UN rapporteur posted support for terror ‘icon’

Francesca Albanese celebrated a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine


BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK - JUNE 16: General views of Leila Khaled mural on the Apartheid Wall at Bethlehem on June 16, 2013 in central West Bank. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Disturbing anti-Israel posts by the new UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine raise further questions about her suitability for the role following the controversy over her appointment last week.

Israel has already objected “in the strongest terms” to Italian legal expert Francesca Albanese being chosen for what is at least nominally a politically neutral role.

She has described Israel’s “occupation” as a “colonial project that has turned into apartheid”.

Now online investigators GnasherJew have uncovered further material that seems to make absurd any notion of Ms Albanese maintaining neutrality .

In one post in 2015, she celebrated terrorist Leila Khaled, a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Alongside a news story on Electronic Intifada, which revealed “Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled” was to tour South Africa, Ms Albanese wrote: “Go Leila go!”

The same year, she shared a story about a border official in Latin America who drew a picture of a penis on the passport of an Israeli citizen and wrote “Viva Palestinia”.

She also shared a post likening Israelis to the Nazis. It featured two pictures of soldiers. The accompanying text read: “In the first pic, a Nazi soldier, a dog, a man on the ground – who is a Jew. In the second pic, an Israeli soldier, a dog, a man on the ground – who is a Palestinian.”

During the 2021 conflict between Israel and Hamas she frequently tweeted under the hashtag “No More Nakbas” (the Arabic term for “catastrophe” used to describe the displacement of Palestinians in 1948).

The 2021 conflict was said to be in part sparked by the dispute over property in the Sheikh Jarrah area of east Jerusalem.

In one post she wrote: “If we stand alone, we are frail like the wings of a butterfly. If we stand together, our wings can unleash a revolution. #SaveSheikhJarrah #NoMoreNakbas.” She claimed Israel was “indiscriminately” bombing civilian areas and said “deliberately targeting civilians… is a war crime”.

She also re-tweeted a post of a bomb-hit building during the conflict that said: “This is not Hiroshima 1945. This is Gaza 2021!”

Israel has formally objected “in the strongest terms” to the appointment of the Italian lawyer to head the UN Human Rights Council’s open-ended investigation into Israel and Palestine, arguing that she has significant bias against the Jewish state.

Merav Marks, legal adviser for the Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva, said during the closing session of the Human Rights Council that Ms Albanese was “unfit” to take the role of Special Rapporteur on Palestine. He said: “The newly appointed special rapporteur’s opinion expressed in numerous articles, events and media outlets endlessly voicing anti-Israel libel shows that she is unfit to take up this role.”

He said that the appointment of Ms Albanese added to the “already one-sided mandate dedicated to delegitimising and demonising Israel”.

UN Watch highlighted that last year Ms Albanese moderated an event titled “Israeli Apartheid Exposed” and said she had not raised potential personal conflicts of interest in regards to her appointment to the role.

Ms Albanese also wrote a book, called Palestinian Refugees in International Law, and spoke in a YouTube video of her support for Palestinian right of return.

Ms Albanese replaces Canadian legal expert Michael Lynk, who ended his six-year term as a Special Rapporteur with a report accusing Israel of apartheid.

The JC has approached Ms Albanese for comment.

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