Archive for the 'Richard Falk' Category

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Victory for Decency: Ban Ki-moon ‘condemns’ U.N. Palestine expert for denying 9/11 terror attacks

In reply to UN Watch’s protest, which led to this NY Daily News editorial, we just received the following letter from the U.N., in which — for the first time ever — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemns U.N. Palestine expert Richard Falk for his denial of the 9/11 terror attacks:

UNITED NATIONS   NATIONS UNIES
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL

24 January 2011

Dear Mr. Neuer,

In response to your letter to the Secretary-General dated 20 January 2011 on the subject of a recent blog post by Mr. Richard Falk, the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967:

You are aware, no doubt, that the Special Rapporteurs and other independent experts who represent the Human Rights Council are appointed by the Council, not by the Secretary-General. Their continuance in their jobs is thus for the Council to decide.

That said, I feel very strongly that these representatives, however eminent they may be in their fields, have a clear responsibility to uphold the high standards of the United Nations and the Council.

You specifically refer to Mr. Falk’s allegations of an “apparent cover-up” related to the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The Secretary-General condemns these remarks. He has repeatedly stated his view that any such suggestion is preposterous — and an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack.

                                                                     Yours sincerely,
                                                                     Vijay Nambiar
                                                                     Chef de Cabinet

Mr. Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
UN Watch
Geneva

UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer Grills U.N. Palestine Expert Richard Falk, After He Calls for World Boyocott of Israel

UN Watch Intervention
Interactive Dialogue with Richard falk, UN Expert on Palestinian Territories
Delivered by Hillel Neuer, 14 June 2010 Continue reading ‘UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer Grills U.N. Palestine Expert Richard Falk, After He Calls for World Boyocott of Israel’

The UN siding with Hamas over PLO; why Abbas is trying to fire UN expert Richard Falk

Richard Falk is scheduled to present his latest report tomorrow morning to the UN Human Rights Council.  Why was his overdue report delayed several times, about which we first reported in February?

Because of the Palestinian Authority’s newly acquired hostility to the person they themselves nominated to be the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent investigator of alleged Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories.

According to Palestinian reports, the PA hates Falk, and is trying to get him fired, because he has sided with Hamas and insulted Abbas and his UN envoys. Specific PA objections to earlier drafts of the report were due to Falk’s recognition of Hamas as the legitimate ruler in Gaza. For more on the controversy, see the report by Marian Houk quoting an inside UN source. Continue reading ‘The UN siding with Hamas over PLO; why Abbas is trying to fire UN expert Richard Falk’

NGO: UN rights office misrepresented Palestinian mandate

The UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) yesterday sent out a press release that misrepresented the one-sided nature of the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent investigative mandate on Israel, currently held by Richard Falk, who happens to be America’s leading promoter of 9/11 conspiracy theories.

In response, UN Watch today sent the following letter to OHCHR spokesman Kevin Turner: Continue reading ‘NGO: UN rights office misrepresented Palestinian mandate’

Palestinians complain: too many U.N. reports on Palestinians

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.)

Their reason? Continue reading ‘Palestinians complain: too many U.N. reports on Palestinians’

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. Continue reading ‘UN Watch Calls on UN to Remove Richard Falk for Breaching Mandate’

UN’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Compares Gaza to World War II, Call for Israel Boycott

The UN’s permanent investigator of alleged Israeli human rights violations said this week that “desperation created in Gaza as a result of [Israel’s] blockade” is something “that no people since the end of World War II have experienced in such a severe and continuing form,” and he called for economic sanctions against Israel, a demand that is entirely beyond his UN mandate and a measure which no other UN investigator recommends for any other country.

Richard Falk’s thinly veiled comparison of the Jewish state with Nazi Germany would not be his first. In 2007, Falk accused Israel of planning a “Holocaust” against the Palestinians.  

Falk is also a major American supporter of the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was an inside job.

