For the first time in the history of the UN Human Rights Council, the Palestinians are requesting to delay a UN report on Palestinian rights, saying there are too many.
In an organizational meeting of the council held today in advance of its upcoming March session, the Palestinian representative asked to delay the scheduled report of Richard Falk, the council’s permanent investigator of alleged Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories, and a leading supporter of 9/11 conspiracy theories. (See original schedule’s par. 83.)
“Taking into account the number of reports related to the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under agenda item 7, in order to treat them with the most appropriate manner, I request to postpone the report of Professor Richard Falk to be considered during the 14th session of the HRC.”
That’s interesting. The council and other UN bodies typically deluge sessions with an endless stream of reports about alleged Israeli violations. The March session of the council will dedicate more time to this specific subject than to its agenda item for human rights in the entire rest of the world.
Insiders say the real reason is that Falk’s report gives undue status to Hamas rule over Gaza, and Fatah is fuming.
It seems they’ve already gotten their way. While Falk’s report (A/HRC/13/53) was written originally in English, the UN’s council website has to date posted only the Chinese version on their site, while hiding the original. [In the meantime, they have posted the english version available here]
What ought to be remembered in the future, though, is the precedent: the Palestinians recognize that too many reports on Palestinians is not always a good thing.
Which recalls Kofi Annan’s parting words to the UN Security Council, from December 12, 2006:
Some may feel satisfaction at repeatedly passing General Assembly resolutions or holding conferences that condemn Israel’s behavior. But one should also ask whether such steps bring any tangible relief or benefit to the Palestinians. There have been decades of resolutions. There has been a proliferation of special committees, sessions, and Secretariat divisions and units. Has any of this had an effect on Israel’s policies, other than to strengthen the belief in Israel, and among many of its supporters, that this great Organization is too one-sided to be allowed a significant role in the Middle East peace process?