UN Commissioner Promotes Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory

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|July 28, 2022

CIJA calls for scrutiny into disregard of UN guidelines in
Human Rights Council investigation

Ottawa, ON – July 28, 2022 – The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is calling on the Government of Canada to condemn the UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Israel and its appointment of biased Commissioners. This follows disturbing remarks from United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Miloon Kothari earlier this week in an interview with anti-Israel outlet Mondoweiss. 

“As a UN Member State, Canada must call-out Kothari’s remarks as proof of the Commission’s bias,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, CIJA President and CEO. “The UN’s own guidelines are explicit on the issue of impartiality, and Kothari has clearly and flagrantly contravened them this week.” 

The COI’s other members, Navi Pillay (chair) and Chris Sidoti, also have histories of anti-Israel bias. “The fact that all three individuals appointed by the UNHRC have documented histories of anti-Israel biases needs to be denounced,” said Fogel. 

In the interview Kothari promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories, alleging social media “is controlled largely by the Jewish lobby.” 

Acts or statements that make “stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective” are a recognized form of antisemitism, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition. This definition is used by numerous states around the world, including Canada. 

Throughout the interview, Kothari echoed classic anti-Israel tropes, such as “from the river to the sea” that call for the destruction of the Jewish state or deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination when claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a “racist endeavour.” Kothari subsequently added the COI would “tackle this issue of how far you can take antisemitism,” denying the Jewish people their right to define what hatred against them looks like. 

The UN’s guidelines state all commissioners must have “a proven record of independence and impartiality,” referring to “prior public statements” as a relevant factor that could affect their “independence or impartiality,” or create a “perception of bias.” 

“Without even investigating the issue, Kothari appears to have already pre-determined Israel’s guilt with his libellous and unfounded accusations of ‘apartheid,’” said Fogel. “It is imperative that Canada, as a strong supporter of morally-grounded international institutions, condemns this travesty and the abuse of UN agency resources.” 


Additional Background 

On May 27, 2021, in the wake of the self-defensive war Israel was forced to wage against Hamas (a listed terrorist entity in Canada), the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolved to conduct an unprecedented, open-ended commission of inquiry (COI) to investigate “all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law” by Israel in its territories. 

The preliminary report was released on June 7, 2022, and it is neither factual nor impartial, rendering it misleading and unreliable for the following reasons: 

  • Authoritarian regimes with serious human rights abuse records, including Russia, China, and Venezuela, sponsored the report and initiated the investigation 
  • The mandate of the investigation violates UN guidelines 
  • The Commissioners elected have known, well-documented biases, despite UN guidelines that call for the impartiality of those conducting investigations 
  • The report relies on biased and discounted source materials 

For more information: https://www.cija.ca/the_un_human_rights_councils_commission_of_inquiry_against_israel 


About the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations across Canada. CIJA is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Jewish life in Canada through advocacy and to advance the public policy interests of Canada’s organized Jewish community.   

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About CIJA
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations across Canada.