Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Director of Research and Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. slammed the far-left Americans for Peace Now (APN) this week, saying the “far-left BDS-promoter…reached a new low by presenting a webinar – titled “Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights” – featuring UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese.
At the outset of the APN webinar, ZOA said in a press release, Albanese complained that she and other UN Special rapporteurs have been “personally attacked.”
Albanese claimed that she was vilified simply for “Jewish lobby” comments she made 10 years ago.
“That’s quite an understatement of Albanese’s hideous record,” ZOA said. “Bipartisan Congressmembers wrote two group letters calling on the UN to remove Albanese from her position, due to Albanese’s vicious anti-Israel bias and refusals to condemn deadly Palestinian Arab terror attacks against innocent Israelis.”
As noted by ZOA, “Albanese’s long, sordid history of antisemitic remarks also includes:
– likening Israel to Nazis;
– saying that America is “subjugated by the Jewish lobby”;
– legitimizing Hamas rocket attacks on innocent Israeli civilians as Hamas “defend[ing] themselves with the only means they have”;
– accusing BBC [not exactly a pro-Israel outlet] of having the “Jewish lobby in your veins” and thus being on “big brother’s side of this Orwellian [sic] nightmare caused once again by Israel’s greed”;
– likening the Holocaust with the “Nakba” (the Palestinian word meaning that it is a “catastrophe” that the Arabs did not destroy Israel in 1948);
– joyfully celebrating the EU General Court taking Hamas off of its terror blacklist;
– repeatedly denying Israel’s right to self-defense and justifying Palestinian terrorism, saying in various for a that: “Israel cannot claim self-defense while illegally occupying and while directing an act of aggression against another country. Those who have the right to self-defense are the Palestinians.”, and “An occupation clearly necessitates and generates violence.”, and “The occupier cannot say he is defending himself.”
Albanese also previously worked for Hamas-allied UNRWA.
“Albanese has no first-hand knowledge, and ignores reality and truthful sources. Instead, Albanese’s recent UN report and APN webinar repeatedly cited and regurgitated the falsehoods promoted by foreign-funded anti-Israel organizations that specialize in systematically libeling Israel, including: B’tselem; Breaking the Silence; Amnesty International; HRW; Al-Haq and Addameer.
“The latter two are affiliates of designated terror organization PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine): In 2021, the Israeli government designated Al-Haq and Addameer as terror organizations operating on behalf of the PFLP.”
According to ZOA, “during the APN webinar this week, Albanese touted her latest libelous UN report; minimized Palestinian Arab terrorism; falsely claimed that Israel has a ‘shoot-to-kill policy’; falsely accused Israel of torturing children, targeting school children going to school and farmers working their land; falsely accused Israel of killing leading intellectuals and teachers; and absurdly claimed that Israeli security measures, e.g., checkpoints, the security fence and cameras have created a ‘carceral continuum’ that is like incarceration and keeps Palestinian Arabs from ‘growing.’ [This is of course belied by the Palestinian Arabs’ 80,000 illegal structures in Area C, the area that is legally under full Israeli administrative and security control.]
“Albanese also bizarrely blamed Israel for the Palestinian Authority’s abuses against and arrests of its own people, saying that ‘the PA operates as sort of an extension of Israeli authority.’”
During the APN webinar, ZOA continues, “Albanese also repeated the ridiculous calumny that it is a ‘war crime’ under Article 49 of Geneva Convention for Jews to move into and resettle the Jewish homelands of Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter,” all of which Albanese referred to as Occupied Palestinian Territory.
As ZOA has repeatedly explained, Article 49 is inapplicable to Jews living in Judea/Samaria, etc. for multiple reasons, including:
– Article 49 concerns forcible transfers, and was intended to stop horrors such as the Nazis’ forcible transfers of Jews to concentration camps; it is absurd and wrong to apply it to Jews voluntarily moving to and resettling the Jewish homeland;
– Article 49 only applies to signatory nations (Israel never signed; and the PA is not a nation or a signatory); and
– Article 49 only concerns occupation of another sovereign nation’s territory. Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem are not sovereign territory of the Palestinian Arabs; rather, Israel has the legal right to Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem, and is not occupying another sovereign nation’s territory.
‘Caught on videotape’
Albanese provided no actual examples to support her defamatory allegation that Israel mistreats Palestinian Arab children, ZOA pointed out.
“Albanese’s UN report gave only one supposed example of this. Notably, that sole example ignored that the imprisoned Palestinian Arab ‘child,’ Ahmad Manasra, was a terrorist who, along with his cousin, stabbed with huge knives and seriously wounding a Jewish child riding a bicycle and a young Jewish adult in Jerusalem.
“This was caught on videotape. Mansara was convicted of two attempted murders and sentenced to 12 years in prison, which the Israeli Supreme Court reduced to 9.5 years following consideration of ‘his young age and the rehabilitation process he is participating in.’
“Yet, instead of showing even the slightest sympathy for Mansara’s badly injured Jewish victims, or appreciating the undeserved mercy shown to Mansara, Albanese’s UN report called Mansara’s terror attack a mere ‘allegation’ and bemoaned that ‘the haunting case of Ahmad Manasra exemplifies [Israel’s] harrowing practices”
In her UN report, Albanese called for Israel to be criminally prosecuted for international crimes; for international “diplomatic, political and economic measures” to be taken against Israel; for Israel to give “reparations” to Palestinians; and for third parties to “not recognize as lawful, aid or assist Israel’s occupation.”
“It is thus reprehensible that APN touted Albanese’s UN report and featured Albanese at APN’s webinar – while failing to challenge any of Albanese’s anti-Israel libels,” ZOA stated.
ZOA listed APN’s anti-Israel record, including its official policy of calling for antisemitic boycotts (BDS) discriminating against Jews living in the Jewish homeland over the artificial “green line”;
– recently co-hosting of anti-Israel NGO ACRI’s executive director calling for stopping all contributions to Israel’s economy;
– inciting hatred against Jews living in Judea and Samaria by calling these Jewish families a “plague” like the plagues that G-d visited on the Egyptians who enslaved us;
– mourning the death of Saeb Erekat – who repeatedly libeled and incited violence against Israel, while ignoring Jewish victims of Palestinian terror;
– allegedly laundering funds to use for its anti-Israel political activities; and
– attempting to harm Jews and Jewish businesses by demanding rescission of “made in Israel” labeling regulations.
According to ZOA, “We have to wonder: Why is anti-Israel BDS-supporting APN still a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations?