Craig Mehlber, Director of the UN Human Rights Office in New York, resigns in protest of the UN’s Gaza handling, stressing the need for the organization to fulfill its responsibilities.
Mehlber stressed that they are witnessing, once again, a genocide unfolding before their eyes, and it appears that the organization they serve is incapable of stopping it.
He described what is happening in Gaza as a genocide, and he accused key UN bodies of surrendering to the United States and the Israeli lobby.
In his resignation letter, Mehlber mentioned a recent gathering in New York where thousands of human rights advocates, including many Jewish individuals, stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people and called for an end to Israeli oppression.
He argued that their actions dispelled the Israeli propaganda that associates Israel with the Jewish people and clarified that criticizing Israel’s human rights violations is not anti-Semitic.
Mehlber expressed hope in parts of the United Nations that have refused to compromise on human rights principles despite immense pressure to do so. He acknowledged the efforts of independent special rapporteurs, investigative committees, treaty body experts, and most of the organization’s staff in defending the rights of the Palestinian people.
He emphasized the need for the UN Human Rights Commission to be a vocal advocate for Palestinian human rights and justice, from the Secretary-General to the newest UN staff members, throughout the UN system.
Mehlber outlined 10 key points in his resignation letter:
- Abandoning the failed Oslo Agreement and the illusory two-state solution in favor of international human rights and international law.
- Recognizing the disproportionate power dynamics at play, with a strong state oppressing the indigenous population.
- Supporting a single, democratic, secular state in historic Palestine with equal rights for Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
- Combating apartheid, similar to the struggle in South Africa during the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s.
- Advocating for the right of return and full compensation for all Palestinians and their families who currently live in the occupied territories, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and the diaspora worldwide.
- Pursuing transitional justice to document the truth, hold all perpetrators accountable, provide justice to all victims, and address documented injustices.
- Pressuring for the deployment of a well-resourced UN protection force with a strong mandate to safeguard civilians from the river to the sea.
- Disarming Israel’s large stockpile of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
- Acknowledging that the United States and other Western powers cannot be credible mediators due to their complicity with Israeli violations.
- Welcoming advocates of Palestinian rights and justice, regardless of their background, to join the struggle and stand against oppression, racism, and impunity.
Mehlber concluded by expressing his confidence that this is a long-term and challenging project but emphasized the importance of starting now or succumbing to unparalleled horror.
He urged everyone to stand for human rights and peace and to be accountable for their stance in this critical moment in history.