The War on Richard Falk

Over the past three decades, Israel has veered away from its founding commitments to justice and built an apartheid-like state that abuses the indigenous Palestinians. That troubling course has been shielded by personal attacks on anyone, like UN official Richard Falk, who notes the facts, says Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

Richard Falk is the present United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories. His job is to monitor the human rights situation in the territories with particular reference to international law and to report back to both the U.N. General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council. He is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and well qualified for his United Nations post.

Professor Falk was appointed in 2008 to a six-year term in his present position. That means he has been telling the unsettling truth about Israeli behavior for four years now, with another two to go. Repeatedly he has documented Israeli violations of international law and its relentless disregard for Palestinian human rights. For instance:

Richard Falk, the United Nations official assigned to monitor human rights in the Palestinian territories.


–In his 2008 report, Falk documented the “desperate plight of civilians in Gaza.”

–In his 2009 report, Falk described Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip as a “war crime of the greatest magnitude.”

–In his 2010 report, Falk documented Israel’s array of apartheid policies.

–In his 2011 report, Falk documented Israeli policies in Jerusalem and labeled them “ethnic cleansing.”

In this latest report for the year 2012, Falk has concentrated on two subjects. First, Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners which he concludes is so bad as to warrant investigation by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It should be noted that Israel does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ. However, condemnation by this organization would, within the context of growing awareness of Zionist crimes, help further educate public opinion.

Second, Falk documents the assistance given Israel’s expansion of colonies on the Palestinian West Bank by a number of multinational corporations, including Motorola, Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar Inc. This assistance may be profitable, but it is also manifestly illegal. The CEOs and board members of these companies stand in violation of international laws including provisions of the Geneva Conventions.

Since no nation, nor the UN itself, seems ready to prosecute these executives, Professor Falk has recommended a boycott of the guilty firms “in an effort to take infractions of international law seriously.”

Reactions to Falk

In a sane world this work would make Richard Falk a universally acclaimed defender of justice. But ours is not a sane world. And so you get the following sort of responses from both Israel and its supporters:

Karaen Peretz, the spokeswoman for the Israeli Mission at the United Nations, found Professor Falk’s latest report “grossly biased.” This is a sort of response used by someone who cannot dispute the evidence and so must resort to attacking the character of the one presenting the evidence.

Peretz also asserted that “Israel is deeply committed to advancing human rights and firmly believes that this cause will be better served without Falk and his distasteful sideshow. While he spends pages attacking Israel, Falk fails to mention even once the horrific human rights violations and ongoing terrorist attacks by Hamas.”

Actually, this is not true. Back in 2008, Falk requested that his mandate from the UN Human Rights Council be extended to cover infringements of human rights by Palestinian governments just so he would not be seen as partisan. Subsequently, Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority called for Falk’s resignation. In this job, you just can’t win.

In any case, Falk’s documenting of Israel’s crimes puts the lie to Peretz’s claim that Israel is “deeply committed to advancing human rights” and that documentation cannot be dismissed as a “sideshow.”

Relative to 64 years of ethnic cleansing, it is the militarily insignificant missiles out of Gaza that are the “sideshow.” And, can we honestly assume that Ms Peretz’s attitude toward Professor Falk would turn for the better if in this report he had mentioned Hamas?

Then there is United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. She echoed Peretz by describing Falk as being “highly biased.” Well, what sort of attitude is one suppose to have toward overwhelming evidence persisting over many years? Isn’t one supposed to be “biased” in favor of such evidence? To ignore it doesn’t make you balanced or fair. It makes you either corrupt or in a deep state of denial.

Ms Rice goes on to say that “Mr. Falk’s recommendations do nothing to further a peaceful settlement … and indeed poison the environment for peace.” These are pretty strong words, but if considered critically they make little sense.

First of all, Falk’s mandate requires him to reveal the facts about human rights violations in the Palestinian territories. He has not been assigned the job of “furthering a peaceful settlement.” That is what the U.S. government claims to be doing. And its record in this regard is pitiful.

