In March 2022, Francesca Albanese was appointed the Special Rapporteur on the “situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” The record demonstrates that Albanese has an extreme anti-Israel bias, as seen in:
- Participation in events hosted by organizations that have alleged ties to terror groups and that promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel.
- Moral failures, as shown in labeling individuals convicted as terrorists as a “human rights defender” in her October 2022 report to the UN Human Rights Council.
- Consistently dismissing Israel’s security concerns, denying Israel’s right to self-defense, and tweeting in support of terrorism.
Francesca Albanese has used antisemitic themes and imagery to demonize the Jewish people and the state of Israel. Examples include:
- Albanese has drawn false comparisons between Israel’s actions and the Holocaust. In May 2021, Albanese equated the “Nakba” to the Holocaust, stating that “Just as tragic, terrible, unspeakable, is the tragedy that befell the Jewish people with the Shoah, so for the Palestinians, the Nakba represents the crumbling of the connective tissue of a people.”
- In January 2015, Albanese shared a post on Facebook that compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto, equating “resistance” by Hamas and Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto.
- During the 2014 Gaza conflict, Albanese shared on Facebook a letter she sent to her family’s diocese (July 31) claiming that “America and Europe, one of them subjugated by the Jewish lobby, and the other by the sense of guilt about the Holocaust, remain on the sidelines and continue to condemn the oppressed — the Palestinians — who defend themselves with the only means they have (deranged missiles), instead of making Israel face its international law responsibilities…” (emphasis added). Although Albanese reportedly apologized for the comment, she has not removed the post from her Facebook page.
Troubling Statements Regarding Terrorism
- In November 2022, Albanese participated in a conference hosted by the “council of international relations – Palestine,” a Hamas body, recognized as such by multiple sources, and chaired by Hamas senior member Basem Naim. The conference also hosted Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif Qanu, senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) member Khader Habib, and PFLP Deputy Secretary-General Maher Mezher.
- In August 2022, regarding the 2022 Gaza conflict against PIJ forces in Gaza, Albanese tweeted, “Palestinians’ right to resist is inherent to their right to exist as a people. An unlawful act of resistance does not make the resistance unlawful.”
- In July 2022, Albanese liked a tweet commemorating the 50th anniversary of Ghassan Kanafani’s death. Kanafani was a “leading member of the PFLP.
- In January 2015, Albanese shared an article on Leila Khaled’s visit to South Africa, writing, “Go Leila go!” Leila Khaled is a “prominent member” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and a terrorist responsible for hijacking multiple airplanes.
Characterizing Terror Operatives as “Human Rights Defenders”
- Francesca Albanese celebrates individuals whose actions epitomize the opposite of universal human rights and peace. She falsely labels as “human rights defenders,” or “HRDs,” individuals convicted of terrorism, as well as someone convicted for diverting humanitarian funds to Hamas.
- In a report prepared for the 77th Session of the General Assembly (A/77/356), Albanese characterized two Palestinians as “human rights defenders”: Salah Hamouri and Mohammed el-Halabi.
- Hamouri, a lawyer for Addameer, was arrested in 2005 for “attempting to assassinate Ovadia Yosef…and for his involvement with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.” In an October 2011 statement, the PFLP referred to Hamouri as a “comrade.” A 2009 video supporting Hamouri includes footage from PFLP rallies and a photo of him alongside notorious terrorists. In September 2022, the PFLP identified Hamouri as a PFLP member who had launched a hunger strike while in Israeli prison. In November 2022, Israel stripped Hamouri of his Jerusalem residency status and plans to deport him to France.
- In June 2016, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested Mohammed El-Halabi, manager of Gaza operations for the international aid organization World Vision, and charged him with diverting approximately $30 million to terrorist organizations for construction of tunnels and other terrorist activity. According to the indictment against him, El-Halabi used fictitious humanitarian projects and agricultural associations to act as a cover for the hijacking of monies and materials to Hamas. On June 15, 2022, the Be’er Sheva District Court convicted El-Halabi, sentencing him to 12 years in prison for diverting aid money and resources from World Vision to Hamas.
Albanese’s Extreme Bias
- Francesca Albanese has a record of anti-Israel partisanship, and does not appear to fulfill the requirements of impartiality and objectivity as required by the HRC in Resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 and the UN OHCHR Code of Conduct. In fact, in a 2021 lecture, Albanese admitted questioning her ability to be impartial: “I feared [that] embarking on a matter [on] which I had deeply held personal views could compromise my objectivity.”
- Albanese has accused Israel of “advance[ing] its ‘colonization’ plans — committing serious human rights violations and keeping captive millions of civilians.” She has organized and participated in events focused on demonizing Israel, including a November 2022 conference on “Ethnic Cleansing.”
- In a report prepared for the 77th Session of the General Assembly (A/77/356), Albanese called for the UN General Assembly to “develop a plan to end the Israeli settler-colonial occupation and apartheid regime.” However, Albanese appears to believe that “apartheid” isn’t strong enough to describe the situation on the ground and “the apartheid framework presents some limitations.”
- Albanese has also attacked Israel’s very existence, based on false historical claims, saying that Israel is “in long-standing breach of the basic principles of international law, which started 70 years ago with the forced depopulation of two-thirds of the indigenous Arab population in what became the State of Israel in British Mandate Palestine.” She further asserted that Israel was created “IN Palestine” and tweets under the hashtag “#NoMoreNakbas.”
- In November 2022, Albanese negated Israel’s right to self-defense, stating in a conference that “The occupation can’t say it is protecting itself when it is occupying a land that doesn’t belong to it.”
- In January 2021, Albanese posted a link to the movie “Jenin, Jenin,” writing “Jenin, Jenin in Italian. Don’t miss this one.” Mohammed Bakri’s “Jenin, Jenin” suggests that Israel committed a massacre in Jenin during Israel’s 2002 invasion of Jenin, but known to be full of false claims. According to Human Rights Watch, it “found no evidence to sustain claims of massacres or large-scale extrajudicial executions by the IDF in Jenin refugee camp.” Multiple Israeli courts stated that the movie is “not based on any factual basis, not even a minimal one,” “misleading,” and “contains libels.”
- In a report prepared for the 77th Session of the General Assembly (A/77/356), Albanese fabricated a “millenia” long history of a “native Palestinian Arab population” and Palestinian “indegineity”, while erasing the Jewish origins in and connection to the region, and falsely claiming that Jewish presence consisted of “largely European Jewish settlers and refugees from Europe.”