The United Nations Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on Palestinian rights is being criticized for re-posting an anti-Semitic cartoon on his personal blog.
The cartoon, posted by Richard Falk, depicts a dog wearing a shirt labeled “USA” and a yarmulke marked with a Star of David devouring a bloody human carcass. Lady Justice stands by blindfolded, holding the dog’s leash as it urinates on her foot.
The Geneva-based U.N. Watch, which is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, sent a letter to Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, urging her to condemn Falk’s action. U.N. Watch’s executive director, Hillel Neuer, wrote that the cartoon “is manifestly anti-Semitic and, before a worldwide Internet audience, incites hatred against Jews as well as against Americans.”
The cartoon was posted with a June 29 blog post by Falk accusing the International Criminal Court in The Hague of “double standards” for issuing an arrest warrant for Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Falk, who is Jewish and an emeritus professor at Princeton University, assailed the “impunity accorded to European, American, and Israeli leaders.”
When an online commenter re-posted U.N. Watch’s letter and criticized Falk for the cartoon, Falk responded in his blog’s comments section by denying posting any such cartoon.
When the commenter then posted the link from Falk’s blog where the cartoon could be found, Falk responded: “Maybe I do not understand the cartoon, and if it offends in this way I have removed it from the blog. It may be in bad taste to an extent I had not earlier appreciated, but I certainly didn’t realize that it could be viewed as anti-Semitic, and still do not realize.”
Falk has previously called Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians “a holocaust-in-the-making.” Last year, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rebuked Falk for a blog post in which he questioned the notion that American government officials had no foreknowledge of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The American ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, responded to that incident by calling for Falk to be removed from his U.N. post.