Top UN human rights official accused of 'extreme' anti-Israel bias

Craig Mokhiber has tweeted that Israel is conducting 'ethnic cleansing' of Palestinians and vocally supports the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement


A high-ranking UN human rights lawyer has been accused of antisemitism and “extreme bias” against Israel after controversial tweets were exposed.

Craig Mokhiber, director and deputy for the assistant secretary-general (ASG) for human rights in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), has tweeted support for the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement, accused Israel of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”, and accused the press of of hiding “endless atrocities committed against Palestinian civilians”.

Mokhiber has also advocated a one-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict and openly opposed the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, calling it a “politicised and cynically instrumentalised ‘definition’.”

Mokhiber’s tweets were exposed by Jewish activist group GnasherJew. They said his tweets were “highly biased and violate UN rules regarding impartiality, objectivity, and independence”. They also accuse him of spreading misinformation and holding Israel to a higher standard than any other country.

In tweets in 2015, 2020 and 2021, Mokhiber expressed support for a one-state solution, calling for the creation of “a single, democratic, secular state”. He also described Israel as an “apartheid” state and expressed support for BDS.

He has tweeted numerous times that Israel is conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians.

After the US released a statement on the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Mokhiber tweeted: “Whitewashing the cold-blooded murder of its own citizen. No accountability. Just an official cover-up. A pattern of supporting impunity that goes back 75 years and includes covering up war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and state terrorism.”

He has accused the press of covering up alleged Israeli crimes against Palestinians, and said that Israel has “forcibly interned” Palestinians in Gaza solely based on their race.

He has also slammed IHRA, the Jewish community’s chosen definition of antisemitism, saying: “This politicised and cynically instrumentalised ‘definition’ has been used as a weapon to slander human rights defenders, to foster impunity for perpetrators, and to confuse public discourse, while undercutting efforts to combat real antisemitism. It should be discarded.”

GnasherJew said that it was unable to find examples of him calling for boycotts of any other country, nor any condemnations of Palestinian terrorism targeting Israeli civilians.

It accuses him of breaching UN rules on impartiality and its policy on the use of social media, which says that staff should show “respect for all cultures, and must not discriminate against any individual or group of individuals”.

Mokhiber and the OHCHR have been approached for comment.

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