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UN Director Resigns Over 'Genocide' in Gaza, Accuses Western Nations of Complicity

UN Director Resigns Over 'Genocide' in Gaza, Accuses Western Nations of Complicity

Photo Source: ©  Carlo Allegri/Reuters
Topic: United Nations  
Emily Wolfe
Europe and Human Rights Researcher,
Global Human Rights Defence.

The director of the New York office of the UN high commissioner for human rights, Craig Mokhiber, has resigned from his post, citing his belief that the UN is failing in its duty to prevent what he categorizes as genocide of Palestinian civilians in Gaza under Israeli bombardment. In his resignation letter addressed to the UN high commissioner in Geneva, Volker Turk, Mokhiber expressed his deep concerns and frustrations about the ongoing situation.


Mokhiber stated that the UN had previously failed to prevent genocides in various regions, such as Rwanda, Bosnia, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Myanmar, and he believed that the organization was failing once again in the case of the Palestinian people. He characterized the situation in Gaza as a “textbook case of genocide” and accused the US, UK, and much of Europe of being complicit in Israel’s assault by refusing to meet their treaty obligations under the Geneva Conventions and providing political and diplomatic support.


Notably, Mokhiber’s resignation letter did not mention the October 7th attack by Hamas on southern Israel, which resulted in casualties and hostages. Additionally, his letter called for the effective end to the state of Israel and advocated for the establishment of a single, democratic secular state in all of historic Palestine with equal rights for Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

Craig Mokhiber, a lawyer specializing in international human rights law, had worked for the UN since 1992 and held various important roles within the organization. He had also lived in Gaza during the 1990s. His departure from the UN has garnered mixed reactions, with some praising his stance against what they perceive as double standards in the UN’s approach to Israel and Palestine, while others accused him of promoting antisemitism. The UN stated that Mokhiber’s views in his resignation letter were his personal opinions.


Sources and Further Reading:


Pilkington, E. (2023, October 31). Top UN official in New York steps down citing ‘genocide’ of Palestinian civilians. The Guardian. URL:

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