In her address to the National Press Club on 14th November 2023, Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories, described the international community as failing in its response to the Israel-Gaza war.
Francesca Albanese also criticised governments, including the Australian government, for having “amnesia”, “myopia” and “living in an alternative reality” when asked about its response to the war, as the death toll from the conflict exceeded 12,000 people.
She said the UN is experiencing its “most epic political and humanitarian failure since its creation”.
“Individual member states, especially in the West – and Australia is no exception – are on the margins, muttering inaudible words of condemnation … or staying silent in fear of restraining Israel’s self-proclaimed right to self-defence – whatever it means.”
Under international law, Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories is illegal. This includes the current blockade and saturation bombing of Gaza. Francesca Albanese said that Israel had the right to protect itself, but not the right to wage a war.
Francesca Albanese’s full address to the National Press Club can be viewed here – her address starts at 2:19 minutes, followed by questions from 26:00 minutes.