Report: Anti-Israel U.N. Investigator May Not be Jewish After All

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. Continue reading ‘Report: Anti-Israel U.N. Investigator May Not be Jewish After All’

EU: Richard Falk’s UNHRC mandate is biased and should be changed

Speaking today in an interactive dialogue with Richard Falk, the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, the European Union said that the Council should soon take action to remedy the bias of his mandate:

While the report attempts to draw a legal analysis of conduct of all parties to the conflict, we wish to ask the Special Rapporteur, whether his mandate, as currently defined, allows him to look into the situation from all angles and present a full picture thereof? We wish to note in this regard that the mandate on the Occupied Palestinian Territories is the only special procedure which has not yet been subject to the review and rationalisation exercise by the Human Rights Council and we hope that it will be possible to complete this process soon. Thank you.

 The U.S. also criticized the HRC mandate and Falk’s “biased and inappropriate” charges against Israel.

UN Rights Official Endorses 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

UN Palestine Expert Richard Falk: 9/11 doubts “taint legitimacy of U.S. government”

Geneva, November 11, 2008 – UN Watch, an independent human rights monitoring organization based in Geneva, today called on UN chief Ban Ki-moon and human rights commissioner Navi Pillay to condemn a United Nations official for endorsing conspiracy theories regarding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In a new article published this week in a Scottish student newspaper, entitled “9/11: More than meets the eye”, Richard Falk, the UN Human Rights Council investigator of “Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law”, expressed unqualified support for the 9/11 conspiracy movement, pointing to “doubts surrounding the true character of the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks.”

Human rights activists expressed concerns over the potential damage of Falk’s remarks. “The very credibility of the UN mission to preserve international peace and security is at stake,” said UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer. “The UN can’t claim to oppose Al Qaeda terrorists while its officials seek to deny their most ghastly crimes.”

Dominated by Arab states, the 47-nation UN rights council appointed Falk to the only mandate that is immune from regular review, with Saudi Arabia, Cuba, and other member states voicing strong support for his work.

“How tragic that in the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN’s representative figures have gone from luminaries like Eleanor Roosevelt to loonies like Richard Falk.” said Neuer.

“Falk’s biased mandate, radical politics, and crackpot views are a microcosm of what has become of the UN’s highest human rights body, where the world’s worst abusers divert attention from their crimes, attacking Israel in 80 percent of the resolutions,” said Neuer. “Innocent victims are being slaughtered in Congo, yet the council just eliminated its scrutiny of that country, saying it wasn’t needed.”

Elaborating on previous remarks on the topic, Falk referred to the collapse of one of the World Trade Center buildings, endorsing one of the more popular 9/11 conspiracy theories. “Any close student of 9/11 is aware of the many serious discrepancies between the official version of what took place and the actual happenings on that fateful day in 2001.”

“It is not paranoid under such circumstances to assume that the established elites of the American governmental structure have something to hide, and much to explain.” Falk wrote that we need “answers to the most difficult questions,” and expressed hopes of “an alternate version of the events that clears up to what degree, if at all, the attacks resulted from incompetence, deliberate inaction, and outright complicity.”

According to Falk, “the real explanation” for the alleged suppression of his views is “a widely shared fear of what sinister forces might lay beneath the unturned stones of a full and honest investigation of 9/11.”

“The persisting inability to resolve this fundamental controversy about 9/11 subtly taints the legitimacy of the American government,” said the UN official.

The European Union has in the past expressed opposition to the one-sided focus of Falk’s mandate. When he appeared on October 23 before the UN in New York, however, the EU urged Israel to cooperate with his investigations.

UN General Assembly Chief Appoints Rogues’ Gallery of “Special Senior Advisors”

And now this:  UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, former Nicaraguan FM and unrepentant Sandinista, has named a rogues’ gallery of anti-Western crackpots and 9/11 conspiracy theorists as his “Special Senior Advisors.”  The indefatigable Matt Lee of Inner City Press has the story here.

