JNS.org – Richard Falk, the special rapporteur for the Palestinian territories with the U.N. Human Rights Council who called for the closure of the watchdog group U.N. Watch on the grounds that it is a “pro-Israel lobbying organization,” on Tuesday slammed his critics for playing the “anti-Semitic card” against him.
“What I believe those forces that have been attacking me are doing, which I think is very unfortunate, is to use the anti-Semitic card as a way of intimidating people who speak honestly about the shortcomings of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians and to make it appear as if criticizing Israel is tantamount to what everybody agrees to be objectionable, which is anti-Semitism,” Falk said at a news briefing, Reuters reported.
Eileen Donahoe, U.S. Representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council, said Falk is “unfit to serve in his role as a U.N. special rapporteur.” Falk said U.N. Watch should be investigated to see if it “is not indirectly sponsored by the Government of Israel,” and said the group is carrying out “character assassination against him.”
Falk in an April article for the Foreign Policy Journal blamed the Boston Marathon explosions on Israel, writing, “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.” Last last fall he issued a report calling for a boycott of companies doing business with Israel, and in 2011 he posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on his blog.
But Falk defended himself Tuesday by saying the response to his actions “tries to paint anti-Israeli criticism as a form of anti-Semitism.”