Second, just why should conclusively documenting practices that may well be standing in the way of a settlement, be equated with “poisoning the environment for peace”?  That doesn’t add up at all. Isn’t an accurate understanding of the facts on the ground an important foundation for an equitable settlement?

There are many other spokespeople who have reacted negatively to Falk’s latest report ranging from the Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister to representatives of the companies caught on the wrong side of the law. And, remarkably, they all sing the same song: Falk is biased, ad nauseum.

They can do no better because they cannot refute the professor’s evidence. Thus, all of these well-positioned, well-paid representatives of nations and multinational businesses are reduced to making excuses and sounding like lawyers defending the Mafia.

Professor Falk’s experience should serve as a warning to both those who would, on the one hand, make a career out of being a spokesperson for governments or companies, and on the other, those who would dedicate themselves to “speaking truth to power.”

Taking on the role of the former is the equivalent of selling your soul to leadership whose sense of right and wrong goes no further than their own narrow interests. Taking on the role of the latter is to face seemingly endless frustration for, as Noam Chomsky once noted, power already knows the truth and doesn’t care one jot for it.

Yet, for those who would travel down the other road talking truth to power — Richard Falk is as good a role model as can be found.  Having dedicated himself to the role of truth-teller he is to be commended for his devotion to justice and sheer durability. He is a hero who, hopefully, will have his praises sung long after Ms. Peretz and Ms. Rice are deservedly forgotten.  

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

20 comments for “The War on Richard Falk

  1. fouad haidar
    November 11, 2012 at 10:16

    In the 30’s and the 40’s, had the Israelis of Europe opted to immigrate to Palestine lawfully through the Customs House, I am certain they could have become an indivisible part of Palestine since the Middle East has blended several cultures and religions into the local communities. It is shameful how the Israelis have not been able to decipher the mystery of their survival and they are going to resolve it only when they recognize the fact that “what is right is right” according to Alexander Pope in his “The Rape of the Lock.”

  2. borat
    November 8, 2012 at 19:51

    paschnshit, a legend in his own mind

  3. Otto Schiff
    November 6, 2012 at 16:33

    I am opposed to murder.
    This includes murder in Palestine, Viet Nam, Panama, Iraq,Germany, Poland, Russia,murder by Reagan, by Nixon and Kennedy etc.
    Murder is a bad habit.

    • paschn
      November 8, 2012 at 01:47

      Agree….Kennedy was dead-set against it too, right up to the moment those Central Bank shills blew his head apart for planning on eliminating the C.I.A. and signing E.O. #11110. Odd, Barry Sotero signs E.O. creating the NDAA and “kill” lists for our own citizens and is assigned a 2nd term by the powers that be…Kennedy signs one effectively running the Rothschild Central Bank out of town and gets his head blown off….then, of course, the “hero” of the terrorist attack on the USS Liberty rescinds the order and gets a “warm and fuzzy” from the Wall Street/FED RES crowd. Amazing what the cops/legislators/judges/FBI/CIA/NSA/DEA etc…etc…etc will do to their own people and country for a paycheck and dental insurance.

  4. paschn
    November 6, 2012 at 15:22

    Definate “proof of ownership”; murdered troops on the USS liberty, murdered 19 year old U.S. activist on the Marvi Mamara, (one in the back, four in the head…), Marine barracks in Beirut….Consequences for these (and more), Israeli acts of terror on U.S. citizens? Increased “gifts” of billions, more lip-prints of U.S. legislators on AIPAC’s butt. Apparently Turkey actually cares more about their citizens’ lives than AmeriKa does it’s people.

  5. paschn
    November 6, 2012 at 14:32

    had “the tribe” adopted that charter as little as 100 years ago, there’d have been tens of millions of “goy” able to enjoy their lives to a natural end rather than the one imposed by Rothschild et al.
    I wonder, is the ICRC still as apolitical as it once was as evidenced here;

  6. Otto Schiff
    November 5, 2012 at 15:28

    It looks to me as if Julius Streicher and Adolf Hitler are alive again.