Now advising the head of the UN’s parliament are Professor Richard Falk, cheerleader for the theory that 9/11 was an inside job; Ramsey Clark, tool of left-wing cultists who defend Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein and Rwandan torturers as anti-imperialist heroes, and Noam Chomsky, the anti-American guru who lends his name to Holocaust deniers. See full list below.

SPECIAL SENIOR ADVISORS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE 63RD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

1. Brother David Andrews CSC (USA).

2. Ms. Maude Barlow (Canada).

3. Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria).

4. Mr. Leonardo Boff (Brazil).

5. Mr. Kevin Cahill (USA).

6. Mr. François Houtart (Belgium).

7. Mr. Noam Chomsky (USA).

8. Mr. Ramsey Clark (USA).

9. Mr. Richard Falk (USA).

10. Mr. Michael Kennedy (USA).

11. Ms. Eleonora Kennedy (USA).

12. Mr. Olivier De Schutter (Belgium).

13. Mr. Joseph Stiglitz (USA).

14. Sir John E. Sulston (UK).

15. Mr. Howard Zinn (USA).

UN Palestine Investigator Richard Falk Lauds Own Campaign

Geneva, Aug. 25, 2008 — The UN Human Right Council’s expert on Palestine today praised a boat trip to Gaza by pro-Palestinian campaigners (see UN statement below), without revealing his own affiliation to the group. “Regrettably, this is the kind of questionable conduct that we have come to expect from Richard Falk, a UN official who repeatedly expresses support for the conspiracy theory that the U.S. was behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, an independent Geneva-based monitoring group. 

A June 26 report by the Palestine News Network reported that Falk was initially planning to be a participant on the boat to Gaza, revealing his close ties to the protesters and their campaign. Falk’s statement today called Israel “Tel Aviv,” a designation commonly used by countries that do not recognize the Jewish state.

* * *

UN OHCHR Press Release

                                                                       25 August 2008

UN rights expert welcomes landing of relief vessels in Gaza

        Geneva:  The landing of two wooden boats carrying 46 human
rights activists in Gaza this past weekend is an important symbolic
victory said Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of
Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories. This non-violent
initiative of the Free Gaza Movement focused attention around the
world on the stark reality that the 1.5 million residents of Gaza have
endured a punitive siege for more than a year. This siege is a form of
collective punishment that constitutes a massive violation of Article
33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

         The siege, the coastal blockade, and the overflights by
Israeli aircraft all bear witness to the fact that despite Israel’s
claimed ‘disengagement’ in 2005, these realities on the ground
establish that Gaza remains under Israeli occupation, and as a result
Israel remains legally responsible for protecting the human rights of
its civilian population.  By severely restricting the entry of food,
fuel, and medicine the economic and social rights of the people of
Gaza have been systematically violated. There is widespread deafness
among the people of Gaza that is blamed on the frequent sonic booms
produced by overflying Israeli military aircraft. For this reason the
peace boats brought 200 hearing aids to Gaza added Falk.

        I strongly urge the international community to take action to
uphold human rights in the Gaza Strip. As with other humanitarian
catastrophes in the world, here is a situation where the
‘responsibility to protect’ norm endorsed by the Security Council
seems applicable, but has been ignored despite the overwhelming
evidence of deteriorating mental and physical health in Gaza that has
reached crisis proportions. With a cease-fire in effect since June 19,
perhaps the willingness of Israel to allow these boats to land without
interference signals a subtle change of approach by Tel Aviv that
includes a show of greater respect for international humanitarian law
and for the standards of international human rights.

        Falk also called on the government of Israel to grant exit
permits to several Palestinian winners of a Fulbright Scholarship to
study in the United States who might be taken back to Cyprus on the
return voyage of the peace boats. If they are permitted by Israel to
reach their destination without interference this will be a further
sign of progress. Above all, what is being tested is whether the
imaginative engagement of dedicated private citizens can influence the
struggle of a beleaguered people for basic human rights, and whether
their courage and commitment can awaken the conscience of humanity to
an unfolding tragedy.




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