Apologies if we’re getting repetitive, but why is Richard Falk still at the UN? We posed the question a few weeks back, after Falk blamed the US for the Boston Marathon bombings, but the UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur has this past week once again spotlighted his bigotry and Stalinist inclinations.
It turns out that continually submitting one-sided evaluations of the Israel-Palestine conflict aren’t enough for this 9/11 conspiracy theorist. He’s now, in true McCarthyist fashion, attacking an NGO that dares speak the truth about both his person and his work.
Let’s tackle these one at a time.
On Monday, June 10, Falk submitted a report to the Human Rights Council accusing Israel of imposing collective punishment on 1.75 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and said that the enclave’s viability was at stake. Yes, it’s true that Israel has imposed a naval blockade on Gaza that certainly hasn’t made life easier for Gazans — but let’s look at the dates.
In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza, leaving the Strip under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s naval blockade began in 2007, two years after disengagement — a detail that Israel critics conveniently ignore. So what happened in the intervening two years?
Well, instead of building an economically vibrant enclave, a la Singapore, or exclave, a la Gibraltar, Gazans destroyed viable greenhouses, which could have become the cornerstone of their new economy, and, following a civil war between Fatah and Hamas, began launching rockets. In other words, provoking an Israeli response. The real question is why the recourse to violence and destruction when presented with an opportunity for progress and development? Are Palestinians so hell bent on remaining the “oppressed” to Israel’s “aggressor” as to metaphorically shoot themselves in the foot? Or was this simply folly?
So when Falk talks about how difficult life is for Gazans because of the blockade, it would be nice if he would acknowledge that the blockade exists because Gaza chose to squander a growth opportunity and instead fire rockets on Israeli civilians.
Let’s take a look now at another aspect of Falk’s report: He called for an investigation into UN Watch, an NGO that has admittedly been making his life hell by doggedly making known Falk’s anti-Semitism, anti-Israel bias, and just plain looniness.
Falk’s response: Shut ’em down. It’s a tactic straight out of Stalin’s book of tricks. And what’s mind-boggling is that Falk doesn’t comprehend the hypocrisy of his own words (see video above). He accuses of Israel acting with impunity (enabled by the US) — but then has the gall to as immunity for himself! He blames his employer, the UN, for not protecting him from UN Watch’s accusations, and then goes on to suggest that “special rapporteurs [must] be protected in their efforts”, that because their job is somehow uniquely difficult (Falk’s implication, not ours!), special rapporteurs should be granted immunity from any and all criticism.
Kudos to UN Watch for staying the course, and to Canada, the US and the EU for having the courage and integrity to hold Falk accountable for his unbalanced assessment of Israel’s actions.