UN’s Navi Pillay Claims ‘Jewish Lobby’ Comments ‘Deliberately Misquoted’

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

Former UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has defended UN human-rights investigator Miloon Kothari, who has been accused of antisemitism for his comments to antisemitic hate site Mondoweiss.

Pillay defended the remarks, saying in a letter sent Thursday to the president of the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which helms the Israel investigation, that Kothari was “deliberately misquoted.” A copy of the letter, which was written after the UNHRC’s president raised concerns about the comments, was provided to the Washington Free Beacon by U.N. officials.

Kothari was “deliberately misquoted to imply that ‘social media’ was controlled by the Jewish lobby,” Pillay says in the letter, though she does not specify how Kothari was misquoted. Pillay also said that those critical of Kothari’s comments are attempting to discredit the U.N. investigation into Israel, which has been dogged by accusations it is biased and fueled by animosity toward the Jewish state.

“The commission takes great exception to personal attacks against individual commissioners appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Such attacks have been continuously directed against all three commissioners throughout our tenure, and it is to this that Commissioner Kothari was making reference,” Pillay wrote.

You’ve heard Miloon’s comments, but here is a transcript to show the exact context.

David Kattenburg: I was going to ask about that. Your Chairperson Ms. Pillay has been specifically the target of attacks in Canada and the Canadian government has expressed its displeasure with her as chair.

Miloon Kothari: It is very unfortunate to attack individual members of the commission who have been appointed through a long and rigorous process and I think it is just a way to try and discredit the council and it is very counterproductive. First, it gives more attention to our work and also more support. This year we have received overwhelming support from UN member states – the US got 22 to sign but that is 22 out of a lot – not very much. It is not only governments, but we are very disheartened by the social media, whether controlled by The Jewish Lobby, or specific NGOs, a lot of money is being thrown to try and discredit us.

But you know, David, the important thing is that our mandate is based on international human rights and humanitarian standards, and we are all seeking the truth. And we feel that, you know, based on the evidence that we have overwhelming evidence, I think it’s one of the most well documented conflicts in the world. Historically, based on that evidence, based on the international law, if people feel that we are biased, then we are biased, but for us, that’s the job we’ve been given to do. And that’s what we’re doing.

There was no misquoting or implying here. Miloon was explicit in stating ‘The Jewish Lobby’ controls social media and throws around ‘a lot of money’ to discredit the UN investigation into alleged Israeli human rights crimes.

I am sure while Pillay is publicly defending Miloon, she has privately contacted him to rebuke him for using the word “Jewish” to describe this all powerful lobby. He should have played dumb like she has.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

Daily Updates

Delivered straight to Your mailbox


By signing up, you agree to our terms