Friday, October 26, 2012

Canada says UN official who called for Israel boycott should quit

Editors Note: Join Richard Falk in attracting the ire of Canada!  Boycott Israel.

Toronto Sun
David Akin

OTTAWA - Canada joined the United States and Israel late Thursday night in calling for the resignation of a United Nations official charged with monitoring and reporting on human rights in the Palestinian territories.

That official, Richard Falk, the UN's special rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, called for a worldwide boycott earlier Thursday of companies tied to Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

That recommendation was immediately condemned by the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who called Falk's call to action "irresponsible and unacceptable," and said it would "poison the environment for peace."

A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Rick Roth, said Falk's intervention was "offensive and unhelpful but not overly surprising."

In the past, Falk, a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, once compared the state of Israel to Nazi Germany, the Associated Press reported.

He also once wrote on his blog that there was "an apparent coverup" by the U.S. over the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He also once posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on his blog, though he later removed it.

"Richard Falk has a long history of making outrageous statements, and frankly, has only tarnished the reputation and integrity of the United Nations," Roth said.

Falk listed 13 companies that ought to be boycotted -- including Volvo, Caterpillar Hewlett Packard and Motorola -- in his report to the UN General Assembly

"Mr. Falk has not only done a disservice to the United Nations, but also to the Palestinian people," Roth said. "Canada calls on Mr. Falk to either withdraw this biased and disgraceful report - or resign from his position at the United Nations."

Caterpillar said in a statement that Falk's report was inaccurate and misleading, and "reflects his personal and negative opinions toward Israel." The company said it sells products to the U.S. government, which are then sent to Israel.

Hewlett Packard said Falk was "far from an independent and unbiased expert in this matter," and that the company has a strong human rights policy and complies with the highest standards in every market in which they operate.

-- With files from Reuters

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