web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘UN Watch’

Falk’s Departure a Victory for Human Rights (VIDEO)

Monday, March 24th, 2014

One year after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Richard Falk’s comments blaming the Boston Marathon bombings on “the American global domination project,” and three years after the UN chief addressed the council plenary and condemned Falk’s “preposterous” support for 9/11 conspiracy theories, the controversial UN official will address the UN Human Rights Council today for the last time, as his six-year mandate comes to an end.

“This is a victory foremost for the Arab Palestinian people,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, “whose UN representatives famously urged Falk to leave because his extremism severely harmed the Palestinian cause.”

The PA also froze one of Falk’s reports for many months.

Falk is the only UN official in history to have been denounced by top UN figures and world leaders.

In reaction to Falk’s April 19, 2013 justification of the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks, UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman said: “The Secretary-General rejects Mr. Falk’s comments” which “undermine the credibility and the work of the United Nations.” Click here for sources.

The British Mission to the United Nations also condemned Mr. Falk’s April 19, 2013 remarks on the Boston bombing as racist, highlighting it was the third time the British Government had to do so.

CONDEMNED FOR SUPPORTING 9/11 CONPIRACY THEORISTS

Falk is one of the world’s most high-profile supporters of the leading 9/11 conspiracy theorists, lending his name to those who accuse the U.S. government of orchestrating the destruction of the Twin Towers as a pretext to launch wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Falk has actively promoted the writings of David Ray Griffin, a disciple and close friend of Falk who has produced 12 books describing the World Trade Center attack as “an inside job.”

Falk not only contributed the Foreword to Griffin’s 2004 “The New Pearl Harbor”—praising the author’s “patience,” “fortitude,” “courage,” and “intelligence”—but Griffin credits Falk for getting the book published, and also specially thanks Falk’s wife, Hilal Elver, top nominee this week to be named a UN human rights council expert on hunger. Elver quotes Griffin in her scholarly essays.

In 2011 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  took the floor of the Human Rights Council to issue an unprecedented condemnation of Falk’s 9/11 remarks, saying they were “preposterous” and “an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in that tragic terrorist attack.”

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice in 2011 denounced Falk’s comments as “despicable and deeply offensive,” and condemned Falk’s “one-sided and politicized approach,” saying his words were “so noxious that it should finally be plain to all that he should no longer continue in his position,” and that “the cause of human rights will be better advanced without Mr. Falk and the distasteful sideshow he has chosen to create.”

Watch a UN Watch uploaded video of Richard Falk explaining why Israel is “genocidal.”

Campaign to Oust Russia, Others, From UN Human Rights Council

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

On the same day that Russia issued an ultimatum to Ukraine either to hand over Crimea or prepare for a Russian military assault on that sovereign nation, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations thanked delegates for supporting Russia’s election to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

During the opening session of the UNHRC, on Monday, March 3, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov thanked delegates for supporting Russia’s election to the Council. He said that vote was “an acknowledgement of our country’s constructive approach to this sphere of multilateral cooperation.” He added, that “the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms is a basic priority.”

The irony was apparently too much even for longstanding residents of the Orwellian world of the U.N.

The response by a coalition of government members, non-governmental organizations and human rights activists was to kick off a global campaign to suspend the memberships of Russia and fellow human rights abusers China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. The four took their seats Monday as the UNHRC’s newest members.

They based their effort on Article 8 of the UNHRC charter, which permits the suspension of member states guilty of gross and systematic violations of human rights. There is a precedent. In 2011, Libya was suspended after a similar campaign was led by the Geneva-based human rights NGO UN Watch, which is also spearheading this effort.

“Hypocrisy on this scale undermines the credibility of the human rights council and of the United Nations as a whole,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“The UN’s top human rights body is supposed to protect victims and hold the world’s worst perpetrators to account, not turn them into judges and prosecutors.”

European Parliament vice-president Edward McMillan-Scott, Canadian parliamentarian Irwin Cotler, Baroness Ludford of the European Parliament, and former MP of Hungary Matyas Eörsi have joined NGOs and rights activists from around the world to call for the UN to suspend the four abusers from the 47-nation body.

