member of a UN commission investigating alleged human rights violations in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
One of the UN investigators apologized on Thursday for having spoken of the “Jewish lobby” in an interview, remarks which had been strongly denounced by Israel and Western diplomats in Geneva.
In an interview published on July 25 on the Mondoweiss websiteMiloon Kothari said: “We are very discouraged by social networks, controlled largely by the Jewish lobby or by certain specific NGOs, which spend a lot of money trying to discredit us”.
Words “deliberately taken out of context”
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid asked UN chief Antonio Guterres on Sunday to work for the dissolution of the commission. Israel’s ambassador to Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, also demanded the dissolution of the commission and the president of the Human Rights Council, Argentinian Federico Villegas, asked the expert to clarify his “comments unfortunate”.
“I wish to sincerely express my regret and unequivocally apologize for using the words ‘the Jewish lobby.’ letter sent Thursday to Federico Villegas and published by the UN.
“It was totally wrong of me to describe social media as being ‘largely controlled by the Jewish lobby.’ This choice of words was incorrect, inappropriate and lacking in sensitivity,” he continued, pointing out that he “always condemned discrimination in all its forms, including anti-Semitism”.
The chair of the commission, South African Navi Pillay, claimed last week that Miloon Kothari’s comments “appeared to have been deliberately taken out of context” and reflected “the commission’s disappointment at the lack of cooperation persistent” of Israel with the experts.