Surprise! U.N. investigates its own anti-Israel official

By David Brummer

(Video screenshot)
U.N. envoy Francesca Albanese

JERUSALEM – In a first-of-its-kind move, the United Nations has launched an investigation into Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese, whom UN Watch has accused of being sponsored and supported by Hamas-tied lobbying groups for a 2023 trip to Australia and New Zealand.

UN Watch, an independent United Nations watchdog based in Geneva, which critiques the U.N. Human Rights Council and its overwhelmingly biased focus on Israel, alleged Albanese took external funds from pro-Hamas groups to pay for her $20,000 lobbying trip to Australia.

Hillel Neuer, UN Watch’s Executive Director, said he opened the complaint against Albanese because she was either unwilling or unable to produce the receipts of who actually paid for her trip Down Under. As a result he has called for her mandate to be terminated.

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In November, Albanese claimed UN Watch’s allegations were “egregiously false,” and the tour had been “paid by the U.N. as part of my mandate’s activities.”

However, in the intervening seven months, she has produced no evidence to back up this assertion, nor have internal United Nations audits shown this is where payment for the trip originated.

Albanese’s protestations are further muddied – and this evidence forms at least part of UN Watch’s calls for investigations into her conduct – due to the fact the Australian Friends of Palestine Association, or AFOPA, said on its website it had “sponsored” Albanese’s visit to Adelaide, and Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, Free Palestine Melbourne, and Palestinian Christians in Australia had “supported” her visit to Victoria, New South Wales.

AFOPA stood by Albanese, taking to X to say her trip had been authorized by the U.N. to accept its invitation, and that it had funded her trip. “No Palestinian solidarity group paid for this trip,” it concluded … although it doesn’t appear to have produced any receipts.

Albanese, an Italian international lawyer and academic, was a controversial pick when she was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on the disputed Palestinian territories for a three-year term, on May 1, 2022.

Shortly after her appointment, Merav Marks, legal adviser for the Israeli mission to the U.N. in Geneva, said during the closing session of the Human Rights Council that Francesca Albanese was “unfit” to take the role of special rapporteur on Palestine.

“The newly appointed special rapporteur’s opinion expressed in numerous articles, events and media outlets endlessly voicing anti-Israel libel show that she is unfit to take up this role,” said Marks, according to the Times of Israel.

Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion and bloodletting, Albanese’s social media usage, particularly on X, has been a steady stream of invective against the conduct of Israel’s war against its genocidal enemy. She denied there were any rapes, and similarly dismissed widespread reports of beheadings during the orgy of violence.

In general, she downplayed the severity of the greatest massacre of Jews in a single day since the Holocaust. In many of her X posts, she uncritically uses the Gaza Health Ministry (a.k.a Hamas) unverified numbers to constantly decry Israel’s actions in the coastal enclave.

In 2021, Albanese was also instrumental in forming a global network of some of the most virulent anti-Israel activists across the world. The Global Network of Network on the Question of Palestine, or GNQP, which runs under the auspices of the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development, or ARDD, in Amman, Jordan, orchestrates global campaigns to target Israel, wage lawfare, and erode Israel’s ability to defend itself.

The members of her network include former PLO officials including Hanan Ashrawi and Diana Butu, the current Palestinian deputy ambassador to the U.N. Also included is Richard Falk, whom former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemned for promoting the “Israel carried out 9/11” conspiracy theory, as well as for anti-Semitism.

One of their associate organization’s tactics is to threaten right-wing governments that unless they donate millions of dollars to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, their countries will be flooded with millions of Palestinian and Arab “refugees” who will overwhelm them.

A UN Watch press release also states: “She was also censured in 2022 by the US Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism, after it was revealed she had published a fundraising appeal for UNRWA claiming that ‘America is subjugated by the Jewish lobby.’ In 2023, a bipartisan group of 18 lawmakers condemned her refusal to denounce terrorism against Israelis.”

In a self-pitying post on X, Albanese wrote an Edward Snowden quote over a picture of him saying, “People don’t realize how hard it is to speak the truth, to a world full of people who don’t realize they’re living a lie.” In a blistering and pithy response, Neuer, replied that all that had been asked of her was to provide the receipts.

“Francesca Albanese abuses her UN position to incessantly spew antisemitism and Hamas propaganda, on social media, on TV, and in her reports. Every day that she remains in office casts a shadow upon the human rights council and the United Nations as a whole,” said Neuer.

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