US ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, has branded Richard Falk as “unfit to serve in his role as a UN Special Rapporteur.”
Donahoe’s biography on the US Mission website includes this high-tone gem. “On the front lines of the Obama administration’s strategy of multilateral engagement to promote democracy and respect for universal human rights, Ambassador Donahoe and the US delegation work to ensure that the courageous voices of human rights defenders from around the globe are heard.”
Yes, but only if they’re singing off the Tel Aviv hymn-sheet, lyrics by Mark Regev.
She told the Human Rights Council: “The best way to truly address human rights issues in Israel and the Palestinian territories is to end the underlying conflict and forge a comprehensive peace. For this reason, the United States continues to work vigorously on a simultaneous two-track strategy: a political negotiations track which ultimately results in a two-state solution, with a secure Israel and a sovereign Palestine living side by side in peace and security, and equally a Palestinian institution building track in preparing for a future Palestinian state.”
Get real, darlin’. How does any of this actually tackle the underlying conflict or restore long-denied human rights to Palestinians still languishing under the jackboot of the Israeli occupation after 65 years?
According to The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/
Well, judge for yourselves….
Meet the other ‘smear’ artists
United Nations Watch, an advocacy group affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, recently submitted a draft resolution to the UN Human RIghts Council demanding the termination of Falk’s mandate. It includes a long list of wild allegations like these:
- Falk is so extreme in his support for the Hamas terrorist organization that even the Palestinian Authority has sought to remove him, on grounds that he is a “partisan of Hamas”.
- Falk recently published an article seeking to downplay, reinterpret and justify the latest call by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to destroy Israel, a Member State of the United Nations.
A member state that is contemptuous of the rules of membership and permanently on the wrong side of international law.
- Falk published on his website a cartoon showing a dog wearing a Jewish head covering, and with “USA” written on its body, urinating on a depiction of justice and devouring a bloody skeleton, for which he was condemned by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Wish I’d seen that!
- Falk endorsed a virulently antisemitic book entitled “The Wandering Who,” an act condemned by the British Foreign Office.
It was also endorsed by Kathleen Christison, John Mearsheimer, James Petras, Karl Sabbagh, William Cook, Jeff Gates, Ramzy Baroud, Samir Abed-Rabbo, Robert Wyatt, Eric Walberg and Makram Khoury. These are sane, intelligent and knowledgeable people.
Here is what Falk actually wrote. “Gilad Atzmon has written an absorbing and moving account of his journey from hard core Israeli nationalist to a de-Zionised patriot of humanity and passionate advocate of justice for the Palestinian people. It is a transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all (especially Jews) who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely.”
Gilad kindly sent me a copy, an excellent and timely work.
- Falk has falsely and absurdly accused Israel of planning a “Palestinian Holocaust”.
How would the clowns at UN Watch describe Israel’s carefully planned Operation Cast Lead and the great slaughter jt caused among innocent civilians trapped and imprisoned in the narrow confines of the Gaza Strip, and the deliberate devastation of infrastructure necessary to human life, not to mention the starvation imposed by the cruel 7-year blockade?
- Falk has become one of the world’s most high-profile supporters of 9/11 conspiracy theorists who accuse the US government of orchestrating the destruction of the Twin Towers as a pretext to launch wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The conspiracy looks less and less like a theory.
- He promotes the writings of David Ray Griffin, who has produced 12 books describing the World Trade Center attack as “an inside job,”
- Falk has repeatedly appeared on the “TruthJihad.com” show of Kevin Barrett, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist and Holocaust skeptic who rails against the “ethnic Jews” who he says run Washington and the media.
- In 2011 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued an unprecedented condemnation of Mr. Falk’s 9/11 remarks, saying they were “preposterous” and “an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in that tragic terrorist attack”.
Reuters reported that UN Watch had written to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanding that he “strongly condemn Mr. Falk’s offensive remarks and…. immediately remove him from his post”. A Ban Ki-moon condemnation has all the force of a slap with a wet kipper.
- US Ambassador Susan Rice denounced Falk’s 9/11 remarks as “despicable and deeply offensive”, condemned his “one-sided and politicized approach”, deplored his comments for being “so noxious that it should finally be plain to all that he should no longer continue in his position”, and noted that “the cause of human rights will be better advanced without Mr Falk and the distasteful sideshow he has chosen to create”.
In conclusion the UN Watch’s resolution:
1) Finds that Mr. Falk has committed gross and systematic violations of his duties as a Council expert, including his obligation to uphold the highest standards of competence, integrity, probity, impartiality, equity, honesty and good faith;
2) Deeply regrets that Mr. Falk has failed to heed calls for his resignation as expressed by Palestinian, American and other delegates to the United Nations, thereby obliging the Council to exercise its responsibility and protect the credibility and integrity of its procedures;
3) Decides to terminate the mandate of Mr. Richard Falk, effective immediately.
