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Monday, June 16, 2008

UN wants to pretend to be evenhanded so it can bash Israel more

The UN Human Rights Council's "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967," Richard Falk, addressed the Council today.

The HRC has been incredibly anti-Israel and Falk recently compared Israeli actions to those of the Nazis. He descibed Israeli policies as having "genocidal tendencies." He replaced the equally execrable John Dugard in this post.

Naturally, many people have complained about the incredible one-sidedness of the Council and their clear anti-Israel agenda. This has made the HRC into a joke that is not being taken seriously even by Europeans as they see that it ignores essentially all human rights abuses by African or Islamic nations.

So, Falk proposed today that his role should be expanded to also investigate human rights abuses against Israelis by Palestinian Arabs in the territories, something that Israel has long demanded.

But he makes it very clear why he wants this to happen:
He respectfully asked the Council to consider expanding the mandate to also encompass inquiry into Palestinian violations of international humanitarian law, but not of alleged violations of human rights within the Palestinian territories. The mandate along these lines would enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the reports presented by the Special Rapporteur, and would respond in a constructive way to criticisms that had been made in the past, and yet maintain the focus of attention on core concerns of the Human Rights Council with the suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people as a result of the prolonged Israeli occupation. It was a delicate issue to be raised, but one that needed to be confronted as directly as possible, to both achieve the purpose of the mandate and to insulate the Human Rights Council from those who contended that its work was tainted by partisan politics.
This is an incredibly cynical ploy that Falk is openly advocating in the confines of his friendly audience at the HRC. He wants to make it clear that he wants to continue to slam Israel for every possible problem in the Middle East, but since the criticisms have hit close to home he wants to place a fig leaf on top of the HRC to make himself appear to be "even-handed" - something that he clearly is not. The fact that he does not want to include Palestinian Arab-on-Arab human rights abuses proves quite conclusively that all he wants is the ability to continue to insult Israel publicly and he cares nothing about real human rights.

As the UN at large does, he will then issue a perfunctory report condemning rocket attacks against Israel civilians for a sentence or two and then spend the next 200 pages railing about supposed Israeli crimes and abuses.

Although we have seen this methodology used before by traditionally anti-Israel but ostensibly even-handed NGOs in the past, rarely has the goal been stated so nakedly - saying that the goal was to insulate themselves from criticism even as they continue on their one-sided anti-Israel path.

Falk's continuing bias is made clear by another comment he made:
He said, however, he would not want to investigate abuses by Palestinians against their own people.

"I think the (U.N.'s) special attention to the occupation has to include resistance to the occupation," he said. "That is why I favor expanding the mandate, but not expanding it to include what Palestinians do to each other."
Without shame, Falk has fully accepted the terrorist newspeak of "resistance to the occupation" when in fact Gaza rocket attacks are terror, not resistance, and Gaza is not legally occupied.

To think that extending his mandate will make any difference whatsoever in the HRC's hateful bias would be the height of delusion.

(By the way, Reuters wrote a surprisingly good article about this, so we have to give credit where credit is due.)

UPDATE: Smooth Stone has video, and shows UN Watch asking Falk about his denial of Arabs attacking the US on 9/11.