Calls have been pouring in for the resignation of the UN’s Boston terror apologist, Richard Falk. The demands from members of Congress, multiple organizations, and the State Department, follow the UN expert’s written assertion that Boston victims were like the “canaries” that “have to die” because of justifiable “resistance” to “the American global domination project.”
Despite the anger at his contemptible words, however, in UN quarters it is assumed that the negative attention will soon blow over. This isn’t the first occasion that senior Obama officials have suggested Falk resign and the pattern appears to be predictable.
On July 7, 2011, U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council, Eileen Donahoe, said Falk’s comments at that time were “deeply offensive,” “condemn[ed] them in the strongest terms” and complained his “continued status…is a blight on the UN system.”
On October 25, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, labeled Falk’s statements then as “offensive,” and said his “continued service…is deeply regrettable and only damages the credibility of the UN."
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On April 23, 2013, Rice called Falk’s most recent comments “highly offensive” and said it was “Past time for him to go." The State Department issued a formal statement describing his commentary as “offensive,” reiterated the call “for Mr. Falk’s resignation,” and called his UN service an “absurdity.”
After each round of offence and condemnation, the administration has continued to pay the usual 22% of all his expenses, and 22% of the production and dissemination of all his UN statements and reports. Moreover, last November President Obama sought and won re-election to the Human Rights Council, thus legitimizing the very body that has repeatedly refused to fire Falk.
Falk himself says he’s just misunderstood. He responded Friday, to what he calls “hate mail,” by issuing a “clarification” of his remarks. In particular, he now says, “I had no intention whatsoever to connect any dots as to whether there was a causal linkage between what the U.S. or Israel have done in the world and what happened in Boston.”
Unfortunately for a man who is used to lying and getting away with it, his original statement tells a different story. First he issued a description:
There are a few hopeful signs of awakening…Listening to a PBS program hours after the Boston event, I was struck by the critical attitudes of several callers…“We in this country should not be too surprised, given our drone attacks…in Afghanistan and Pakistan…” “Is this not a kind of retribution for torture inflicted by American security forces…?”
And then he reacted:
Can we not expect one among our politicians…to have the courage to connect some of these dots? Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden’s haunting line: “Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return”?
Yes, Mr. Falk did indeed intend to connect the dots.
So what will it take to move beyond mere hand-wringing this time? The answer lies with connecting a different set of facts that run through the UN human rights system, from seemingly arcane resolutions to the malevolent individuals that bring them to life.
In 1993, the UN Commission on Human Rights – the predecessor to the Council – created a position “to investigate Israel's violations of the principles and bases of international law.” The outcome of any feigned investigation was, obviously, pre-determined.
A South African named John Dugard held the post prior to Falk. At the height of the Palestinian suicide bombing campaign in Israel – which killed and maimed hundreds of children and parents engaged in everyday life – Dugard lectured UN members on the distinction between what he called “mindless terror” and Palestinian violence. The latter, he claimed, was analogous to European resistance to the Nazis during the Second World War.
Prior to his appointment, Falk had already written a fawning preface for a 9/11 conspiracy book and opined that Israel was engaged in a “holocaust-in-the-making.” For the Council, he was a perfect fit.
Immediately following his Boston remarks, Falk traveled to the home turf of the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Speaking in Beirut on April 25, he advised his Lebanese audience against the promotion now of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Falk’s own six-year term will be up in 2014, but the UN spot will remain. The only UN Human Rights Council investigative mandate without an end date is the one dedicated to the permanent demonization and defeat of Israel. And the only people who will ever be appointed to fill it, will share the twisted ideology that turns terrorists into victims, and connects American and Israeli victims of terrorism to crimes they didn’t commit.
Want to get serious this time? Withhold American taxpayer dollars from the UN Human Rights Council as long as Richard Falk remains in the job and his UN post is not eliminated.
Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her on Twitter @AnneBayefsky.