x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UN investigator draws ire for linking Boston bombings to Washington's Israel policy

Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who has previously compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians with the horrors of Nazi Germany.

GENEVA // A UN special investigator has linked the Boston marathon bombings to the United States' superpower status and Washington's policy on Israel, drawing the ire Wednesday of top UN and government officials.

Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, wrote about the attacks in an April 21 commentary in Foreign Policy Journal that "the American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world".

Falk also said "as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy." He said President Barack Obama hasn't adopted a "more balanced approach to the Palestine/Israel impasse." Instead, Falk accused Obama of "succumbing to the Beltway ethos of Israel first".

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said in response to reporters' questions Wednesday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rejects Mr Falk's comments, which could undermine the UN's credibility and work. "The secretary-general immediately condemned the Boston marathon bombing and he strongly believes that nothing can justify such an attack," Nesirky said.

The British and US missions to the UN in New York and the advocacy groups Anti-Defamation League and UN Watch all questioned Mr Falk's capabilities for the UN job.

In a statement, the British mission said this is "the third time we have had cause to express our concerns about Mr Falk's anti-Semitic remarks. It is important to the UK that special rapporteurs uphold the highest standards in their work and we have twice previously made clear that remarks by Mr Falk were unacceptable."

Israel has barred Mr Falk, who reports to the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, from visiting the Palestinian territories because he has compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians with the horrors of Nazi Germany. He also is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.