[Opinion] Mads Gilbert and the Theater of the Absurd
The latest “report” on Israel produced by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) includes a list of four “experts” with whom the two commissioners and their staffs consulted.
One of them is Dr. Mads Gilbert, a full-time propagandist from Norway who exploits medicine to promote hate. He has blamed the 9/11 terror attacks in the US on the “policy that the West has led during the last decades,” and asserted that “the oppressed also have a moral right to attack the USA with any weapon they can come up with.”
Gilbert’s role as an expert tells readers (including the 47 member states of the UNHRC) all that they need in order to understand the absurdity of this exercise. In July 2014, during the Gaza war, he was one of the five co-authors of an infamous “open letter to the people of Gaza” published in the prestigious UK medical journal The Lancet.
Two of Gilbert’s partners on the letter promoted a blatantly anti-Semitic video by white supremacist and ex-KKK leader David Duke, but the doctor, who claims to promote morality, has not found time to comment.
Gilbert is also associated with the highly politicized British NGO Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Under the facade of medical assistance, MAP plays a central role in the demonization war, accusing Israel of “indiscriminate attacks” and “collective punishment,” as well as promoting the “Nakba” narrative to delegitimize Israel’s very existence.
It is likely that the “expert” role assigned to Gilbert by the COI came under the leadership of William Schabas, the anti-Israel ideologue initially appointed by the Islamic bloc and its allies that form a majority in the Human Rights Commission. However, when Schabas resigned after he was exposed for having omitted his relationship with the PLO while applying to head the COI, Judge Mary McGowan Davis took over. Her failure to remove Gilbert from the list of experts and from the report reflects the lack of due diligence which further undermines its credibility.
The absurdity inherent in considering Gilbert to be an expert is compounded by the heavy reliance on highly political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which are also given a façade of “expertise.”
In this destructive process, the European government backers of the political NGOs (including Norway, which funds Mads Gilbert’s campaigns) that lobbied for this report and from which it was largely constructed must be held accountable.