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UN Watch Briefing

Analysis and Commentary from UN Watch in Geneva
January 27, 2011 — Issue 272


UN Watch Wins Global Condemnation of U.N.
Palestine Expert For Denying 9/11 Terror Attacks
After UNW Exposes Noxious Remarks, U.N. Official Richard Falk
Roundly Condemned by U.N. Chief, U.S. Gov't, and Media Worldwide

Chronology of Events
Thursday, Jan. 20:  UN Watch takes action and files complaint with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, demanding he condemn Richard Falk, the U.N. Human Rights Council's permanent investigator on "Israel's violations of the principles of international law," for his latest remarks suggesting that the U.S. government -- and not Al Qaeda terrorists -- destroyed the World Trade Center. The protest came as part of UN Watch's 3-year campaign to expose and combat Falk's denial and justification of Hamas and Al Qaeda terrorism, and his material support for 9/11 conspiracy theorists. At the daily U.N. press briefing, when Matthew Lee of Inner City Press asks for a response, the Secretary-General's spokesman says they don't comment on independent experts.
Friday, Jan. 21: The New York Daily News picks up the story and publishes editorial: "When will the lunacy reach such heights that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon realizes his so-called Human Rights Council is wrecking what little reputation the world body has left?  ... Ignore those jetliners crashing into the towers, is Falk's advice. Who are you going to believe, your own eyes or him and his friends? Ban should ring down the curtain on this grotesque buffoonery. He should force out Falk forthwith..."
Monday, Jan. 24: The United Nations sends letter to UN Watch with unprecedented condemnation of a U.N. Human Rights Council official : "The Secretary-General condemns [Falk's] remarks. He has repeatedly stated his view that any such suggestion is preposterous — and an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack."  UN Watch immediately releases the letter to the public, and calls for the U.N. to fire Falk.

Tuesday, Jan. 25: U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice condemns Falk and echoes UN Watch's call for him to be fired: "Mr. Falk’s comments are despicable and deeply offensive, and I condemn them in the strongest terms... The United States is deeply committed to the cause of human rights and believes that cause will be better advanced without Mr. Falk and the distasteful sideshow he has chosen to create." Ambassador Eileen C. Donahoe, the U.S. envoy to the Human Rights Council, also speaks out

On the same day, in a Geneva address to the member and observer states of the Human Rights Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeats his condemnation of Falk: "Recently, there was a Special Rapporteur who suggested there was an 'apparent cover-up' in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. I want to tell you, clearly and directly. I condemn this sort of inflammatory rhetoric. It is preposterous – an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in that tragic terrorist attack.”  Click for Video

SUCCESS: UN Watch's campaign led to the unprecedented international condemation of Richard Falk, who exploits his U.N. position to justify and deny Hamas and Al Qaeda terrorism. It sparked dozens of news stories worldwide, as shown in the sample below. All of this succeeded in finally puncturing Falk's undeserved halo as a "human rights expert." For the first time ever, the U.N. itself had condemned Falk, and in the strongest terms. As a result, Falk's credibility in the international arena is now at zero.



"Pop the cork on a tiny champagne bottle. Even at the uberdiplomatic, superbureaucratic United Nations, reprehensible remarks have consequences. Yesterday came word, according to the nonprofit group UN Watch, that Falk got a long-overdue reprimand. Citing our editorial and its own protests, UN Watch posted a letter just received from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar... Ban has no power to remove Falk, who was appointed independently by the council. But he has laid down a marker. Every great journey begins with one small step."  -- NY Daily News editorial, Jan. 25, 2011.   more....


  "U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned 'preposterous' comments by a U.N.-appointed expert on Palestinian rights that there was a cover-up over the Sept. 11 attacks...In a letter to Ban last Thursday, UN Watch director Hillel Neuer called on the U.N. chief to 'strongly condemn Mr. Falk's offensive remarks -- and immediately remove him from his post.'" — "UN chief condemns rights expert's 9/11 comments," Reuters, Jan. 25, 2011.   more...