Irwin Cotler, member of Canadian Parliament, former Canadian Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada joined with other parliamentary leaders who signed UN Watch’s #dictatorfreeHRC campaign to suspend China, Cuba, Russia, and Saudia Arabia from the UNHRC.

Colter said, “The membership of China, Cuba, Russia, and Saudi Arabia on the Human Rights Council constitutes a standing repudiation of the international struggle for human rights, and a betrayal of the victims. It makes a mockery of both the UNHRC and the purported commitment to human rights of the many countries who cast votes for the human rights reprobates in question.”

Matyas Eörsi, a former member of the Hungarian parliament and the former president of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, spoke harshly about the membership in the UNHRC.

“With such members in the Human Rights Council, the UN continues to remain a lame duck. We have no hope from the UN. As long as the Russian Federation, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and China sit in the Human Rights Council, we Ukrainians, we Cuban dissidents, we Chinese Christians and we Saudi Arabian women cannot seek for any support by the UN.”

This is a video describing the effort to remove dictatorships from sitting in judgment as members of the UN Human Rights Council.

Report: Israel to Join Europe Group at UN Human Rights Council

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Israel may join for the first time a regional group within the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of a deal to improve the U.N. body’s relations with the Jewish state.

The council’s Western European and Others Group (WEOG) is expected to announce that its member states have voted in favor of Israel’s admittance, The Times of Israel reported Friday.

The European states had agreed to welcome Israel into their midst in exchange for the Jewish state’s return to the council and its participation in its Universal Periodic Human Rights Review process.

Israel had left the council a year and a half ago to protest its alleged bias against it.

Since 2006, the council has passed 27 resolutions criticizing Israel and has convened 19 special sessions, six of which were about Israel. Regular sessions feature a permanent agenda item 7, “the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.”

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and several Western nations have criticized the council for singling Israel out for criticism.

“Though it’s not yet final, we are hopeful that Israel will very soon be admitted into the Human Rights Council’s Western group, putting an end to a longstanding act of discrimination whereby the Jewish state was the only nation to be excluded from a regional group,” said Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch, an NGO that monitors the United Nations.

Admission to the group would allow Israel to participate with all other U.N. member states in receiving regular briefings, and would enable it to have a say in the selection of council investigators, Neuer said. “More than anything, admission for Israel would be a sign of equal treatment, removing what has been an ugly stain of bigotry upon the reputation of the U.N.”

However, he added, “it will not detract from the Arab states’ continued ability to target Israel in resolutions, urgent sessions and a special agenda item.”

Earlier this month, senior diplomats from the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Germany and France sent a letter to the U.N.’s institutions in Geneva and to the ambassador of Spain, who heads the WEOG, telling them to finally admit Israel into their circle.

On Oct. 29, Israel participated in the council’s so-called Universal Periodic Review, during which it was widely criticized for alleged human rights abuses.

UN’s Relentless Attacks on Israel Publicly Criticized at UN

Friday, November 15th, 2013

At today’s session of the United Nations General Assembly, the body to which all 193 member nations belong, it was mostly business as usual. Mostly, but not completely.

Nine resolutions were passed denouncing Israel; none were passed denouncing any other nation on earth.

That’s right, no resolutions were passed condemning Syria for mass slaughter of its citizens, no resolutions were passed condemning North Korea which already executed 80 people this November alone, some merely for possessing a Bible or watching a movie from South Korea. And no resolutions were passed condemning the government of Sudan which has killed more than 170 people since protests erupted there on September 23, with scores more injured.

But here’s something very different that happened at the UN.

Other than the hieroglyphics inserted to protect The Jewish Press readers from harsh language, the following was actually said, out loud, into the ears of every delegate present at the U.N. on Thursday:

“Isn’t it a little weird? There are nine or ten resolutions against Israel. And I know there’s a problem with the Palestinians. But there’s other bad s*#@ going on and they’re spending so much time on this.”

Honesty at the UNGA.

