GENEVA, July 7 — After the UN Human Rights Council’s Palestine expert denied and then admitted that he published a “strongly anti-Semitic” cartoon, UN Watch called on UN rights chief Navi Pillay to lead efforts to fire him. Click here for Falk statement and timeline.
“Richard Falk’s publication of a cartoon depicting Jews and Americans as bloodthirsty dogs is only his latest of several blog posts this year which have harmed the reputation of the UN as a whole,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights organization.
“In January he implied American complicity in the 9/11 attacks—with Falk a revered figure among proponents of the 9/11 conspiracy theory—while last month he called UN chief Ban Ki-moon a ‘shameless secretary-general’.”
“Richard Falk clearly lacks the judgment required for a credible human rights figure and moral authority. His support for the Hamas terrorist group is so strong that, as he himself disclosed to the Ma’an news agency, the Palestinian Authority last year urged him to quit. In 1979, he endorsed Ayatollah Khomeini in a New York Times op-ed. These days he offers apologetics for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama bin Laden.”
According to UN procedure, only the 47-nation Human Rights Council can fire Falk, but in practice, said Neuer, this was unlikely to happen unless Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, led the call.
In January, after Falk suggested a 9/11 cover-up, Ban Ki-moon denounced Falk before the council plenary. “I condemn this sort of inflammatory rhetoric,” Ban told the assembled delegates. “It is preposterous—an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in that tragic terrorist attack.”
US Ambassador Susan Rice said Falk’s comments were “despicable and deeply offensive.” She called for him to be fired, saying that the cause of human rights “will be better advanced without Mr. Falk and the distasteful sideshow he has chosen to create.” However, according to UN sources, Falk’s term was quietly renewed in March.
UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.