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UN's Expert on Palestine Publishes Anti-Semitic Cartoon, Deletes It, Denies It, Then Apologizes

UN's Expert on Palestine Publishes Anti-Semitic Cartoon, Deletes It, Denies It, Then Apologizes

"It is a complete lie."

Richard Falk is a "9/11 Truther" who has worked for the UN for quite a while, holding positions of great importance. He is currently serving in the third year of a six-year term as the United Nations Special Rapporteur "on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967."

The offensive cartoon posted below was published in late June on Mr. Falk's blog:

Obviously this editorial cartoon is a slam to Israel (note the Star of David on the Kipa of the blood-thirsty dog, peeing on the sword-toting Statue of Justice).

When the cartoon drew the attention and ire of Geneva-based UN Watch,  it was deleted from Falk's blog and its publication was initially denied by Mr. Falk.

Realizing that he was caught, Falk issued this (sort-of) apology:

......To be clear, I oppose any denigration of a people based on ethnicity, race, religion, stage of development, and believe in the human dignity of all people in their individual and collective identity. Beyond this, if we are to have a sustainable human future we must also make peace with nature, and treat animals with as much respect as possible. This is both a sacred imperative of my idea of a spiritual life, but also an integral aspect of species survival on an increasingly crowded, overheated, and endangered planet.

Returning to the cartoon, I regret my carelessness, and apologize for any unintended hurt and outrage caused thereby.

The issue is obviously not going away and Richard Falk must know that as he has posted a second apology on his blog, trying to explain away the posting of the anti-semitic cartoon, this time using a curious excuse:

Because this unintentional posting of an anti-semitic cartoon has attracted such attention to my blog, and elicited a stream of venomous comments, I want to explain my mistake one last time. I do this without trying to excuse the carelessness involved, although I would point out that I removed the cartoon as soon as I became aware of its real content.

Even now I needed a magnifying glass to identify the anti-semitic character of the dog. My vision (at 80) is pretty good, but not good enough. It looked like a helmet to me, and the main visible symbol on the dog was the USA midriff covering. I found the cartoon through a Google image search on the page devoted to the International Criminal Court. Almost all the images there were about the Court or justice, and I assumed that this blindfolded goddess of justice was being led around by the USA. I am quite sure this cartoon would never have been allowed on the Google page if its true content had been realized, and it should be removed. Without a special effort, which admittedly I did not make, this true content is easy to overlook, and even when the initial objection to the cartoon was brought to my attention, and I looked at it, I did not appreciate the objectionable character of what was intended to be communicated.

I get it, this is all Google's fault. Right.

Since 2004, Richard Falk has been a regular player in the "9/11 Truther" movement, writing the preface for David Ray Griffin's book, "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About The Bush Administration And 9/11" and also penning a chapter in another Griffin book: "American Empire, Intellectuals Speak Out." In October of 2010, Falk appeared on a "Truther" radio show, praising Ahmadinejad and endorsing the 9/11 conspiracy theories.

In January of this year, American UN Ambassador, Susan Rice called for the removal of Richard Falk after his blog posting that claimed America was covering up the truth about 9/11. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did condemn the blog and asked for Falk to be removed from his UN post on the Human Rights Council, but the Secretary General has no power to make that happen.

UN Watch has sent a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner On Human Rights, asking for a condemnation of Mr. Falk's actions. The entire text of that letter appears below;

Ms. Navi Pillay

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Palais des Nations

1211 Geneva 10

6 July 2011

Dear Madam High Commissioner,

We write to convey our grave concern over the publication of an overtly anti-Semitic cartoon by Richard Falk, an expert of the UN Human Rights Council. We urge you—as the highest moral authority of the UN human rights system—to condemn Mr. Falk’s actions, which constitute incitement to hatred and racial discrimination as defined under Articles 1 and 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Mr. Falk published the attached cartoon in his blog post of June 29. As you can see, it depicts a dog urinating on a woman symbolizing justice, and devouring a dead body with blood and bones spewing out of its mouth. The dog is shown in a garment marked “USA” and wearing a Kipa, the Jewish religious head covering, which is marked by a Star of David. The cartoon is manifestly anti-Semitic and, before a worldwide Internet audience, incites hatred against Jews as well as against Americans.

We are aware that mandate-holders are answerable only to the Council, and that Mr. Falk and his supporters will claim that the cartoon was published in his “personal capacity.” As you know, however, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in identical circumstances,unequivocally ruled that Mr. Falk has “a clear responsibility to uphold the high standards of the United Nations and the Council.” Accordingly, the Secretary-General twice condemned Mr. Falk for having propagated the 9/11 conspiracy theory and insulting the memory of the 3,000 victims of that attack. Likewise, in 2005, your predecessor, High Commissioner Louise Arbour did not hesitate to condemn expert Jean Ziegler for what she described as his “inflammatory” and “highly irresponsible” remarks.

For the UN human rights system to be credible in the fight against racism, its own representatives must not be allowed to incite hatred and racial discrimination with impunity. We urge you to speak out.


Hillel C. Neuer

Executive Director

To date, there is no official reply from the UN.

H/T to Weasel Zippers

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