Former UN Investigator Richard Falk: UN Watch "Stirred Up Trouble," "Damaged My Reputation" & "Weakened" UN Efforts to "Document Israeli Violations"

Speaking at a Washington, D.C. press conference, former UN Palestine Rapporteur Richard Falk lashed out at UN Watch for “damaging my reputation,” “stirring up trouble” for Falk and his colleagues, and “weakening” UN efforts to “document Israeli violations of international law.”

The latest attack echoed a Falk tirade against UN Watch in a recent TV interview, where he justified Hamas’ use of violence, while at the same time insisting that the organization aims for peaceful co-existence.” Falk was so strong a supporter of Hamas that, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, the PLO secretly tried to fire him.
Falk, who was to headline an anti-Israel academic conference in the UK before it was canceled by the University of Southampton, devoted most of his Washington address to how UN Watch succeeded in getting him denounced by world figures for his statements supporting conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombings. (For a list of such statements by Falk, click here.)
“With incredible persistence, UN Watch, the most aggressive of the Quasi-NGOs, exclusively used the opportunity of ‘interactive dialogue’ in Geneva sessions of the Human Right Council to give voice to their denuncation of my character and activities,” wrote Falk in his prepared remarks for the Washington conference on “The Israeli Lobby.”
“Afterwards UN Watch circulated in the form of an organizational letter these defamatory attacks to prominent international personalities, including high-ranking civil servants in the UN itself, such as the UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a variety of ambassadors of countries friendly to Israel. Characteristically, the letter ended with a demand that I be dismissed from my post as Special Rapporteur.”
“It was particularly disturbing to me that these defamatory attacks were treated as credible on their face by supposedly responsible prominent UN officials and government representative without the slightest effort to conduct an independent investigation or the minimal courtesy of checking either with me or with the sources that were being relied upon to put forward these defamatory assertions,” Falk added.
“Endorsements [of the UN Watch defamatory attacks] by supposedly responsible public figures was damaging to my reputation, and helped to divert attention from fashioning appropriate responses to the substantive grievances of the Palestinian people, and hence also indirectly damaged the reputation and effectiveness of the UN.”
“On more than one occasion the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon denounced me without making the slightest attempt to assess the accuracy of the views attributed to me in such UN Watch letters that referred in discrediting and misleading ways to material from my blog where I discussed in some detail the 9/11 attacks and the international context of the 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon.”
“After the first of these attacks by the UN Secretary-General, I tried to find out why as someone working without salary on behalf of the UN was not given the opportunity to at least explain my views. When I tried to probe the matter by seeking an explanation, I was told somewhat apologetically by a close associate of the SG that the failure to take account of my actual views was due to the fact that ‘we didn’t do due diligence.’”

 Because of UN Watch protests, Ban Ki-moon denounced Richard Falk, the first time in history that a UN chief condemned one of his own human rights officials. Though Falk left the UN last year, he repeatedly complains that UN Watch “damaged” his reputation, ability to function, and academic career.

“He added that at the time the UN felt ‘under pressure from the U.S. Congress to show that the Organization were not hostile to Israel.’ It was a sensitive moment as Ban Ki-Moon was seeking U.S. support for reappointment to a second term.”
“In a similar vein, the U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, and later Samantha Power, denounced me as biased, and deserving dismissal. When I sought some explanation from Ambassador Rice my overly polite letter remains unanswered.”
“These pro-Israeli Quasi-NGOs stir up trouble for those who are doing their best to document Israel’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights standards.”
“A major purpose of these tactics in response to well-evidenced documentation of Israeli state crime is to mobilize opposition on the part of government officials, especially in the U.S., but also Canada, UK, and Australia, and induce the pro-Israeli media to focus on controversies involving critics, rather than the criticisms, emanating from UN activities.”
“One result of these repeated personal attacks along these lines is, by their mere repetition, useful in making the UN generally, and the Human Rights Council in particular, seem to be arenas dominated by individuals biased against Israel, and even anti-Semitic.”
“I can report that in my experience at the UN, including the Human Rights Council, the Organization has consistently leaned over backward to give Israel the benefit of the doubt.”

UN Watch