Falk cartoon 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Richard Falk, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian
territories, has come under fire for posting what has been described as an
“overtly anti-Semitic” cartoon on his blog.
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In a post written last week,
Falk posted a cartoon of a dog with “USA” written on his midriff and wearing a
kippa, urinating on a depiction of justice while devouring the bloody bones of a
The cartoon was placed in a post alleging that the
International Criminal Court arrest warrants issued against Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi were politically motivated.
The UN Watch monitoring
organization noticed the post and wrote a letter to the office of the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Navi Pillay, calling on her to condemn
Falk for posting the “manifestly anti-Semitic” cartoon, adding that it incites
“hatred against Jews as well as against Americans.”
Rupert Coleville told The Jerusalem Post
on Thursday that the matter had
effectively been dealt with, since Falk had apologized for the cartoon, and
although it was “clearly unfortunate and shouldn’t have been there,” it was not
the place of the OHCHR to comment on a special rapporteur who are appointed by
of the Human Rights Council.
UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer
dismissed this claim, pointing to an incident in 2005 when the high commissioner
at the time, Louise Arbour, strongly criticized an incumbent special
“This is a sham excuse,” Neuer said. “The OHCHR provides
staff support for the special rapporteur and they work closely together. She
[Pillay] can speak out about anybody is she so wishes.”
When made aware
of the UN Watch complaint by a commentator, Falk called the claim a “complete
lie.” He subsequently removed the cartoon from his blog, saying, “Maybe I do not
understand the cartoon... I certainly didn’t realize that it could be
viewed as anti-Semitic, and still do not realize.”
Falk later claimed to
have thought the kippa on the dog (which bears a Star of David) was a helmet,
and apologized for posting the cartoon, acknowledging that it was anti-
Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham H. Foxman
called on the UN Human Rights Council to dismiss Falk from his position, saying
that such behavior “is fundamentally against the values and ideals a special
rapporteur of the Human Rights Council should uphold.”
In his post on the
arrest warrants against Gaddafi, Falk wrote that the motivation behind their
timing seems “sinister,” and that the international community’s central argument
for intervening in Libya, in order to protect civilians, was
“Why not Syria in the current regional setting?” he wrote.
“And even more starkly, why not Gaza back in 2008-09 when it was being
mercilessly attacked by Israel? The answers to such questions are blowin’ in the
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the US House of
Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, harshly criticized Falk over the
affair and said that Congress should withhold funding from the Human Rights
Council until reforms are enacted.