Written by Joseph Klein
Richard Falk, who justly earned his way into David Horowitz's book The Professors as one of the "101 Most Dangerous Academics in America," now lectures more august audiences at the United Nations. Appointed as the United Nations Human Rights Council to serve as its special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories in March, Falk has in a matter of months lived down to his opponents' worst expectations.
Falk not only hates Israel but his own country. Falk has accused the United States of imperialism, Nazi-like tendencies, and possibly manufacturing the official story-line for what happened on 9/11. He has referred to the nation in recent years as slipping toward "fascism." Falk views the democratically elected governments of the United States as no better than the world's most notorious dictatorships.
He has a plan to make sure Nazism never breaks out again: allowing foreigners to veto the American voter. Falk is a strong advocate for "world government" and "global law." The United Nations General Assembly, in his view, does not have enough power to legislate and enforce its decisions. He suggests the possibility of forming a Global Parliament, either operating as a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly or taking some more autonomous character within the UN system." He has recommended consideration of "allowing persons outside the United States to challenge policy affecting their wellbeing by way of binding referenda or even by casting votes in national elections held within the United States."
Falk donated $500 to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
In the small area over which he exercises authority, Israel and Palestine, he has managed to follow through on his twisted ideology. Falk has long despised and maligned the State of Israel. Last year, before his UN appointment, Falk wrote a widely circulated article entitled "Slouching Toward a Palestinian Holocaust," attempting to lend an aura of academic legitimacy to the outrageous charge that Israel is employing Nazi-like practices in the Palestinian territories. Falk has also in the past charged Israel with "genocidal tendencies." Falk, although a Jew himself, loves using such Nazi comparisons to delegitimize the moral basis for Israel's right to continue to exist as an independent Jewish state. UN Ambassador John Bolton warned against his appointment. However, in April, the notorious National Lawyers Guild urged Israel to cooperate with his "investigation" into its "horrendous" human rights record.
In any rational process of selection, such inflammatory language would disqualify the person holding such views from a job that should demand objectivity and impartiality. At the United Nations, however, Falk was selected precisely because this Israel-hater has already pre-judged Israel guilty.
And he has not disappointed his handlers.
His initial report, issued in August 2008 and summarized in a statement that Falk delivered to a General Assembly committee last week, repeats the fabricated narrative of the victimization of Palestine at the hands of Israel. In his report, Falk criticized Israeli roadblocks and the security fence built between Israel and the West Bank without acknowledging that they were done as last resort measures in response to the stream of Palestinian terrorists infiltrating into Israeli population centers and setting off their suicide bombs. Falk also failed to note the recent removal of various roadblocks in the West Bank and the opening of intersections adjacent to Hebron and Shavei Shomron for Palestinian traffic. Falk does not want to admit the obvious: as Palestinians begin to demonstrate that they are moving away from terrorism against Israeli civilians, Israel will be willing to lower the barriers to their freedom of travel.
Falk blamed Israel for the health conditions in the West Bank and Gaza without acknowledging that Israel has granted permission for tens of thousands of Palestinians to enter Israel for medical treatment, despite the risk of terrorist infiltration. He condemned restrictions on access of goods to Gaza without acknowledging the vast amount of arms smuggled into Gaza that prompted those restrictions.
Falk has portrayed Hamas simply as "a concerned government...administering the Gaza Strip" ever since it "took over the administrative control in Mid June 2007." He makes Hamas appear as if it were a peaceful bureaucracy trying to govern under impossible conditions not of its own making. Missing entirely is the litany of terrorist acts committed by Hamas, not only against Israeli citizens, but also fellow Palestinians belonging to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party.
In short, Falk has exonerated Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups of any moral or legal responsibility for their violence, which is aimed deliberately at Israel's most vulnerable citizens including its children, and against Palestinians who are willing to negotiate with Israel on terms that recognize the Jewish State's right to exist.
In Falk's twisted world, the terrorists are doing no more than exercising their "right to resist."
Instead, he has blamed everything on Israel, claiming that Israel's self-protective measures to stamp out terrorism at its source are "gross violations of the Geneva Conventions."
Back in 2005, Falk wrote an article calling Israel's unilateral decision to withdraw from Gaza a "gigantic exercise in diversionary politics." In his role as special rapporteur, Falk has continued to view Gaza as if it were still territory under Israeli occupation rather than the failed experiment in Palestinian self-determination that it turned into after Israel handed control of Gaza over to the Palestinians in 2005. As Israel's response to Falk's report points out, "if Israel genuinely exercised effective control over Gaza, it would have been able to effectively act against the thousands of rocket attacks on Israel proper launched from Gaza since 2005; it would have prevented the hostile incitement to violence and hatred, and would have been able to effectively prevent the smuggling of arms, weapons, and terrorists to Gaza."
The "occupying power" in Gaza today is Hamas, whose terrorist army in civilian clothes uses its own people as human shields and conscripts Palestinian women and children as suicide bombers. Hamas is violating the human rights of the Palestinian people as well as of Israeli civilians whom it targets for murder. It is Hamas who is committing the gross violations of the Geneva Conventions that Falk tries to lay at Israel's door.
Falk also said it does not matter that Hamas continues to reject even the most minimal conditions for a truly peaceful solution that the international community has embraced - recognition of Israel's right to exist, affirmation of past agreements with the Palestine Authority and renunciation of terrorism. UN money should flow to Gaza, no matter what, he believes. His thesis is that Israel has no right to expect any assurances of security for its people because "oppressors" are not entitled to any peace without "justice" for their "victims."
Falk completely ignored the fact that Hamas' leaders continue to call for the total destruction of the state of Israel. They use any truce (known as hudna in Arabic) as a lull during which Hamas builds up its military strength for future attacks on Israeli civilians, not as a time for meaningful negotiations with Israel for a viable two-state solution.
A co-founder of Hamas, Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, admitted as much several years ago when he characterized a hudna that he offered in return for complete Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories as the first stage on the path "to liberate all our land." As he put it, "the hudna would however not signal a recognition of the state of Israel."
Even the complete destruction of the Israeli state was not enough for this Hamas leader. Rantissi, a Holocaust denier, was quoted by the Chicago Tribune in 2002 as saying, "We will kill Jews everywhere. There will be no security for any Jews, those who came from America, Russia or anywhere."
Fortunately, Israeli forces managed to target and kill Rantissi, without causing any collateral civilian casualties, before he got the opportunity to commit a Holocaust of his own against all of the Jewish inhabitants of Israel. Yet Falk has condemned such assassinations of avowed terrorists as illegal "extrajudicial executions."
The United Nations has given this ideologue a prominent forum, by virtue of Falk's role as special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, to single out Israel for demonization. That is what the United Nations knows how to do best. In fact, the UN abolished the mandates of special rapporteurs charged with investigating real human rights violations in countries such as Cuba and North Korea so that it can concentrate even more on Israel.
Richard Falk's own selection as the UN's special rapporteur is a living example of how dysfunctional a world organization can be, inverting moral reality by persecuting the innocent. Falk is the perfect example of the UN's moral depravity and the dangers of global governance.
1. Richard Falk. Towards a Necessary Utopianism: Democratic Global Governance. The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research. (August 23, 2008.)