Peers join campaign to block anti-Israel academic from UN appointment


British peers have called on the government to challenge the nomination of an anti-Israel activist to the United Nations.

Five House of Lords members from across the political spectrum have written to Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay in a bid to overturn a UN recommendation that Professor Penny Green be appointed to the position of Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories.

Signatories to the letter have argued that the UK government should not back the recommendation, “as she is not neutral on the issue”, adding: “Professor Green alleged that ‘Israel and its international backers engage in state crimes on a colossal scale’.”

The letter was signed by the Britain Israel Peers Group Committee, which is made up of: crossbench peer Baroness Deech; Tory Lord Leigh; Liberal Democrat Lord Palmer; Lord Polak, Conservative Friends of Israel's honourary president; and Labour's Lord Turnberg.

The letter reads: “Through her public pronouncements Professor Green has identified with and adopted the condemnation of Israel as her cause and has thereby disqualified herself from any form of judicial position concerning the conflict.

“We are further extremely alarmed to note that should Professor Green be appointed, she will be immediately following two other longstanding critics of Israel, Mr Makarim Wibisono and Mr Richard Falk.”

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