Thursday, April 10, 2008

New U.N. Human Rights Rapporteur For Palestinians A "Singularly Inappropriate" Choice

This is a press release from the Anti-Defamation League.

Given the composition of the Council, including such bastions of liberty as China, Cuba, Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia, and its traditional antipathy towards the only state in the Middle East that actually respects human rights, it would have been surprising had it made a choice that was not inappropriate.

A more appropriate name for the group would be the Council of Human Rights Abusers.

New York, NY, April 9, 2008 - Calling the choice of Richard Falk as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories "singularly inappropriate," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the U.N. Human Rights Council to reject his reports outright, saying it would be impossible for Falk to serve as an "unbiased observer."

"Mr. Falk has a long record of harsh and frequently incendiary criticism of Israel, and he has refused to apologize for his remarks comparing Gaza to a 'Holocaust in the making,'" said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This was clearly a singularly inappropriate choice for this position. Falk's startling record of anti-Israel prejudice should have been enough to preclude him from a position where an unbiased observer is needed to report on the status of human rights in the territories."

In a letter to Doru Costea, President of the U.N. Human Rights Council, ADL called on him to use his leadership position to "take appropriate measures to ensure that Mr. Falk's views are not considered by the Council."

"Clearly, Mr. Falk is incapable of approaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with an unbiased and reasoned eye," said the letter, from ADL National Chair Glen Lewy and Mr. Foxman.

In response to a recent BBC interview where Mr. Falk defended his view of Israeli treatment of Palestinians in Gaza as a "Holocaust," Israel this week indicated that it would deny Falk a visa to enter Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

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