Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

A former United Nations human rights official who quit over its policy towards Israel and its military operations in Gaza told CNN that the “root causes of the problem” have not been addressed.

The former official also alleged that Israel was carrying out a “genocide.” 

“The international community has used this mantra of a two-state solution as an excuse for not addressing the fundamental root causes of the problem,” Craig Mokhiber, a former director at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told CNN’s Becky Anderson in an interview on Thursday.

Mokhiber said there’s “certainly nothing left for a sustainable Palestinian state” and that there is no hope of an Israeli government reverting to the 1967 borders. 

“What we’ve seen is this promise of a two-state solution as a smokescreen behind which we’ve seen continued dispossession, persecution, gross violations, and now as I have alleged, genocide happening as well,” he said.

Mokhiber, who said he lived in Gaza working on human rights for the UN in the 1990s, noted in a letter to the UN’s human rights chief that Gaza is a textbook case of genocide. 

He accused the United States, the United Kingdom, and European countries of giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel’s atrocities, and he echoed that sentiment in his interview with CNN. 

He said up until this point, there had been a “roar” demanding accountability for alleged war crimes perpetrated by Hamas in their attack on October 7 — which he said was the correct response.

He added, what we’ve heard “at best is a whisper” demanding accountability for “Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide” before October 7 and “too much of a whisper” demanding accountability from Israel since.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said Wednesday that both Hamas and Israel have committed war crimes since the war broke out last month. 

“The atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian armed groups on 7 October were heinous, brutal and shocking, they were war crimes — as is the continued holding of hostages,” Türk said, adding, “The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians.”

Mokhiber said that international law is “very clear” — it applies to all actors and the duty of the UN and its member states is to “work for accountability for perpetrators and redress for victims” regardless of who each one is. 

While Mokhiber received praise for his decision to leave the UN, he was also criticized and called an antisemite.

In response to that criticism, he told CNN charging people with antisemitism if they “dare call out Israeli violations against Palestinians is a tactic” that has been deployed for a long time.   

CNN

By Admin

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