Falk’s “noxious” remarks about 9/11 simply broke the ridiculous taboo and questioned the US administration’s refusal to hold a proper independent inquiry. His ‘crime’ was saying that the US administration’s reluctance to address the awkward gaps and contradictions in the official story, identified by several scholars, only fueled suspicions of a conspiracy.
He suggested that “what may be more distressing than the apparent cover-up is the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials”.
This is fair comment and worded with sufficient care to avoid causing offence. After all, there can be no greater affront to the memory of the 3,000 than the Obama administration’s obvious reluctance to seek the truth.
And there are millions of us out here who are right behind Richard Falk because he stands for justice. We are not amused by indications that the official explanation of 9/11 doesn’t add up. Nor are we happy that it was used to sucker our own governments into sacrificing troops and treasure in unlawful, unwinnable wars that have caused mega-deaths and endless suffering to innocent civilians, trashed our good name abroad and made us vulnerable to reprisals at home…
And for what? Simply to advance the crazed ambitions of the US-Israeli Axis of Greed.
The ever-servile British government is also eager to stick the knife in, as demonstrated in this letter on 6 June by Foreign Office’s Philippa Thompson, Deputy Team Leader of the Equality and Non-Discrimination Team (what a fatuous job title)
It said Her Majesty’s Government strongly objected to the UN Special Rapporteur’s comment that the ‘United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks’. The relevant paragraph from Falk’s article for the Foreign Policy Journal reads:
‘The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects, the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world, starting with the Middle East.’
These words should be framed and hung in every foreign secretary’s office across the globe.
Ms Thompson wrote that in the same article Mr Falk said: “As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.” She (and, presumably, her bosses) believed the article was ‘resonant of the longstanding antisemitic practice of blaming Jews (through the State of Israel by proxy) for all that is wrong in the world.’ This was unacceptable, she stated, but did not explain why.
Actually Falk’s remarks are quite OK with those who take an interest in the evil that’s going on around us. But we perfectly understand how his observations are inconvenient to the hooligan élite who are bent on more mayhem.
Falk is also under attack from the American Jewish Committee, an organisation that aggressively promotes Israel’s interests. The AJC’s Executive Director David Harris, on April 23 2013, was saying about Falk: “His malicious propaganda regarding the US and Israel – and his glaring inability to see the stark truth about extremist violence and terrorism – has no place in any international body that takes itself and its mission seriously.”
The AJC’s stated vision embraces “democratic values, respect for human rights, and peaceful conflict-resolution”, yet Harris and his buddies seem blind to the terror, violence, utter brutality and total disrespect for others’ rights that have become Israel’s trademark.
Whose national interest are they working for?
Earlier this month the AJC welcomed the appointment of Susan Rice as President Obama’s National Security Adviser. With gushing praise it announced http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/
“Again and again, she has tried to block Palestinian efforts in the world body to do an end-run around direct negotiations with Israel…. For all these reasons, AJC was very proud to present Ambassador Rice with our Distinguished Public Service Award….”
It shows how desperate the Israel lobby is to keep the Palestinians locked in the going-nowhere vacuum of direct negotiations while the criminal Tel Aviv regime keeps robbing them of their lands and resources at gun-point. Rice has played her part and been rewarded.
The AJC has had it in for Falk for years. Back in March 2008 it was “outraged” over his election to the UN Human Rights Council as the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/
Of course not. There’s a big difference but the AJC just don’t get it.
Meanwhile Donahoe, Rice, Obama and all their fancy talk of “multilateral engagement to promote democracy and respect for universal human rights” have done nothing to end the decades of abuse of human rights in the Holy Land.
Richard Falk, let’s remind ourselves, is an emeritus professor of international law, author of over 20 books and editor of 20 more. He clearly knows his stuff. Isn’t it time someone gave him a medal – a big clunky one – for maintaining his integrity in this hissing vipers’ nest?
Stuart Littlewood worked on jet fighters in the RAF then pursued a career in industrial marketing.
More recently he worked as a freelance and with innovation consultancies. Psychology degree Exeter University, Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Served as a Cambridgeshire county councilor 1993-97 and on the Police Authority. Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. Since retiring has been a newspaper columnist and produced two photo-documentary books. He is a regular contributor to a number of internet news magazines.
Stuart’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, tells the plight of the Palestinians under brutal occupation. It can now be read on the internet by visiting RadioFreePalestine.org.uk.