Nytt

FNs Menneskerettsråds spesielle Israel-rapportør, Richard Falk, slapp ikke inn i Israel søndag. Han ble sendt ut med begrunnelsen at han ikke gjør et arbeid som FN kan være bekjent av.

Den amerikanske ambassaden hadde ingen innvendinger. Falk har vakt oppsikt med noen meget skarpe uttalelser om Israel, bla. at det er en apartheidstat. Han har også sammenlignet Israel med Nazi-Tyskland og mener det bygger seg opp til et nytt Holocaust. Denne gang mot palestinerne.

Falk har også ytret seg kritisk om den offisielle versjon av 9/11 og mener den skjuler manipulasjon og løgner. Han tror Bush-administrasjonen selv hadde fordel av angrepet og lot det skje, eller det som verre var.

Last year Falk penned an article called «Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust,» in which he wrote that it was not an «irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians» with the «criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity.»

A few months after that article was written, the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council appointed Falk, a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, to the rapporteur position.

Det er ikke lenge siden Falk var i Israel. Han slapp inn i juni for å delta på en akademisk konferanse på palestinsk side, men benyttet anledningen til å besøke Hebron og kom med noen sterke uttalelser.

Israelsk UD synes nok er nok.

The statement said that in the case of Falk, «beyond the imbalance inherent in his mandate, the bias is further exacerbated by the highly politicized views of the rapporteur himself, in legitimizing Hamas terrorism and drawing shameful comparisons to the Holocaust.»

Joel Brinkley, en respektert journalist og foreleser, hadde en artikkel om Falk i San Fransisco Chronicle søndag.

In any case, last month an organization called UN Watch published an angry press release attacking Falk for publishing an article in a Scottish newspaper, entitled, «9/11, More Than Meets the Eye.» In it, Falk does not say flatly that the theories are correct – just that they warrant further investigation. Still, Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch, wrote: «The very credibility of the U.N. mission to preserve international peace is at stake.»

I talked with Neuer, and with Falk. In any conversation about Falk, Neuer’s fundamental concern is on a different plane. The Human Rights Council, he notes, has fired its special representatives for Cuba, Liberia, Uzbekistan – even Congo. But one state has a permanent monitor not subject to debate or renewal. That is Israel, and Falk holds that position. «He has a very serious mandate,» Neuer said. «People who question whether 9/11 happened are not serious people. No one in the United States or the West could be in positions of authority if they engaged 9/11 conspiracy talk.»

Falk, of course, disagrees. He notes that his position is part-time – and unpaid. «I’ve been trying to balance different agendas and roles. I am an academic and a citizen. And I don’t think those roles reflect on my position as special rapporteur.»

Fair enough, but these 9/11 conspiracy theorists remind me of the people who used to think that Neil Armstrong didn’t really land on the moon 40 years ago; the entire exercise was actually carried out in a water tank. It’s a free country; you’re entitled to think whatever you like. But this is fringe stuff. Would we ever have appointed an advocate of the water-tank theory to a senior position in government? The Human Rights Council is already an embarrassment to the United Nations. Certainly reasonable people can criticize Israel, just as they can find fault with the Palestinians. But the council’s pathological obsession with Israel is its defining characteristic, and Falk is its embodiment.

I wouldn’t have cared that an academic wrote the foreword several years ago for a book that is the conspiracy advocates’ bible. But I do care that the man whose job now is to help the Islamic states pursue their vendetta against Israel also believes that the U.S. government is capable of such unspeakable evil. What does that tell you about his frame of mind for his United Nations job?

Joel Brinkley is a professor of journalism at Stanford University and a former foreign policy correspondent for the New York Times.

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