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US calls for UN Rapporteur resignation over Israel criticism

January 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm

America’s representative to the UN Human Rights Council, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, has called for the resignation of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, media reports said on Monday. Donahoe’s demand was made after Richard Falk called for an investigation into the Geneva-based NGO UN Watch to ensure that it is not controlled by Israel.

Falk, who is very critical of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, accuses UN Watch of “demeaning and defaming” his character, and damaging the “credibility, effectiveness and substantive intention” of his mandate. “This is to divert attention from the message and shifts public interest away,” he said.

The Special Rapporteur’s latest report about the Palestinian territories says that Israel continues to annex Palestinian territory and persists in demolishing Palestinians’ homes and populating Palestine with Israeli citizens.

“Israel [also] maintains a policy of collectively punishing 1.75 million Palestinians through its imposition of a blockade on the Gaza Strip,” wrote Falk. “And Israel prosecutes its occupation with impunity, refusing to accept the world’s calls to respect international law.”

The professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University calls in his report for a boycott of companies conducting business with Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Donahoe denounced Falk’s report: “His views and behaviour, both official and unofficial, are offensive and provocative and do nothing to advance peace in the Middle East or to further the protection and promotion of human rights. We again call for his resignation.”