UN Official Calling to Boycott Firms Doing Business with Israel Chided for Openly Anti-Semitic Views
Latest update: October 29th, 2012
U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called on the member nations of the General Assembly to boycott companies that do business with Israel.
“Rapporteur” is a French-derived word for an investigator who reports to a deliberative body. The Special Rapporteur is a title given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations within the scope of “Special Procedures” mechanisms, with a specific mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council—either a country mandate or a thematic mandate.
Richard Anderson Falk, 82, is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and a renowned the author.
“My main recommendation is that the businesses highlighted in the report – as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise – should be boycotted until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards,” Falk said in a statement Thursday after he presented his “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories since 1967” to the U.N. General Assembly.
The report highlighted the activities of companies he said are involved in the establishment and maintenance of the Israeli settlements. He cited Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard and Motorola in the United States; Ahava, Elbit Systems and Mehadrin of Israel; and the Volvo Group and Assa Abloy of Sweden, along with Veolia Environment of France, G4S of the United Kingdom, the Dexia Group of Belgium, the Riwal Holding Group of the Netherlands and Cemex of Mexico.
Earlier this week, the British government protested to the U.N. the “anti-Semitic” remarks made by Falk, and urged the U.S., France, Germany and other democracies to do the same. It turned out that Richard Falk had collectively accused “the organized Jewish community” of responsibility for war crimes, and provided the cover endorsement of a virulently anti-Semitic book, “The Wandering Who,” which has been condemned as racist by Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah and other Arab activists.
“For the U.N. human rights system to be credible in the fight against racism, its own high representatives must not be allowed to incite hatred and racial discrimination with impunity,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.
In “The Rise and Fall of Leftist Radicalism in America,” Edward Walter has this to say about Richard Falk:
“In an act of great irony, Princeton legal theirist Richard Falk, whose avowed purpose was to advance the incorporation of human rights into political institutions, supported the rightist Islamic revolution. … Turning to Iran, Falk called the Islamic Revolution an ‘extraordinary unarmed popular uprising against an extreme form of tyranny.’ … Falk asserted that summary trials and summary executions had to be considered in a regional and cultural context where human rights violations were widespread and severe.”
On Wednesday, the Anti-Defamation League called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to distance his office from the report, saying its boycott call is one of the hallmarks of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to pressure companies doing business with Israel.
On the eve of a presentation to the United Nations of a misleading report targeting companies doing business with Israel, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to rescind his preliminary endorsement of the report and to distance his office from the report’s biased author, U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk.
ADL lambasted the report, titled “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories since 1967” and due to be presented tomorrow to the General Assembly, as “tainted from the start in its message and by its messenger.”
“While the issue of human rights violations experienced by Palestinians is a legitimate area of concern and inquiry, Richard Falk has repeatedly abused his position as special rapporteur to unleash unrestrained hatred and disdain for Israel,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “This malevolence permeates his official reports and, at times, his personal statements, which include the use of anti-Semitic imagery and comparisons of Israeli actions to those of the Nazis.”
As Special Rapporteur, Falk has made it his mission to single out Israel as a human rights violator while using the imprimatur of the U.N. to advance a biased agenda fueled by anti-Israel animus which erodes the credibility of the U.N.
In a letter to Secretary-General Ban, ADL condemned Mr. Falk’s latest report for focusing on private corporations doing business in Israel – one of the hallmarks of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to pressure companies doing business with Israel. ADL strongly urged Mr. Ban to withdraw his transmittal of Mr. Falk’s report to the General Assembly’s Third Committee and to publicly distance himself from Falk’s “biased and offensive behavior.”
“The United Nations should not be complicit in this wholly unjustified effort to single out Israel,” Mr. Foxman wrote in a sharply worded letter to Mr. Ban on the eve of the session devoted to Mr. Falk’s report. “We believe you should have prevented the Secretariat from being a party to Mr. Falk’s anti-Israel agenda. Mr. Falk’s entire tenure as Special Rapporteur has served to undermine the credibility of the institution of the United Nations.”
In 2008 ADL strenuously objected to Mr. Falk’s appointment as Special Rapporteur and, more recently, lodged a complaint with the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights over his use of Nazi comparisons to castigate the Jewish state.
JTA, UN Watch and ADL content was used in this article.
“My main recommendation is that the businesses highlighted in the report – as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise – should be boycotted until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards,” Falk said Thursday. But, earlier this week, the British government protested to the U.N. the “anti-Semitic” remarks made by Falk
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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