Israeli Ambassador Labels UN Official an Antisemitic Terror Sympathizer Amidst Calls for Her Removal

JERUSALEM – The calls for the dismissal of Francesca Albanese, the United Nations special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, are growing. Albanese has been accused of antisemitism and of supporting Hamas terrorism. The latest round of criticism comes after Albanese condemned Israel’s rescue of four hostages held by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip in June.

Israel’s outgoing ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, called Albanese a “terror sympathizing antisemite” and accused her of being dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Erdan also criticized UN Secretary-General António Guterres for not taking action against Albanese.

“Enough is enough,” U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said. “Francesca Albanese must be removed from her position immediately. For far too long, Albanese has abused her U.N. mandate to spread Hamas propaganda. She is the first U.N. special rapporteur in history to be condemned by France, Germany and the U.S. for antisemitism.”

He added, “It’s time for the U.S. and other democracies to take action to fire Francesca Albanese now. This can be done by the adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution. Until that happens, they need to condemn her strongly for spreading antisemitism and abusing her mandate by illegally engaging in overtly political and cynical lobbying activities.”

Albanese, in a June 8 post on X, called Israel’s rescue operation “humanitarian camouflage” and accused Israel of using the hostages to legitimize the killing, injuring, maiming, starving, and traumatizing of Palestinians in Gaza. She also accused Israel of refusing to free the hostages earlier in order to continue destroying Gaza and the Palestinian people.

Alex Gandler, deputy spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote on X about Albanese: “Your unwavering support of Hamas and Palestinian civilian kidnappers of civilians is truly a piece of grotesque art. Wrong side of History Lady.”

In November, Digital reported that Albanese declared that  against Hamas.

When approached by Digital about Albanese’s remarks on X, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said, “We opposed the mandate of this special rapporteur, which we believe is not productive. And when it comes to the individual who holds that position, we can’t help but note a history of incendiary comments online and in her public statements. We continue to believe that this special rapporteur’s allegations of genocide are unfounded.” 

A spokesman for the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who has been accused of anti-Israel bias and  by Israel’s outgoing ambassador, punted press queries about Albanese to the U.N.’s Human Rights Council. Guterres has denied that he is anti-Israel and favors Hamas over Israel.

His spokesman told Digital, “The secretary-general does not appoint, and cannot relieve from duties, the rapporteurs of our human rights system, who are independent and who report to the Human Rights Council. Please direct your questions to the HRC members.”

In April,  that a newsletter of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights’ NGO Action News provided information on how to protest against Israel in the U.S. on tax day.

Veteran watchdog organizations like U.N. Watch and others have long lambasted the organization, where meaningful accountability about its reported rampant antisemitism problem is largely non-existent. The U.S. and the EU designated Hamas a foreign terrorist organization, while the United Nations has not.

Pascal Sim, a spokesman for the HRC, told Digital, “The views of the United Nations Human Rights Council are expressed in the resolutions it adopts at each of its sessions. The special rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Her mandate is set out clearly under the terms of her appointment, which is to follow the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, investigate human rights violations and report her findings to the Council and publicly.”

A Human Rights Council spokeswoman told Digital that she had forwarded inquiries to the special rapporteur, and that “She would like you to get in touch.”

Albanese has yet to respond to multiple Digital press queries sent via United Nations spokespeople and to her Georgetown University email address, where she has a position at. Queries to Georgetown went unanswered.