But the person who made that statement, like the innocent child in the children’s book The Emperor’s New Clothes, was not an official, not a representative, not an “important” person at all.  It was an interpreter who said it.

The now famous UN interpreter thought she was simply speaking to the person sitting next to her, she did not realize that she was speaking into a “hot mic,” that is, a microphone that was transmitting her words to everyone in the hall who had their headphones on.

Upon hearing the outburst of laughter from delegates who heard her, the interpreter realized what happened and apologized.

Among the nine resolutions condemning Israel, was one which blamed Israel for its mistreatment of Syrian citizens in the “occupied Golan Heights.”

That’s right, it’s Israel who is mistreating Syrians, not Assad.  And the General Assembly even called on Israel to return the Golan Heights to Assad!  The whole world is calling for Assad to resign because he is unfit to rule, but the global assembly of nations tells Israel to hand over more Syrian citizens for Assad to butcher.

The saying, “in vino veritas” means the truth comes out when wine is imbibed.  In the UN, apparently the only time the truth comes out is when an innocent speaks, thinking no one will hear.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, first revealed the lapse in falsehood at Thursday’s UN meeting.

 

British Academy Supporting Racist Lecturer Condemned by UK

Monday, August 26th, 2013

The British Academy is supporting a lecturer who has been strongly condemned for racism by British Prime Minister David Cameron and by the Foreign Office’s anti-discrimination division, reported UN Watch.

The Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group today urged the head of the British Academy, Lord Stern of Brentford, to immediately remove all support for the scheduled September 11 Canberra appearance by Richard Falk, a UN Human Rights Council official recently denounced by world leaders for suggesting that the Boston bombings were the fault of the U.S. and Israel.

Falk was condemned by UN chief Ban Ki-moon, and by the US, UK and Canadian governments, for blaming the Boston terrorist attack on “the American global domination project” and “Tel Aviv.”

The Sept. 11 timing of the conference is doubly offensive because Falk was also condemned by the UN chief for spreading 9/11 conspiracy theories.

A copy of UN Watch’s letter was sent to Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, the UK’s envoy to the UN, and to the London anti-discrimination division, both of whom recently condemned Falk for racism.

UN Watch today also sent a similar protest letter to Gareth Evans, chancellor of the Australian National University, which is hosting the conference. Evans, a former Australian foreign minister, served on a 2004 UN panel that led to the creation of Falk’s Human Rights Council.

Following is the UN Watch letter sent today:

Lord Stern of Brentford President of the British Academy

Dear Lord Stern,

UN Watch is shocked that the British Academy, whose purpose is to support excellence in the humanities, is funding a September 11th platform for Mr. Richard Falk, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who was just condemned by your own government for racism, and who was denounced by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and world leaders for his vile comments blaming the Boston terrorist attack on “the American global domination project” and “Tel Aviv.”

According to a website called Human Rights in Palestine, the Australian National University in Canberra will soon host a “groundbreaking conference” on Palestinian human rights, on September 11. Mr. Falk is listed as a keynote speaker at this event.

This highly problematic event prominently displays a large British Academy logo throughout the website.

Notwithstanding a barely legible footnote on one of the pages containing a disclaimer written in tiny, faded grey letters, the website clearly implies the endorsement and support of the British Academy on its “Home”, “Program”, “Speakers”, “Exhibition” and other pages.   

We understand that this British Academy endorsement may be related to your 2009 grant of £29,836 to Dr. Victoria Mason — a convener of the Canberra conference whose avowed specialties include “Israeli State Terror” — in order to study “Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the West Bank.”

In that regard, please note that while the conference program claims to address human rights, Mr. Falk is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing who uses the language of human rights to absolve terrorists of culpability. He is the only UN expert in history to have been condemned for racism by Britain, or any other member state of the European Union.

We are sending a copy of this complaint letter to the attention of UK Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant — and to Ms. Philippa Thompson, Deputy Team Leader of the Equality and Non-Discrimination Team within the Human Rights & Democracy Department of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who recently examined and addressed Mr. Falk’s racism.

