The vile Richard Falk, the UN’s “Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights” (the Palestinians being the only people entitled to their own personal rapporteur), notorious for his extreme anti-Israel prejudice, is now trying to shut down UN Watch, the organization which monitors UN activity, particularly that which pertains to Israel, Palestinians, and the human rights “industry”.
The JTA’s breaking news story reports:
Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to shut down the watchdog organization UN Watch.
In an annual report on Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights due to be presented to the Human Rights Council on Monday, Falk seeks an investigation of UN Watch leading to its closure.
Falk accuses the Geneva-based NGO of “demeaning” and “defaming” his character, damaging the “credibility,” “effectiveness” and “substantive intention” of his mandate. He says this “diverts attention from the message” and “shifts public interest away.”
UN Watch was established in 1993 “to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter,” according to the group’s website.
Falk’s comments come less than a month after UN Watch’s draft resolution to remove him from his position in the wake of his comments blaming the Boston Marathon bombings on “the American global domination project” and “Tel Aviv” was published by the United Nations as an official document.
In the annual report, Falk slams what he calls Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinians.
Falk also repeats his prior call for a boycott of companies conducting business with Israel or Israelis in the West Bank.
The U.S. representative to the Human Rights Council, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, on Friday condemned Falk’s report and called on other member states of the council to “denounce Falk and his outrageous abuse of the position he holds.”
Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said his organization agrees with Donahoe’s conclusion that Falk “is unfit to serve in his role as a U.N. special rapporteur.”
“If he does not leave voluntarily, the Human Rights Council should remove him, Foxman said.
“Mr. Falk’s attempt to paint himself as the victim of an Israeli government-sponsored defamation campaign, carried out by U.N. Watch, has echoes of classical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”
The Canada Free Press expands on the comments of UN Representative to the UN HRC Eileen Donahoe:
America’s envoy to the UN Human Rights Council, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, has demanded the resignation of one of its top officials, saying Richard Falk’s attempt to investigate and potentially shut down a UN-accredited NGO could “threaten the independent voice of civil society at the United Nations.”
The strongly-worded U.S.statement, published on the website of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, “rejects and condemns” the scathing and unprecedented attack against UN Watch by Richard Falk, a top UN official according to the world body. The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League welcomed the U.S. statement and expressed support for UN Watch.
In response, the U.S. representative emphasized that “NGOs are crucial participants at the United Nations, and in the Human Rights Council in particular, because they provide independent views and perspectives on important global issues and enrich debate to include non-government perspectives.”
“Ensuring their independence,” said Donahoe, “is crucial for the protection of freedom of speech and to promote open debate within the United Nations.”
The U.S. envoy underscored that “Mr. Falk’s most recent statement, which he dramatically and recklessly included in an official UN document, is characteristic of previous reprehensible comments and actions he has made during his tenure as a special rapporteur. It once again starkly demonstrates that he is unfit to serve in his role as a UN special rapporteur.”
“His views and behavior, both official and unofficial, are offensive and provocative and do nothing to advance peace in the Middle East or to further the protection and promotion of human rights. We again call for his resignation.”
UN Watch’s draft resolution to remove Falk has been published by the United Nations as an official document and will be put before the Council when he addresses it tomorrow. (See A/HRC/23/NGO/27 on the UNHRC Order of the Day for 10 June 2013, under Item 7, Interactive Dialogue with Richard Falk.)
UN Watch thanked the U.S. for defending the freedom of speech of NGOs, and urged the UN secretary-general and other member states to speak out as well.
“UN Watch categorically rejects Falk’s baseless and pathetic attempt to cast aspersions on our independence. It’s sad when a UN human rights official acts like a repressive regime—like Russia, Egypt or Zimbabwe—and seeks to muzzle NGOs because of what they think and say.”
“We do not take this lightly: the UN has suspended NGOs for criticizing the wrong regimes—and for UN Watch, which takes on the worst of the worst, that’s a long list,” said Neuer.
Watch this video to understand both the invaluable work that UN Watch performs daily, and why scoundrels such as Richard Falk would want to shut this NGO down.
We must not allow UN Watch to be silenced.