Craig Mokhiber

former UN employee and human rights official

Craig Gerard Mokhiber (born in 1960) is an American former United Nations human rights official and a specialist in international human rights law, policy, and methodology. On October 28, 2023, Mokhiber resigned from his position as the director of the New York office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), harshly criticizing the organization's response to the war in Gaza.


  • Dear High Commissioner,

    This will be my last official communication to you as Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. … Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it. …

    The current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler colonial ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs, and coupled with explicit statements of intent by leaders in the Israeli government and military, leaves no room for doubt or debate. In Gaza, civilian homes, schools, churches, mosques, and medical institutions are wantonly attacked as thousands of civilians are massacred. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, homes are seized and reassigned based entirely on race, and violent settler programs are accompanied by Israeli military units. Across the land, Apartheid rules.

    This is a text-book case of genocide. The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine. What's more, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe, are wholly complicit in the horrific assault. Not only are these governments refusing to meet their treaty obligations "to ensure respect" for the Geneva Conventions, but they are in fact actively arming the assault, providing economic and intelligence support, and giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel's atrocities.

  • It is a stunning historic irony that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in the same year that the Nakba was perpetrated against the Palestinian people. As we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the UDHR, we would do well to abandon the old cliché that the UDHR was born out of the atrocities that proceeded it, and to admit that it was born alongside one of the most atrocious genocides of the 20th Century, that of the destruction of Palestine. In some sense, the framers were promising human rights to everyone, except the Palestinian people.
  • What we’re seeing in Gaza now is much worse because the United States and the United Kingdom and some other Western powers have actually been complicit in the genocide. That’s a separate crime under the Genocide Convention, the crime of complicity. And that’s because the United States, as you know, during this genocide, has been actively providing economic, military intelligence, diplomatic support. It’s been using its veto at the Security Council to stop a ceasefire. And after each veto, we’ve seen thousands and thousands of more Palestinians lose their lives in the genocide.
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