The UK Non-Discrimination Team determined that Falk’s recent writings are “resonant of the longstanding antisemitic practice of blaming Jews (through the State of Israel by proxy) for all that is wrong in the world.”

As the British Academy, you may also wish to take note that:  

1. British Prime Minister David Cameron “strongly condemned” Falk’s 2011 publication of an antisemitic cartoon, showing a dog wearing a Jewish head-covering urinating on a depiction of justice and devouring a bloody skeleton. Falk was also condemned by British MPs David Burrowes and Theresa Villiers.

2. The British Foreign Office last year condemned Falk for providing the cover endorsement of a book that asks whether “Hitler might have been right after all.” The UK Mission in Geneva protested to the UN human rights office, expressing London’s “serious concerns.” The book endorsed by Falk, “The Wandering Who,” also accuses “the Jews” of being “the only people who managed to maintain and sustain a racially orientated, expansionist and genocidal national identity that is not at all different from Nazi ethnic ideology.”

3. The British Mission to the United Nations condemned Mr. Falk’s April 19, 2013 remarks on the Boston bombing as “anti-Semitic,” highlighting it was the third time the British Government had to do so.

In addition we note:

•  That Falk is so extreme in his support for the Hamas terrorist organization that even the Palestinian Authorityas revealed in a Wikleaks cable, and which Falk himself admitshas sought to remove him, on grounds that he is a “partisan of Hamas;

•  That Falk recently published an article attempting to downplay, reinterpret and justify the latest call by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to destroy Israel;  

•  That Falk accused Israel of planning a Palestinian Holocaust,prompting a bloc of dictatorships, including Bashar al-Assad’s Syria and Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, to sucessfully nominate him as the UN Human Rights Council’s expert on Palestine; •  That Falk is one of the world’s most high-profile supporters of the leading 9/11 conspiracy theorists, lending his name to those who accuse the U.S. government of orchestrating the destruction of the Twin Towers as a pretext to launch wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;

•  That Falk actively promotes the writings of David Ray Griffin, a disciple and close friend of Falk who has produced 12 books describing the World Trade Center attack as “an inside job”; •  That Falk not only contributed the Foreword to Griffin’s 2004 “The New Pearl Harbor”—praising the author’s “patience,” “fortitude,” “courage,” and “intelligence”—but Griffin credits Falk for getting the book published, and also specially thanks Falk’s wife, Hilal Elver, someone who remains a member of Human Rights Watch’s Santa Barbara Committee, and who is also speaking at the upcoming Canberra conference;

US Says Falk ‘Unfit to Serve,’ Chucks his Bid to Expel UN Watch

Monday, June 10th, 2013

In a scathing and unprecedented attack on a UN-accredited NGO, top UN Human Rights Council official Richard Falk publicly called on the 47-nation body to investigate and potentially expel the watchdog organization UN Watch, after it mobilized world leaders—including his own boss, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon—to condemn his comments blaming the Boston Marathon bombings on “the American global domination project” and “Tel Aviv.”

In his just-released annual report, Falk—the controversial human rights monitor tasked by the Council with investigating “Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law” in the Palestinian territories—accuses UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group that fights antisemitism and anti-Israel bias, with “demeaning” and “defaming” his character, damaging the “credibility,” “effectiveness,” and “substantive intention” of his mandate, all of which “diverts attention from the message” and “shifts public interest away.”

UN Watch was established in 1993 “to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter,” according to the group’s website.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant, wrote Justice Brandeis, and that’s why Falk wants to shut us down—so his despicable abuses can proliferate in the dark,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

In Falk’s report, as well as in intense lobbying efforts that he conducted this week as reported by UN insiders, the Council official demands that UN Watch “be investigated” to determine whether it qualifies as a genuine NGO.

“We call on UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon to denounce Richard Falk’s McCarthy-style attempt to have rogue regimes conduct a retaliatory ‘investigation’ of UN Watch, as a punishment for successfully exposing his gross misconduct,” said Neuer.

