Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Loco Dudes and Diluting Your Brand.

(cross posted at kickin it with cg)

Much has been debated as to whether the United Nations is an effective organization or is losing relevancy. But this diary isn’t about that, rather that I came across a stunning bit of information about one of its representatives and thought it was extremely telling in why the UN is viewed by some as a wavering.

Ever heard of Richard Falk?  In his Nation magazine biography, he is described as:

Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law and practice at Princeton University, is the United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur in the Occupied Territories and a member of the Nation editorial board. He is the author of many books, including The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and World Order After Iraq.

Falk made some headlines for being deported from Israel in December and recently made the claim that:

Hamas, he pointed out, consistently urged the continuation of its July 2008 Egypt-sponsored ceasefire with Israel and even its extension for up to 10 years. According to the respected British newsweekly, The Economist, Falk noted, Hamas proposed an extension of up to 20 years. “What is so revealing is the Israeli refusal to even acknowledge that this was a diplomatic initiative that would have probably ended any violence.”

Clearly this is false.  But that is neither here nor there.  What I found extremely shocking was when I looked a bit further in Falk’s more interesting views and history.

1. Falk supported the Iranian revolution and attacked Jimmy Carter for labeling the Ayatollah Khomeini a religious fanatic.

2.  Falk is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

3.  Falk argues that Vietnam war protesters were entitled to bomb facilities in the US as a form of protest.

4. Compares Israel to Nazi Germany.

So yeah – Mr Falk is clearly a mixed bag and not shall we say a huge champion of human rights in the total sense of supporting the rights of all humans  And more importantly – he is representing the Palestinians people in this regard for the United Nations.  Maybe this needs to be rethought.


  1. Hollede

    I loved Hillary’s speech on the three legs of the stool. Paraphrasing ~ defense, diplomacy and development. I have moved along a strange path in regards to Israel and the Middle East.

    I have always identified with Israel, but I do not always agree with them. In regards to views on women, race, religion and politic and just about everything, I find that I agree with Jews far more than I agree with Arabs and Persians who follow any radical Islamic views. The same is true for radical Christian views, and radical any views.

    I have heard from both sides of the conflict/war between Israel and the Palestinians. I have absolutely no idea how to solve the problems, but I do know that as long as the hardliners are in charge, nothing will change. I also believe that as long as Arabs and Palestinians are poor and uneducated and without hope, they will continue on this path.

    I am walking on eggshells here as I am not very knowledgeable about this conflict and do not wish to offend.

  2. Hollede

    I find your diary appropriately titled. And your outrage is well placed. The dude is nuts and should not be in this position.

    I wish I understood the UN better.

    Thank you for the diary CG.

  3. …and David Aaronovitch (probably my favourite UK columnist) puts it perfectly

    The body for whom Falk will soon begin work (work that is hardly necessary since he already knows exactly what he thinks before undertaking a moment’s UN-authorised monitoring) is famous for its excoriation of Israel and its comparative silence over Tibet and Darfur. Kofi Annan criticised them for it before his departure, Ban Ki Moon criticised them for it on his arrival. All to no avail. The council’s website begins with a page entitled “Highlights”, on which only one country’s “human rights violations” are mentioned by name. And it isn’t Andorra.

    So, what did the 40-plus members of the Council see in the professor? As far as I can tell his attraction lies in the following. He is American; he is Jewish; and more deliciously in light of the first two, he blames Israel for just about everything – as opposed to those who (rightly, in my opinion) blame it for quite a lot

    Cranks like Falk actually do the hardliners on both sides a favour. Once again Aaronovitch

    Well, we’ll have to cope, because there is something bigger at stake. It’s this: let’s say, for one moment, that the objective of the Human Rights Council was actually to improve human rights in, let’s further say, the occupied territories. Would you employ someone who has made utterances that ensure that all of Israeli public opinion – including that part critical of its Government – would unite 100 per cent to resist him? Of course you wouldn’t.

    The implication of this logic is simple. The UN Human Rights Council doesn’t give a toss about the human rights of the Palestinians in the sense of wanting them upheld. Its majority is far more interested in using Israel as a stick to beat the US with, or – in the case of Islamic states – as a bogeyman to dampen down domestic discontent.

    Israel bashing is, in some mainly Islamic states, a form of political correctness. But given the corollary, I feel the opposite is also sometimes true: blind support for Israelis actions is also a form of political correctness in some other countries.

    People should stop playing games with this. I’m glad Mitchell is the new envoy. He understood through the NI peace process that in a conflict, both sides are wrong, and both sides have some justifications too.

  4. creamer

     It underscores part of the problem with the current situation. There needs to be a force in Gaza to monitor weapons, without that force its hard to see the Israeli’s letting Gaza ecomomy function in rgards to check points and borders etc. Its hard to see the UN as that force because of people like Falk and Israel’s distrust of the institution itself.

    And I want to reiterate, Bolton is/was a fucking first class lunatic. Has never seen a country he wouldn’t like to bomb

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