The only reason that the UN Human Rights Council chose Richard Falk to be its permanent investigator of “Israel’s violations of the bases and principles of international law,” over other academics with similar views, was because Falk is Jewish. The Arab and Islamic states were beside themselves with glee at the added impact his reports would have.
The idea was to replicate in highly-publicized UN sessions the shameless claim to special credibility used by Falk in his article entitled “Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust”:
It is especially painful for me, as an American Jew, to feel compelled to portray the ongoing and intensifying abuse of the Palestinian people by Israel through a reliance on such an inflammatory metaphor as ‘holocaust’ … [But] is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not.
But a new report by insider Marian Houk, a former UN official who publishes a pro-Palestinian blog on the world body, suggests that Falk may not be Jewish after all. “Falk may also be a Baha’i,“ Houk reveals. Since Judaism does not allow double faiths, is Falk’s claim to be Jewish misleading or false?
It’s certainly disingenuous given that Falk, who is married to a Turkish woman, barely considers himself Jewish — and seems to only invoke that aspect of his identity to make his points seem more credible. Falk has previously described his family background as “assimilationist Jewish with a virtual denial of even the ethnic side of Jewishness,” which contributed to his attitude of being an “outsider.” (M. Griffiths, “Fifty Key Thinkers in International Relations,” Routledge, 1999, p. 119.)
Interestingly, while the two persons cannot be compared, Judge Richard Goldstone, mandated by the council as a special investigator into “all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression,” has also publicly invoked his Jewishness:
Goldstone told journalists at the press conference in Geneva in April that “it certainly came to me as quite a shock as a Jew to be invited by the President to head this mission. It is obviously an additional dimension. I’ve taken a deep interest in Israel in what happens in Israel and I have been associated with organizations that have worked in Israel … [L]et me assure you it was not an easy decision. It took many days and some sleepless nights in mulling the invitation, but I decided to accept it because of my deep concern for peace in the Middle East, and my deep concern for victims in all sides in the Middle East. I think it is very important…too often the victims are left off the agenda and in my view they should be on top of the agenda.
Yet why should the council’s choice of a Jew come as “a shock” to Judge Goldstone when its permanent investigator was appointed precisely for that same reason? Was Judge Goldstone not aware of Falk? If he was indeed unaware, that suggests the judge may be equally unaware of how pathologically anti-Israel the council is, and how, no matter how fair his report may be, the repressive majority of states will in the end work their malice, just as they did last week by converting the Western-sponsored session on abuses in Sri Lanka into an Orwellian show of praise for that country.