Rt Hon David Cameron – Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London, SW1A 2AA
13th July, 2011
Dear Prime Minister
We are writing to raise our concerns about a cartoon that was posted by a UN Human Rights Council expert and American academic, Richard Falk, in his personal blog on 29th June 2011. The cartoon depicts a dog with “USA” written on his body and wearing a skullcap, urinating on a depiction of justice while devouring the bloody bones of a skeleton.
We strongly feel that Richard Falk should resign from the UN Human Rights Council in light of the fact that the cartoon expressed clear anti-Semitic sentiments and would be offensive both to Jews and American citizens alike.
We understand that UN Watch has written to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, calling on her to speak out against the cartoon which they say is “manifestly anti-Semitic”, inciting “hatred against Jews as well as against Americans.”
We are aware that Falk initially denied posting the cartoon, however, twenty minutes later he removed it from his post claiming that “it may be in bad taste”.
Falk later claimed to have thought the kippa on the dog (which bears a Star of David) was a helmet, and apologised for posting the cartoon, acknowledging that it was anti- Semitic.
Although Falk has apologised for posting the cartoon and admitted that it was anti-Semitic, we do not feel that this is a harsh enough penalty. It is our understanding that President Obama has himself called for Falk’s resignation and we would wish to echo this call.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, has harshly criticized Falk over the affair and believes that Congress should withhold funding from the Human Rights Council until reforms are enacted. In addition to this Ambassador Eileen Donahoe, U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council has strongly condemned Falk’s posts on his blog deciding register a strong protest with the UN on behalf of the United States to remove Falk from his position.
Given the clear outcry against Falk’s behaviour and posting of this offensive cartoon, we hope you will join us in putting pressure on the UN Human Rights Council to call for his immediate resignation.
We hope to hear from you soon.
David Burrowes MP
MP for Enfield Southgate
PPS to The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP
The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP
MP for Chipping Barnet
Minister of State for Transport