Richard Falk, The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967, called on the UN General Assembly and civil society to take reprisal action in the form of boycotts against U.S. and other international businesses that are profiting from Israeli settlements. He made this recommendation in delivering a summary of his report on October 25th to the General Assembly’s Third Committee.
Falk called on civil society organizations “to vigorously pursue initiatives to boycott, divest and sanction the businesses highlighted in this report.”
The companies Falk targeted for a concerted boycott include two U.S. companies – Caterpillar Incorporated and Motorola.
“All Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been established in clear violation of international law,” Falk charged.
Falk argued that any businesses complicit in breaches of international humanitarian law – which he routinely accuses Israel of violating – “may be subject to criminal or civil liability. And this liability can be extended to individual employees of such businesses.”
Falk’s anti-Israeli bias drips from virtually every word he utters. His latest report contained page after page of denunciations of Israel without mentioning even once continuing Palestinian acts of terrorism or blatant Palestinian violations of international human rights law, such as using civilian human shields and placing lethal weapons in mosques, hospitals and other locations frequented by civilians in Gaza.
When asked at a news conference following his report to the General Assembly Committee why his report was so one-sided, Falk asserted that his “mandate” included an examination of only Israel’s violations of international law. In other words, Palestinian terrorism was out of scope. Moreover, although he was willing in the abstract to condemn “indiscriminate violence” from all sides in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Falk blamed Israeli provocation for the incessant rocket attacks launched by Hamas and its jihadist allies from Gaza against civilian targets within Israel.
Indeed, Falk has become such an apologist for Hamas that even the Palestinian Authority thought he had gone too far and asked him a couple of years ago to resign his post, which he refused to do.
During the last several years, Falk has accused Israel of “apartheid,” “war crimes,” “gratuitous cruelties” and “ethnic cleansing” in Jerusalem. I asked Falk at his news conference this week whether he would apply the same standard he was applying to Israel to Jordan’s well-documented ethnic cleansing and desecration of Jewish holy sites when it had illegally occupied East Jerusalem for nearly twenty years until the 1967 Six-Day War. This professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University pleaded ignorance of what happened during Jordan’s occupation and said that it was irrelevant anyway.
Although nominally a Jew himself, Falk has engaged in widely criticized anti-Semitic acts such as the posting last year of a cartoon showing a dog, with “U.S.A.” written on its body and wearing a Jewish headcover, devouring a bloody skeleton and urinating on a female figure symbolizing justice. Even UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, no fan of Israel herself, said that Falk had gone too far. She said the posting was “anti-Semitic” and “objectionable.”
Falk doesn’t have much regard for his country, the United States, either. Accused of being a 9/11 truther, Falk said in one of his blog posts that “this is a country with a surfeit of moral and political pretensions” that “exhibits hubris to an alarming degree.”
Falk tried to explain in this same blog post how his views favoring the Palestinian position evolved:
I was drawn to the Palestinian struggle as a result of friendship with prominent Palestinian exiles while still a student. I formed a well-evidence belief that the U.S. Government and the organized Jewish community were responsible for the massive and enduring confiscation of Palestinian land and rights.
Falk claimed in his blog post that he was the target of unfair criticism for what he described as “his objective scrutiny and criticism” of Israeli policies.
Falk is anything but objective. In calling for a boycott of Motorola, Caterpillar and other firms doing some business with Israeli settlements, for example, Falk has shed completely any semblance of acting as an objective “Rapporteur” and put on the mantle of an extremist anti-Israeli activist. He has embraced the agenda of the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” movement, which has had Motorola and Caterpillar in its sight for years. In fact, Falk had already embraced their agenda well before his latest report. Falk’s name is listed on their website along with such radicals as Noam Chomsky, the late Howard Zinn, Angela Davis and President Obama’s buddy Rashid Khalidi.
Whom would Falk and his “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” comrades be hurting if they succeeded in mobilizing a widespread boycott against a company such as Motorola Solutions? The Israeli settlers might have to find other sources for mobile phones and other means for protecting their property in place of Motorola’s electronic detection systems. But the real casualties might well turn out to be people in developing countries who could lose the life-saving benefits of access to Motorola’s technologies. For example, Motorola Solutions provided digital communication systems for electrical power companies in Kenya and Nigeria. Doctors have used wireless service to deliver healthcare and medical services to rural India. Falk’s boycott plan would end up amounting to collective punishment against the people of developing countries if those countries were to follow Falk’s boycott recommendation.
It is long past time for Richard Falk to take the suggestion of the Palestinian Authority and resign from his United Nations post. The only problem is that someone even more biased than Falk would likely be appointed by the Islamist-dominated UN Human Rights Council to take his place.
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