Tag Archives: UN

The railroading of Richard Falk

Professor Richard Falk is a distinguished academic expert on international law with some 40 books under his belt and a lifetime of learning and teaching that has taken him on a journey through some of the best universities in the United States. Naturally, he was not on the radar of what Jewish feminist Letty Cottin Pogrebin calls the “Pro-Israel Mafia” until he was appointed to several high level UN Palestine-related posts including the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories.

In these positions as a human rights watchdog he has proven himself perfectly willing to strongly criticize Israeli human rights policies. In 2007, he famously compared the Israeli treatment of Palestinians in Gaza with Nazi treatment of Jews- warning of a possible impending “collective tragedy” in an article than will only be judged in retrospect as either provocatively alarmist or prophetic, but certainly was morally sincere and rationally-driven.

Naturally, however, this is not allowed.

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International law expert Richard Falk denied entry into Israel

Richard Falk explains his view on BBC\'s Hard Talk

Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton, may be able to make Aliyah in Israel should he choose to exercise his right to return as a Jew, but he can’t actually enter the country in his role as the UN’s special human rights rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories. BBC says this about the deportation of one of the world’s most respected experts in his field:

Mr Falk was stopped at Tel Aviv airport on Sunday and sent back to the United States on Monday morning.

An official accused him of following a distorted, anti-Israeli mandate.

“[He] does not try to advance human rights, but instead comes with his conclusions ready and those conclusions are of course extreme, methodic criticism of Israel and only of Israel,” said foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

A spokeswoman for the interior ministry spokeswoman said the former Princeton University international law professor had been told he would be turned back if he flew to Israel.

Falk’s essay Slouching Toward a Palestinian Holocaust, has raised the ire of many who accuse him of comparing the Israelis to Nazis. Falk explained in an interview in The Nation earlier this summer:

The references to the Holocaust and to the Nazi policies were not meant to be literal comparisons but were intended to show that the policies being pursued, in Gaza in particular, had holocaustal implications if they were not changed. And the mind-set of holding an entire people responsible for opposition and resistance embodies a kind of collective punishment psychology that was very characteristic of the way the Nazis justified what they did to the Jewish people. But my intention was based on the feeling that you have to shout to be heard, and perhaps that was not the best way to make the argument. I would be quite prepared to abandon that terminology but not prepared to alter my concern about the character of the policies being pursued.

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Summer break over: Durban II, get ready to rumble

Navanethem PillayConcerned about attacks on Israel’s human rights record, Canada, the United States and Israel will likely boycott the Switzerland follow up to the infamous 2001 South African Durban conference on racism. Now, the new UN Human Rights chief Navanethem Pillay is pissed.

“I do not believe that ‘all or nothing’ is the right approach to affirm one’s principles or to win an argument,” Pillay said. “Should differences be allowed to become pretexts for inaction, the hopes and aspirations of the many victims of intolerance would be dashed irreparably.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Shimon Samuels is also upset that the Arab Lawyers Union was one of 6 co-sponsors of a UNESCO workshop, “Human Rights and Armed Conflict: Principles and Practices,” featuring Israeli left-wing historian Ilan Pappe.

Samuels condemns the Arab Lawyers Union because he says they distributed a booklet of “violently” anti-Semitic cartoons in 2001 at Durban.

Samuels tells the UN that

astonishingly, the approval by your organizers to accept this workshop, despite the known record of its cosponsor and speakers, violates the ‘Rules of Engagement’ of your conference issued at its opening, which argues that “(B)igotry of any kind will not be tolerated (including hate literature or vulgarities aimed at demeaning anyone’s race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political opinion, social origin, property, disability, birth or any other status).”

Having seen widely available anti-Semitic and anti-Christian literature on book stalls in Egypt with my own eyes, and having heard stories from Egyptian and American friends about the terrible anti-Jewish cartoons you can regularly see in the papers, and how such anti-Semitism serves the elites, I have absolutely no problem believing an Egyptian group could distribute anti-Semitic cartoons. Further, in this case, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency confirmed images of “hook-nosed Jews depicted as Nazis, spearing Palestinian children, dripping blood from their fangs.”

That said, I personally encountered Shimon Samuels and his form of human rights “reporting” at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India  in 2004 and I have absolutely no trouble saying he’s either the sloppiest reporter on the face of the planet, or a deliberate prevaricator. Back then, he tried to whip up a frenzy about the extensive WSF Jew hatred. I was there. I went to virtually every session he went to. And his final report pretty much got everything wrong. It was either appalling, or brilliant propaganda, depending on your perspective. When you’re thousands of miles away, and you claim to be the only witness, you can take tiny snippets of real information and use them to make things up out of whole cloth. That’s what Samuels did.

Besides, an easy argument can be made that many fundraising pieces coming out of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and groups like it, are full color pieces of anti-Islam and anti-Arab propaganda. My family gets this stuff in the mail, and it’s cringe-inducing in its crudeness–the anti-Islamic version of a late night infomercial selling you the Magic Bullet or Rejuvenique. Or in this case, Fear-Of-The-Other!

And it works.

Which is really too bad. What do you do when you realize the nut jobs on all sides are out there telling the rest of us the difference between the vicious bigots and the good guys.

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