Only so many ways one can state the UN is anti-American and anti-Israel

The UN Is All Falk

By Aaron Goldstein—— Bio and Archives--December 17, 2008

World | Comments | Print Friendly | Subscribe | Email Us

It has been nearly two years since I last wrote about the United Nations at length.


Writing about the UN is tiresome because aside from different names and different titles the story is the same.  After all, there are only so many ways one can state the UN is anti-American and anti-Israel. 

But the time has come for me to write about the UN again even though writing about the UN is lot like going out to a night club.  It reminds you of why you don’t go out to night clubs in the first place.  You do your best to forget the whole experience until you put on your best clothes and go out again.

I am writing about the United Nations because I have two questions that need asking.  First, how is the incoming Obama Administration going to interact with it?  Second, why does the UN insist on appointing dubious people to positions of responsibility? 

The Left scorned the Bush Administration for what they perceived as his disdain for the UN.  Of course, it wasn’t that the Bush Administration disdained the UN.  He merely questioned its raison d’être or more precisely its relevance with regard to its willingness to enforce its own Security Council Resolutions.  The UN didn’t exactly have Saddam Hussein quivering in his boots.  The same can now be said for Iran.

With President-elect Barack Obama keen to improve America’s image in the world whether it needs improving or not the apparatchiks at the UN will welcome his Administration with open arms.  But like everyone else the UN has high expectations of him.

For many UN officials the best way for Obama to get into their good graces is for the United States to attend the Durban II Conference in Geneva next April.  Of course, who could forget the original Durban Conference on Racism just days before the September 11th attacks?  During the conference, Israel was accused of racism, ethnic cleansing, being an Apartheid state and, for good measure, genocide.  This prompted both the Israeli and American delegations to walk out in protest.  Israel was the only country singled out for acts of racism at the conference

With Iran on the planning committee for Durban II I think we know how this one is going to turn out.  Israel won’t attend and neither will Canada.  President-elect Obama has privately assured Jewish leaders in this country the United States will not attend.  However, no decision has been formally made which leaves open the possibility Obama might send Hillary Clinton to Geneva to implement the principles agreed to at Durban in 2001.  As renowned UN expert Anne Bayefsky wrote in National Review Online on December 16, 2008, “Durban II is no place for the United States.”  (Please note that several of my articles on the UN appear at eyeontheun.org, a website edited by Bayefsky.) 

If Obama opts out of Durban II perhaps there is hope for him after all.  If he doesn’t it would be an indication that America’s image in the world is more important to him than the views of the American people.  If he chooses to send a delegation to Durban II, Obama would legitimize those who wish to de-legitimize Israel out of existence.  He would also betray the trust of those he assured that the United States would not attend this Kafkaesque assembly of miscreants. 

The UN is certainly in no position to lecture the United States about its image.  What does it say about the United Nations that it one of its bodies would appoint as its Special Rapporteur on Israel a man who compares Israel to the Nazis, was an apologist for the Ayatollah Khomeinei and is sympathetic to the so-called “9/11 truth movement’?  Richard Falk, a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and now the UN Special Rapporteur on so-called Israeli human rights abuses, characterizes Israeli treatment of Palestinians as “genocidal” and warns of “a Palestinian Holocaust in the making.”

Two days before Falk was appointed Special Rapporteur he called upon the U.S. government to investigate the role neo-conservatives might have played in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Even Falk’s predecessor, the notorious John Dugard didn’t publicly venture into that territory. 

Needless to say, the UN Human Rights Council knew exactly what it was doing when they appointed Falk to a six-year term. Simply put, appointing Richard Falk to investigate human rights abuses in Israel would be like appointing Michael Vick to investigate animal cruelty or putting Ted Bundy in charge of a private girls’ school. 

When Falk’s appointment was announced in March 2008, Israel made it clear that he would not be welcome in the country.  True to its word, when Falk tried to enter Israel on December 15th he was detained and expelled.  The UN immediately sprung into action to condemn Israel.  Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, called Falk’s expulsion “unprecedented and deeply regrettable.”  Pillay can regret Falk’s expulsion all she wants but it is hardly unprecedented.  In October 2006, Sudan expelled Jan Pronk, a UN special envoy appointed by then Secretary General Kofi Annan for comments he made against the Sudanese government on his blog.  The Sudanese government also expelled Dr. Mukesh Kapila of the UN Development Program in 2004 under a similar set of circumstances.  Either Pillay is poorly informed or simply isn’t being truthful.  As for Pronk and Kapila at least they actually observed what was going on in Sudan.  Falk condemned Israel before he even set foot in it. 

For it part, the UN washes its hands by stating appointments are up to its member states.  The problem with that argument is that people like Falk are appointed under the auspices of the UN.  People like Falk draft their correspondence and documentation are under UN letterhead and people like Falk are compensated by the UN for their work.  Whether it likes it or not, Richard Falk is representing the UN when he “investigates” Israel.  For those who like to criticize the United States for its global image the United Nations seems to care very little about its own.  The UN is all Falk. 

Aaron Goldstein was a card carrying member of the socialist New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP). Since 09/11, Aaron has reconsidered his ideological inclinations and has become a Republican.  Aaron lives and works in Boston.


Only YOU can save CFP from Social Media Suppression. Tweet, Post, Forward, Subscribe or Bookmark us

Guest Column Aaron Goldstein -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Items of notes and interest from the web.

Commenting Policy

Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. As a privately owned website, we reserve the right to remove any comment and ban any user at any time.

Comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence and death, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal or abusive attacks on other users may be removed and result in a ban.
-- Follow these instructions on registering: