Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to shut down the watchdog organization UN Watch.
In an annual report on Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights due to be presented to the Human Rights Council on Monday, Falk seeks an investigation of UN Watch leading to its closure. Falk accuses the Geneva-based NGO of “demeaning” and “defaming” his character, damaging the “credibility,” “effectiveness” and “substantive intention” of his mandate. He says this “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.
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 the 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 the West Bank.
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 U.N. special rapporteur.”
“If he does not leave voluntarily, the Human Rights Council should remove him, Foxman said. “Mr. Falk’s attempt to paint himself as the victim of an Israeli government-sponsored defamation campaign, carried out by U.N. Watch, has echoes of classical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”
Richard Falk, U.N. Rapporteur on Palestinian Rights, Calls for Close of UN Watch