New comments by U.N. official prompt second call from Capitol Hill for her removal

Lawmakers wrote to U.N. leadership last week to demand that Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese be removed from her position

Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Francesca Albanese, delivers a speech during the UN Forum on the Question of Palestine at the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber in New York on May 18, 2018.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote to United Nations leadership on Friday demanding that Francesca Albanese, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, be removed from her position — the second such call since the beginning of 2023.

The new letter, led by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Ann Wagner (R-MO) and signed by 16 other lawmakers, cites comments made this month by Albanese regarding recent terror attacks and other incidents. In addition to Albanese’s firing, the letter calls on U.N. leadership to disband the U.N.’s Commission of Inquiry investigating Israel and address “deep-seated antisemitic and anti-Israel bias at the United Nations.” 

The letter highlights what the lawmakers describe as Albanese’s refusal to condemn recent Palestinian terrorist attacks targeting an Israeli bus stop and a Jerusalem synagogue, and her condemnations of Israel following these incidents. The lawmakers also point to her praise of the attempt by the mayor of Barcelona to cut ties with Tel Aviv as its “sister city.”

“For an official tasked with serving as an independent, neutral, and expert voice on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, her inexcusable silence against terrorism targeting Israelis and her outrageous and prejudicial remarks clearly reflect the irredeemable bias of her mandate,” the letter reads. 

It levels similar accusations about the COI.

“The COI is an unprecedented, open-ended, and unfairly slanted investigation, which completely ignores the role of terrorist groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. From its inception in 2021, this commission has been a clear attempt by the United Nations Human Rights Council to target Israel,” the letter continues. “Ms. Albanese’s more recent comments only reaffirms and strengthens our assessment that the UN system is riven with bias. Her biased behaviors should have no place at the United Nations, and clearly demonstrate the lack of impartiality.”

The lawmakers ask the U.N. leadership for a “detailed accounting” of efforts to eliminate antisemitic and anti-Israel bias “endemic in the UN system.”

The letter was addressed to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk. It was signed by Reps. David Scott (D-GA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), David Trone (D-MD), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Don Davis (D-NC), Grace Meng (D-NY), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) and Greg Landsman (D-OH).

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