"Hillel Neuer, UN Watch Executive Director, said: 'We welcome the Secretary-General's unequivocal condemnation of the despicable comments by this official of the U.N. Human Rights Council, and we urge Mr. Ban, together with U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay, to take the next logical step and call on Falk -- who is a serial offender with zero credibility -- to be removed.'” — "Ki-moon condemns UN official over a 9/11 statement," Al Arabiya News, Jan. 25, 2010more...


"UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office condemned Richard Falk... In a letter to Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the secretary-general’s spokesman Vijay Nambiar wrote that Falk’s remarks were “an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack.”   Neuer said he was generally pleased with the secretary-general’s response, but hoped that the head of the Human Rights Council would oust Falk.” — J. Horn, "Falk's 9-11 remarks are 'condemned' by UN sec.-gen.," Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2011.  more...


"A plusieurs reprises, cet expert indépendant a fait part publiquement de ses doutes sur les attentats du 11 septembre 2001, ce qui lui vaut d'être qualifié notamment par l'ONG UN Watch de théoricien du 'complot'" -- "Ban critique un Rapporteur de l'ONU pour des propos sur le 11 Septembre," Agence France Presse, Jan. 25, 2011. more...

"In a letter to Ban last Thursday, UN Watch director Hillel Neuer called on the UN chief to 'strongly condemn Mr. Falk's offensive remarks and immediately remove him from his post.'"-- Natasha Mozgovaya and Shlomo Shamir, "Ban Ki-moon condemns UN Palestinian human rights official for backing 9/11 slurs," Haaretz, Jan. 25, 2011.  more...

"Non-governmental organisation UN Watch, which has frequently been at odds with Falk over his sharp criticism of Israeli rights violations against the Palestinians, had complained about repeated doubts raised by Falk about September 11. Last week, it urged Ban to fire the US-based academic and legal expert." -- "UN chief condemns 9/11 'cover-up' claims," Agence France Presse, Jan. 25, 2011.   more...

"UN Watch, a pressure group that monitors the organisation, has called for Prof Falk to be sacked. Hilel Neuer, the group's chief executive, described him as 'a serial offender with zero credibility.'" -- J. Swaine, "UN human rights official claims 9/11 was US plot," The Telegraph, Jan. 25, 2011.  

"The United States demanded today that the U.N. expert on Palestinian human rights be fired for suggesting that 9/11 was carried out by the U.S. government and then covered up by the American media... 'The independent experts who represent the Human Rights Council are appointed by the council, not by the secretary-general. Their continuance in their jobs is thus for the council to decide,' Vijay Nambiar, Ban's chief of staff, told U.N. Watch, the Geneva-based nongovernmental organization that monitors the U.N.” — B. Sharma, "US Wants UN Human Rights Expert Fired for 9/11 Comments,AOL News, Jan. 25, 2011more...

  "A U.N. expert on Palestinian human rights who suggested there was a cover-up over the Sept. 11 attacks should be fired, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said on Tuesday. In a letter to Ban last Thursday, UN Watch, a Geneva-based advocacy group, called on the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to 'strongly condemn Mr. Falk's offensive remarks and immediately remove him from his post.'" — Louis Charbonneau, "US: UN expert should be fired for Sept 11 remarks," Reuters, Jan. 25, 2011.   more... 

"It was terrible enough that the council installed a retired Princeton University professor named Richard Falk, who believes that Jews are Nazis, in charge of finding human rights violations in the Palestinian territories... But the professor doesn't limit his whackadoo world view to Israel..." -"Ban Ki Moon is letting the Israel-bashers of the Human Rights Council make the UN look bad," NY Daily News, January 21, 2011.   more...

"Den 20 januari krävde ordförande för UN-Watch, Hillel Neuer, att FN:s generalsekreterare Ban Ki-Moon genast skulle avskeda Rikard Falk som är FN:s rapportör för de palestinska områdena.” — Dilsa Demirbag-Sten, "Omotiverad FN-beundran," Göteborgs-Posten (Sweden), Jan. 21, 2011.