UN Watch Calls on UN to Remove Richard Falk for Breaching Mandate

Geneva, December 31, 2009 – UN Watch, the Geneva-based watchdog organization, today called on UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to remove Richard Falk, the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent investigator of alleged Israeli violations, for breaching his mandate when he called this week for world sanctions against Israel and compared Israelis to Nazis. The full letter follows below.


His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017

December 31, 2009

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

UN Watch is alarmed by the odious statements made this week by Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories, including his thinly-veiled comparison of the Jewish state to Nazi Germany, and his call for a world economic boycott of Israel. Mr. Falk is also a major proponent of the conspiracy theory that the United States government was behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. We urge you to act immediately to see that Mr. Falk is removed from his post.

As reported by the UN News Center on December 29, 2009, Mr. Falk openly defended the Hamas tunnels into Gaza that smuggle rockets, explosives, and machine guns for use against Israeli civilians, which he said were for “food and material relief.”

Mr. Falk perversely justified these tunnels as “an expression of the desperation created in Gaza as a result of [Israel’s] blockade,” which, he said, is “something that no people since the end of World War II have experienced.”

Mr. Falk’s obscene use of the World War II comparison is only the latest in a pattern of statements that include his 2007 article accusing Israel of “a Palestinian holocaust in the making.” The demonizing comparison of Israelis to Nazis is expressly defined as a form of antisemitism by the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia-and must be met with zero tolerance by the United Nations.

Mr. Falk also condemned Egypt for building a barrier to stop the tunnels, as well as the U.S. for its “complicity.” Mr. Falk, who was appointed to his post at the request of the Arab bloc, said that “Israel does not respond to language of diplomacy,” and called for “a threat of economic sanctions against Israel.”

We are unaware of such language being used, or such measures advocated, by any UN human rights official against any other UN member state-not even against serial abusers such as Iran, Libya, or North Korea. By applying a double standard against Israel, Mr. Falk’s statements only underscore the perversion of justice that is encouraged by the UN Human Rights Council, the body to whom he directly reports.

We note that Mr. Falk’s statement said nothing about Palestinian terrorist attacks recently perpetrated against Israeli civilians by Hamas and the Fatah-associated Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He was equally silent about recent expressions of genocidal antisemitism emitted by state-sanctioned Palestinian media and religious leaders.

Mr. Falk’s actions are ultra vires his mandate and amount to a a breach of his obligations under HRC Resolution 5/2 to uphold the highest standards of integrity, probity, impartiality, equity, and good faith. Indeed his actions cast a shadow upon the reputation of the UN as whole. Accordingly, we urge you to immediately denounce Mr. Falk’s remarks and see that he is removed from his post.

Please know that in all your efforts to assure the adherence of the United Nation to its noble principles, you will have the full support of UN Watch.


Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
UN Watch
Geneva, Switzerland

UN Watch