Israel’s right to self defence has been airily dismissed by a U.N. official who declared the fight against Hamas terrorists amounts to “war crimes” that must be accounted for.
U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Francesca Albanese made her claims in an address Tuesday to Australia’s National Press Club in Canberra.
Albanese is touring the country as a guest of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association.
She maintained from a legal perspective, Israel’s right to self-defence was “non-existent” and the Jewish state had ignored proportionality in its “unrelenting bombardment of Gaza.”
News.com.au reports she said Israel could not claim self-defence in the laws of war because that could only be valid when under threat from another state.
“Israel cannot claim the right of self-defence against a threat that emanates from a territory it occupies, from a territory that is under belligerent occupation,” she argued.
“What Israel was allowed to do was to act to establish law and order, to repel the attack, neutralise whomever was carrying out the attacks and then proceed with law and order measures… Not waging a war.
“What is being done (in Gaza) is wrong … How many more people need to die?”
Albanese went further in questioning Israel’s actions since the barbaric Hamas attack on October 7 that killed 1,200 Israelis and saw another 240 taken hostage in what was the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.
The U.N. bureaucrat said Israel “might commit the crime of genocide against the Palestinian people” in its response to that bloody terrorist episode.
“In the face of all of this, the international community is almost completely paralysed,” she said. “I am being generous when I say the UN is experiencing its most epic political and humanitarian failure since its creation.
“Individual member states, especially in the West, and Australia is no exception, are on the margins. Muttering notable words of condemnation for Israel’s success at best or staying silent in fear of restraining Israel’s … claimed right to self-defence. Whatever that means.”
Australian Jewry co-chief executive Peter Wertheim responded to Albanese by issuing a statement declaring it “beggars belief” a high U.N. official would “seek to deny Israel, or any other member state of the U.N., its inherent right to defend itself and its people against armed attacks of the savagery and scale of those carried out by Hamas on October 7”.
“Did Ms Albanese expect Israel to simply sit back and allow Hamas to continue its murderous rampage in Israel unimpeded, or to return to Gaza and regroup for repeat attacks, as its leaders have openly threatened?” the head of Australia’s peak Jewish body said.
“Both the U.N. Charter and customary international law clearly affirm the inherent right of a State to use force in response to an armed attack, whether that attack emanates from another State or a terrorist organisation like Hamas.
“Ms Albanese’s assertions to the contrary are the lowest kind of legal sophistry.
“Her bizarre claim that Israelis have no right to defend themselves is as spurious as the array of legal epithets she habitually directs at Israel without even the pretence of an impartial testing of the facts.”
This is not the first time Albanese has used her position to attack Israel.
As Breitbart News reported, Albanese attended a Hamas conference in late 2022 and encouraged its attacks by proclaiming, “You have a right to resist.”
Albanese has also made statements complaining of the alleged “Jewish lobby” controlling America. Campaigns, including by American members of Congress, to convince the United Nations to remove her from her position have failed.