July 18, 2024
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Watchdog Group Urges Head Of UN Inquiry on Israel to Resign Amid Claims of Bias

(JNS) A watchdog group is calling on the head of a new probe by the United Nations into last year’s conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror group that runs the Gaza Strip to resign due to past statements she made that affect her impartiality in the investigation.

UN Watch submitted a 30-page complaint to the United Nations this week and also launched an online petition regarding previous statements made by Navi Pillay, a retired South African judge and former U.N. human-rights chief.

In a joint letter last summer to U.S. President Joe Biden, Pillay decried Israel’s “domination and oppression of the Palestinian people.” She urged the United States to “address the root causes of the violence” by putting a stop to Israel’s “ever-expanding discrimination and systemic oppression.”

The letter to Biden further called violence last spring at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem—also being examined by the U.N. inquiry—“aggressive actions by Israeli forces” against “peaceful protesters and worshippers,” which resulted in the “forced dispossession of Palestinians” and is the “latest evidence of a separate and unequal governing system.”

A main focus of the probe led by Pillay, who was appointed to the position by the U.N. last summer, is to investigate the “root causes of current tensions” between Israelis and Palestinians, including alleged “systematic discrimination.”

UN Watch also highlighted that while the inquiry will also examine “systematic discrimination” on race, ethnicity or national origin, Pillay has a history of accusing Israel of “apartheid” and describing the country’s treatment of Palestinians as “inhuman.”

“When it comes to Israel, as our legal brief demonstrates, Pillay is the complete opposite of impartial,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch and an international human-rights lawyer. “We are therefore calling on her to do the right thing and to resign immediately.”

He added: “It is frankly impossible to imagine how Navi Pillay could lead an impartial investigation into the events of April-May 2021, as well as into alleged systematic discrimination, given what she has already declared on all of these. A reasonable person would consider Navi Pillay to be partial, thereby disqualifying her from serving as a member of the inquiry.”

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