“Falk is dangerously trying to intimidate and silence the UN’s only watchdog group, to grant himself impunity while he continues to exculpate terrorist groups and make other inflammatory remarks that contradict the UN’s founding principles,” Neuer. added

Falk’s comments come less than a month after UN Watch’s draft resolution to remove him from his position in the wake of his comments blaming the Boston Marathon bombings on “the American global domination project” and “Tel Aviv” was published by the United Nations as an official document.

In his annual report, Falk slams what he calls Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinians:

“Israel continues to annex Palestinian territory; Israel persists in demolishing Palestinians’ homes and populating Palestine with Israeli citizens; Israel maintains a policy of collectively punishing 1.75 million Palestinians through its imposition of a blockade on the Gaza Strip; and Israel prosecutes its occupation with impunity, refusing to accept the world’s calls to respect international law,” he wrote.

Falk also repeats his prior call for a boycott of companies conducting business with Israel or Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

The U.S. representative to the Human Rights Council, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, on Friday condemned Falk’s report and called on other member states of the council to “denounce Falk and his outrageous abuse of the position he holds.”

Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said his organization agrees with Donahoe’s conclusion that Falk “is unfit to serve in his role as a UN special rapporteur.”

“If he does not leave voluntarily, the Human Rights Council should remove him, Foxman said, adding: “Mr. Falk’s attempt to paint himself as the victim of an Israeli government-sponsored defamation campaign, carried out by UN Watch, has echoes of classical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”

“We are in good company, however, given that Falk’s report also accuses Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of being ‘complicit’ with UN Watch for having condemned his ‘preposterous’ comments, in 2011 and again last month.” Neuer said.

Falk wrote that “it seems important to encourage a greater willingness on the part of senior United Nations officials to defend special rapporteurs subject to such diversionary attacks.”

Falk’s report claims that UN Watch’s “smear campaign” is carried out in “numerous settings, including at the Human Rights Council, as well as university venues where the Special Rapporteur gives lectures.”

The “smears” have been “sent to diplomats and United Nations officials, including the Secretary-General, who has apparently accepted the allegations at face value, issuing public criticism of the Special Rapporteur… with no effort to seek the views of the Special Rapporteur.”

In his report, Falk’s ninth and final recommendation is for the Human Rights Council to “establish a mechanism to support Special Rapporteurs who are subject to defamatory attacks, especially those that divert attention from the substantive human rights concerns relevant to their respective mandates.”

UN Health Assembly, Syria, Slam ‘Inhuman Israeli Practices’

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

The annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization today adopted a resolution criticizing Israel — in the organization’s only debate on a specific country — with Syria protesting “inhuman Israeli practices” that target “the health of Syrian citizens.” Click here for links to documents.

The WHO resolution against Israel was not yet published, but was likely a copy of last year’s condemnation.

Observers of the world body in Geneva said the annual hypocrisy nevertheless reached a new low this year.

“To see the Assad regime point the finger at Israel out of professed concern for the health of Syrians is, frankly, a sick joke,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group accredited to the UN.

“They’ve slaughtered 80,000 of their own people, and are now busy destroying the lives of millions more. The real question is this: Why is the UN allowing mass murderers to deflect attention from their crimes by scapegoating democracies?”

“A world health assembly should be about Hippocrates, not hypocrisy,” said Neuer.

Syria’s report expressed concern that “the health conditions of the Syrian population in the occupied Golan continue to deteriorate, as a result of the suppressive practices of the Israeli occupation.”

Out of 25 agenda items on the WHO’s conference agenda, all but one address global themes.

The exception, today’s Item No. 20 — entitled “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan” — turned a spotlight on one specific country: Israel. No other country in the world — not Mexico, Russia, Syria, or anywhere else — is treated this way.

Despite what’s being said at the UN, the Palestinians’ own health minister recently acknowledged Israel’s extensive medical care for Palestinian children and its training of Palestinian doctors.

The UN debate also failed to mention that only last week, an Israeli hospital saved the life of a four-year-old Syrian girl, in a successful operation for a deadly heart condition.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-health-assembly-syria-slam-inhuman-israeli-practices/2013/05/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: