GENEVA, March 24, 2014 – The Palestinian delegation to the UN Human Rights Council three times interrupted the plenary testimony of a human rights activist today in a failed bid to block revelations that it had tried to fire the 47-nation body’s controversial official Richard Falk, who delivered his final report today after serving the maximum term of six years as investigator into “Israel’s violations of the bases and principles of international law.” (Click for video; see Chapter 36 on right column.)
Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, took the floor during a session with Falk to reveal, based on a Wikileaks cable, that the Palestinian mission to the UN had earlier sought to terminate Falk’s career, angered over his bid to grant UN standing to its bitter rival, Hamas.
Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi became agitated at Neuer, saying “That is entirely outside of this topic… he must be forbidden from speaking thus.”
Additional points of order echoing the objection were exercised by Algeria, Cuba, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.
“Today is a victory foremost for the Palestinian people,” said Neuer later. “Their UN representatives famously urged Falk to leave because his extremism severely harmed the Palestinian cause.”
The PA also froze one of Falk’s reports for many months.
Falk is the only UN official in history to have been denounced by top UN figures and world leaders.
When the chair today kept giving the floor back to UN Watch, Khraishi warned he would soon “feel obliged to interrupt through other known procedures.”
Pakistan backed Falk, saying he and his colleagues “should not face undue criticism from those who just want to malign their given mandate.”
Venezuela said that UN Watch “should not be given the floor.”
Saudi Arabia, recently elected to the council, asked the president to “interrupt this speaker” and for the final report to “make no mention of the statement that we have just heard from that NGO.”
FALK WAS CONDEMNED LAST YEAR FOR JUSTIFYING BOSTON ATTACKS
In reaction to Falk’s April 19, 2013 justification of the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks, UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman said: “The Secretary-General rejects Mr. Falk’s comments” which “undermine the credibility and the work of the United Nations.” Click here for sources.
The British Mission to the United Nations also condemned Mr. Falk’s April 19, 2013 remarks on the Boston bombing as racist, highlighting it was the third time the British Government had to do so.
CONDEMNED FOR SUPPORTING 9/11 CONPIRACY THEORISTS
Falk is one of the world’s most high-profile supporters of the leading 9/11 conspiracy theorists, lending his name to those who accuse the U.S. government of orchestrating the destruction of the Twin Towers as a pretext to launch wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Falk has actively promoted the writings of David Ray Griffin, a disciple and close friend of Falk who has produced 12 books describing the World Trade Center attack as “an inside job.”
Falk not only contributed the Foreword to Griffin’s 2004 “The New Pearl Harbor”—praising the author’s “patience,” “fortitude,” “courage,” and “intelligence”—but Griffin credits Falk for getting the book published, and also specially thanks Falk’s wife, Hilal Elver, top nominee this week to be named a UN human rights council expert on hunger. Elver quotes Griffin in her scholarly essays.
In 2011 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took the floor of the Human Rights Council to issue an unprecedented condemnation of 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”;
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice in 2011 denounced Falk’s comments as “despicable and deeply offensive,” and condemned Falk’s “one-sided and politicized approach,” saying his words were “so noxious that it should finally be plain to all that he should no longer continue in his position,” and that “the cause of human rights will be better advanced without Mr. Falk and the distasteful sideshow he has chosen to create.”