Richard Falk Calls for Corporate Israel Boycott

U.N. Official Backs Calls To Shun Occupation-Backing Firms

Wayne Schoenfeld

By JTA

Published October 25, 2012.
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U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called on the member nations of the General Assembly to boycott companies that do business with Israel.

“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.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme.

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.

“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 Foxman, ADL’s 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, ADL said, Falk has made it his mission to single out Israel as a human rights violator while using the imprimatur of the United Nations to advance a biased agenda fueled by anti-Israel animus that erodes the credibility of the U.N.

“The United Nations should not be complicit in this wholly unjustified effort to single out Israel,” Foxman wrote in his letter to Ban on the eve of the session devoted to Falk’s report.


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