Israel Call for UN Investigator's Resignation
Allege bias against special investigator on human rights in
occupied Palestinian territories
By The Associated Press
- The UN
special investigator on human rights in the Palestinian
called Wednesday for a boycott of all companies that
have dealings with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East
Jerusalem until they adhere to international rights standards
Israel, the U.S. and Canada all rejected
report, accusing the UN special rapporteur of bias against
Israel and calling for his removal.
In a report presented to the UN General Assembly, Falk said a
number of Israeli-owned and multinational corporations
headquartered in the U.S., Europe and Mexico appear to be
violating international human rights and humanitarian laws by
exploiting Palestinian resources and helping Israel construct
illegal settlements and provide security for them. However, he
said further investigations will be made to determine whether
the allegations are well-founded.
Falk said the call for a boycott is an effort to take
infractions of international law seriously and "use what
influence we have to change behaviour." He said the pace of
Israeli settlement building has accelerated and Israel has
ignored UN resolutions condemning the practice, so "there is a
sense that what the UN says doesn't count."
Falk, an American professor emeritus of international law at
Princeton University, has previously angered Israel by comparing
the Jewish state to Nazi Germany and accusing it of crimes
against humanity because of its treatment of Palestinians.
Israel has barred Falk from visiting the Palestinian
In the report, Falk reiterated his request that the Israeli
government co-operate with his efforts, as he said it is
required to do under the UN Charter.
Israel's UN Mission called the report "grossly biased" and
called for Falk to be replaced.
"Israel is deeply committed to advancing human rights and firmly
believes that this cause will be better served without Falk and
his distasteful sideshow," said Karaen Peretz, spokeswoman for
the Israeli Mission. "While he spends pages and pages attacking
Israel, Falk fails to mention even once the horrific human
rights violations and ongoing terrorist attacks by Hamas."
A spokesman for Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird,
condemned Falk's report as being both "offensive, and
"Canada calls on Mr. Falk to either withdraw this biased and
disgraceful report — or resign from his position at the United
Nations," said Rick Roth in an email.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice called Falk "highly biased" and his
appeal for a boycott "irresponsible and unacceptable."
"Mr. Falk's recommendations do nothing to further a peaceful
settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and indeed poison
the environment for peace," she said in a statement. "His
continued service in the role of a UN Special Rapporteur is
deeply regrettable and only damages the credibility of the UN"
The Anti-Defamation League called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
to rescind his preliminary endorsement of the report and to
distance his office from Falk, who was appointed by the UN Human
But in the General Assembly, representatives from several
countries including Egypt and Iran called Falk's report fair and
Copyright © CBC 2012
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