    • paschn
      November 5, 2012 at 16:20

      Any possibility you might be related to the Kuhn/Loeb Schiff of Bolshevik mass-murder fame? I guess I could be compared to much worse than Hitler, considering that after the National Socialist Party booted the Central Bank out of Germany, they were again flourishing while the fools in AmeriKa were still starving and dying by the thousands and couldn’t find the balls or brains to rid themselves of the scourge causing their misery but DID allow themselves to be “duped” into(again),fighting a foreign war for the banksters in the City of London. So, to some degree, thanks!

      • Otto Schiff
        November 6, 2012 at 15:21

        I am not related to any bankers. I am a former German Jew, trained as a toolmaker. In Germany I had three choices for my future. Death by the Nazis,
        migration to Palestine or the US. Regardless of present policies sailing to Palestine saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of German Jews. Most of the land where the settled was purchased from the effendis by the Jewish National Fund (KKL).

        • paschn
          November 9, 2012 at 05:22

          Ahh, then may we assume that Palestine is “sponaneously” shrinking to nothing? possibly it was burned off from the White phosphorous used in “defensive” pre-emptive attacks against women/children and the unarmed?

          Much like what ocurred in the Ukraine when 7,000,000 human beings were “spontaneously” starved to death in 2 years?

    • paschn
      November 9, 2012 at 05:52

      Your “holy book”, the talmud, did that well over a thousand years ago;

      A Jew need not pay a gentile the wages owed him for work – BT Sanhedrin 57a.

      Here’s a good one;

      Jews may use lies (subterfuges) to circumvent a gentile – BT Baba Kamma 113a.

      This one speaks volumes re; “The Chosen”;

      “Since God already gave the Torah to the Jewish people on Mt. Sinai we no longer pay attention to heavenly voices. God must submit to the decisions of a majority vote of the Rabbis” – BT Bava Metzia 59b.

  7. paschn
    November 5, 2012 at 12:44

    As is the “norm” for your tribe, (flotilla piracy/murder), Ukraine,(holodomor), Rachal Corrie et al….I’m certain you’ll be checking them for weapons, verify their frailty,(elderly/sick), gender,before you gut them and nail their corpses to their very own barn doors, (Danzig Corridor), before you take their land, or will you simply use the judicial system you perverted? In closing, can you explain how the hell you plan on kicking asses “back” to their alternate “future”? Has the tribe discovererd how to corrupt the laws of time as well as most everything else in this dying world?

  8. paschn
    November 5, 2012 at 00:53

    “Over the past three decades, Israel has veered away from its founding commitments to justice”

    Really? To have “veered” would intimate that they were even remotely going in the same direction as “…justice”…..NOT!

    AmeriKa, (the vast majority of it’s “Christians” anyway), practice grovelling at the feet of the “Synagogue of Satan” with more zeal than they spend practicing their “Christian beliefs”. Is it possible they are hoping to get a coach seat on the express to heaven? From the instant they made the deal with Britain to sucker AmeriKa into WWI in exchange for Palestinian land, (Balfour Agreement), the vicious reptilians have done NOTHING but false flag/assassinate their way into the “Goy”, (all humans not of the tribe), consciousness. The only “Anti” which can be applied honestly to those psychopaths is the “Anti” they practice against the balance of mankind…which is why they’ve been booted out of hundreds of empires over the last few millenia. The list below only goes back to 250 A.D., (roughly 500 years BEFORE the Shamanistic Khazars embraced Talmudic “Judaism”. their direct decendants, (Ashkenazi), are over 90% of the population of the terrorist nation of Israel.

