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Monday, April 29, 2013

Rare Victory: UN Reverses Course, Condemns Richard Falk - UN Watch

Rare Victory: UN Reverses Course, Condemns Richard Falk

Falk's defenders lash out: “UN Watch crafted the smoking gun—better watch itself”

Good News: Thanks to a firestorm sparked by UN Watch, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon -- after initially refusing to act -- has finally accepted UN Watch's demand and condemned UN Palestine expert Richard Falk for justifying the Boston terrorist attack as a form of “resistance” to the sins of America and Israel. As a result, UN Watch is now under attack.

Here’s how it all happened.

Last week: Richard Falk -- whom we got expelled from the group Human Rights Watch in December, but still serves on the tyrant-controlled UN Human Rights Council -- published an article pinning the blame for the Boston bombings on “the American global domination project.”

It got worse: “[A]s long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment,” wrote Falk, “those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy.”

Here was a top UN official telling Boston’s victims that they got what they deserved, and that America and Israel were to blame. His words of hate were quickly disseminated by Iran's state-controlled Press TV, AlJazeera.com, and bloggers worldwide.

Yet the United Nations was silent. Its Human Rights Council was silent. Its High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, was silent. Falk's academic colleagues were silent. The world was silent.

Monday: UN Watch broke the silence. In a detailed letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, we exposed Falk’s despicable remarks; spotlighted its ignominious messages; and demanded action.

UN Watch circulated the story to thousands of journalists worldwide, launched a barrage of press releases, statements, and blog posts, and posted the basic facts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

There was a quick response from Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman: “The Secretary-General did not appoint him and is not responsible for his views.” The UN was refusing to act. No one would take responsibility.

Tuesday: UN Watch ramped up the campaign. We challenged Mr. Ban’s silence, noting the UN chief had condemned an unheard-of figure in the US who insulted Islam, but refused to do the same when a major figure of his own organization insulted America.

Reporters at the UN, led by distinguished Fox News reporter Jonathan Wachtel, pressed for comment.

Again, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman refused, saying: “Richard Falk speaks independently... he is free to say what he wants to say.” The UN was doubling down.

By now, however, UN Watch’s campaign began bearing fruit. Stories began appearing in newspapers and blogs worldwide, in Canada’s National Post, Italy’s ANSA news agency, in Fox News articles and TV debates, and in a Wall Street Journal column entitled “What the Falk?”

At 3:00 pm, the U.S. Mission publicly condemned Falk’s “provocative and offensive” remarks, and the “absurdity” of his service as a UN human rights expert.

“Someone who spews such vitriol has no place at the UN,” said Ambassador Rice, in a Twitter post quickly endorsed by former Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio.

This caused the story to spread further, reported by top news site Politico, Nederlands Dagblad, the Kuwait News Agency, and many others.

Wednesday: Faced with mounting pressure, the United Nations finally reversed course.At 12:07 pm, speaking at the daily press briefing, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman announced: “The Secretary-General rejects Mr. Falk’s comments [which] “undermine the credibility and the work of the United Nations.”

Now the story went viral, with global headlines from the Associated Press and Reuters: “U.N. CHIEF SCOLDS ENVOY FOR IMPLYING U.S. POLICY SPARKED BOSTON ATTACK.”

There was more:
The British Mission blasted Falk’s “antisemitic” remarks, highlighting it was the third time they had to do so.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird slammed Falk’s “mean-spirited, anti-Semitic rhetoric” and called for him to be kicked out of the UN. “The United Nations should be ashamed to even be associated with such an individual,” he added.
The U.S. Congress is circulating a letter, authored by Rep. Mike Kelly (R–PA), calling for Falk to be removed. Condemnatory letters have also been sent to the UN by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ).

Falk’s defenders have now begun to rally, lashing out against UN Watch in angry manifestos. “UN Watch crafts the smoking gun,” screams a headline on Mondoweiss, a leading anti-Israel website.

A propaganda news site of the Chinese Communist Party insists Falk did nothing wrong, saying he was condemned because of a “lie” told by “the Zionist 'UN Watch'.”

Finally, Jeremy R. Hammond, the 9/11 Truther whose website published Falk’s article, warns: “UN Watch Better Watch Itself.”

Why are they all so outraged?

Because UN Watch's swift, articulate and effective campaign caused the world body’s most vicious hater of America, Israel, and Western democratic society to be exposed, denounced, and discredited by world leaders—including by the head of the United Nations himself.

It was about time.







Issue 428 - UN Watch

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