UN Richard Falk 311 .
(photo credit: Reuters)
Canada called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to dismiss its special
investigator Richard Falk after he accused Israel of “genocidal” intentions
against the Palestinians in a brief English language interview on Russian
“Canada has previously called for Falk to be fired for his
numerous outrageous and anti-Semitic statements and these comments underscore
once more the complete and total absurdity of his service as a UN Special
Rapporteur,” Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement he issued
“I call on the United Nations Human Rights Council – once
again – to remove Falk from this position immediately,” Baird said. He added
that his country rejects Falk’s comments.
“Not only do these comments
undermine the fundamental values of the UN, they also belittle the terrible
genocides that have tragically taken place throughout history and around the
world,” Baird said.
He spoke in the aftermath of Falk’s brief appearance
on December 15 on Russia’s English television news program RT. Falk was
interviewed for only a few seconds as part of a larger program on Israel that
included an argument that it was Israel, not Iran, which had a dangerous nuclear
Falk was asked about a past article he had written in which he
said that Israel was “slouching toward nothing less than a Palestinian
Falk told RT, “When you target a group, an ethnic group and
inflict this kind of punishment upon them, you are in effect nurturing a kind of
criminal intention that is genocidal.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry
spokesman Yigal Palmor also attacked Falk’s statements.
“This man has
already branded himself as the radical version of extremism,” Palmor
“This man has been known for years for his strident racism, verbal
violence and obsessional disparaging of Israel and others and for that he was
the target of unprecedented criticism by many in the UN including the
secretary-general. The fact that such a conspiracist, hate monger remains on the
UN payroll is a moral stain on his employer,” said Palmor.
Falk, who is a
professor Emeritus of international law at Princeton University, was appointed
in 2008 to a six-year position as the UN’s special rapporteur on the situation
of human rights in the Palestinian territories.
But even before he was
appointed he had warned against a pending Palestinian holocaust. He has also
written about possible American complicity in the September 11, 2001 terrorist
attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington,
In the aftermath of his comments, UN Watch, a non-governmental Geneva
based group that monitors UN activity, has called for Falk’s removal in letters
that it wrote both UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon and US ambassador to the UN
in New York Samantha Powers. But Falk can only be removed by a vote of the UNHRC
UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said that Falk’s
comments were “outrageous” and a “warrant for terrorism” against
Accusing Israel of genocidal intentions legitimizes violence
against Israel, Neuer said.
“If Israel has genocidal intentions than what
isn’t permissible to do against Israel.”
The US, which is a member of the
UNHRC , must take the lead in pushing for Falk’s removal, said
“The US has forcibly promoted the narrative that the council has
been made credible, effective and authoritative, it bears a special
responsibility to initiate the removal of Falk,” Neuer said.