    Ahmadinejad/Putin have more honor, character and class than the entire Ashkenazi ruling class and the bloatflies in D.C. combined. If the “Christians” of the West would stop hoping for a stairway to Heaven by their discusting and cowardly grovelling before the money lenders and do even cursory study of the murdered Christ’s father’s book, they would see plainly that “the chosen” are “the chosen” by nothing more than their OWN edict and the power they have culled from that horrific holy book of theirs called the Talmud.

    Now, before you Western “Christians” start chirping about how full of hate I am, or what a filthy Anti-Semite I am….. I hate NO ONE and that includes main stream Muslims, (which in my opinion live their religeous beliefs a helluva lot more than either Western “Christians” OR Talmudic Judaism). The truth is just that, the truth. If more of you faithful “Christians” practiced your dogma HALF as faithfully as most Muslims you would have kicked the usurous Central Bank out of AmeriKa along WITH Wilson rather than spending trillions in money and blood to help the “money lenders” spread their slavery/usury across the entire globe, you bunch of arrogant, ignorant, hypocrites! After AmeriKa destroyed their LATEST Muslim nation that REFUSED to install the Central Bank that would enslave their people as the West has done, the filth set it up in less than 2 weeks after murdering Mr. Ghadafi.

    How can a “nation” built on terror, without either a constitution or bill of rights dupe you saps into laying the warm and fuzzies on them for rights they NEVER practiced on others and HARDLY practice on their fellow Ashkenazi citizens?
    The only thing more disgusting than the nation Judge Goldstone dubbed a terrorist nation is your fawning and boot-licking hoping to curry favor from the Sons of Satan.

  9. Aaron
    November 4, 2012 at 17:30


    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is related to land only, and absolutely nothing else. I personally believe that it can be settled according to international law. But if you really believe that what you call “Zionist puppet masters” from the dawn of time are dead set to provoke wars and global economic turmoil, then you better take off that tinfoil hat of yours.

    • Ahem
      November 4, 2012 at 22:15

      Dear Aaron, If you read your Old Testament, you’d discover that the Israelites have been on a mission since the beginning of their time to exterminate all people living in the supposed Promised Land. By their own historical record in the O.T., they were very successful. Carrying that thought process forward to modern times, the Israelites are actively committing genocide against the Palestinians for the same reasons. Yes, it is about the land, but it is more about killing the people whom the Israelites feel are subhuman and, therefore, disposable.

  10. Rich Beckmann
    November 4, 2012 at 16:51

    It’s not just in the last 30 years, Israel has been guilty of ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Palestinian people since the state was founded in 1948. Israel was founded on terrorism, from the Irgun, the Stern Gang, Menachim Begin, (who was imprisoned by the British for terrorist acts), the “commando” (terrorist) Ariel Sharon, the last two of whom were elected the Prime Minister of Israel.
    That my country, the USA, has bankrolled these thugs who boo-hoo every time the UN calls them to account for their crimes, is a war crime in itself.

  11. rosemerry
    November 4, 2012 at 15:58

    Notice the way Muslims are treated when they object to cartoons, while Falk’s clever and accurate depiction had to be removed (“antisemitic”, I expect they said).

    “Israel does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ.” what a surprise. The UN is ocked by Israel, but it bribes or smears nations to support it nonetheless. Falk, I remeber a few years ago was humiliated and held for hours then expelled from Israel without being allowed to enter Palestine. If the Israelis’ actions are so wonderful, what are they ashamed of him seeing?

  12. Otto Schiff
    November 4, 2012 at 15:53

    Comment on Rehmat.
    I agree with some of his comments. Buy
    Israel was behind 9/11 is a typical Rehmat slander.
    Show the proof.

  13. Eddie
    November 4, 2012 at 10:02

    Let me say (BEFORE ‘Rehmat’ & ‘borat/flat5’ offer their inevitable Manichaean polemics) that once again Prof Davidson brings a reasoned, morally proportionated response to the Israel / Palestine situation with this brief but incisive commentary.

    • incontinent reader
      November 4, 2012 at 11:12

      Well stated.

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