Francesca Albanese
Francesca AlbaneseReuters/Lev Radin/Sipa USA

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Territories Francesca Albanese, who has denied Israel's right to defend itself in the aftermath of the Hamas massacre of October 7 and condemned calls for Hamas to release the civilians it took hostage that day, has published a book co-opting the phrase used to call out the antisemitism behind the trial of Alfred Dreyfus in 1898, 'J'Accuse.'

The book, subtitled "The 7 October Attacks, Hamas, Terrorism, Israel, Apartheid in Palestine and the War," was written and published on November 28, less than two months after Hamas committed the worst massacre against the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

The publication of the book and the use of 'J'Accuse' as the title was condemned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights NGO that monitors antisemitism.

"Now it is only in Italian, but is meant to become a bestseller for the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and antisemitic camp worldwide. Albanese has repeatedly spoken, in the name of the UN, against Israel. On Amazon Italy, her claim is "apartheid and a neocolonial occupation with thousands of victims is indisputable", feeding the narrative of genocidal terrorism under the banner of 'Israel had it coming!'" The Wiesenthal Center stated.

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that "J'Accuse!" was the title of an open letter by novelist Emile Zola, accusing the French Government of antisemitism against Jewish Captain Alfred Dreyfus, sentenced for treason, based on fabricated charges. From 1898, "J'Accuse" had been a "trademark precedent" to denounce antisemitism, Samuels said.

The Wiesenthal Center added that, regardless of the text's content, Albanese's use of "J'Accuse" for the title of her book "appears to be a deliberate misappropriation of Jewish heritage and narrative."

"We call on the United Nations to dismiss Francesca Albanese, assess the damage that she has caused, including her implicit incitement to hatred and violence, and investigate her activity - including this book, published using the prestigious title of "United Nations Special Rapporteur" - that appears in clear violation of UN rules, UNHRC Procedures (art. 3 of the Code of Conduct) and basic professional ethics," the Wiesenthal Center stated.

On Monday, Albanese responded to a tweet by former State Department official Dennis Ross, who wrote: "The suffering of Palestinians in Gaza is real. Why not call on Hamas to release all hostages and agree to have its leaders leave Gaza. They could save Palestinians from paying a further price. Real support for Palestinians should produce such a call. Isn’t it time for that?"

The Special Rapporteur wrote in response: "Regrettably, this sounds like: - putting the onus to end the carnage in Gaza on the Palestinians, including those being slaughtered in Gaza; - justifying and deflecting the attention from the atrocities committed by the Israeli army in Gaza. Unacceptable."

In November, during a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra, Australia, Albanese claimed that Israel had no right to engage in a war in response to the massacre, saying: “Israel cannot claim the right of self-defence against a threat that emanates from a territory it occupies, from a territory that is under belligerent occupation."

Albanese also told the Sydney Morning Herald on November 13 that Hamas is "entitled to embrace resistance," including the use of violence, against Israel.