Hillel Neuer
International human rights lawyer, writer & activist
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Why the UK should expel UN official Richard Falk

A long history of anti-Semitic incitement should make the choice clear for Downing Street


This evening in Britain, Richard Falk – the UN official whose mandate is to investigate “Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law” – will speak at the University of East Anglia, at the invitation of a Green Party activist.

Months after Britain denied entry to two U.S. bloggers whom it accused of promoting anti-Islamic sentiment, it is far from clear why the government is now applying a double standard by welcoming Falk – a notorious Hamas supporter, 9/11 conspiracist, and promoter of anti-Semitic theories, cartoons, and books – whom the UK government itself has officially condemned on at least three separate occasions for promoting what it described as anti-Semitism.

In blocking the American bloggers, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, the UK government in June found that their presence in the country was “not conducive to the public good” because they made statements that “may foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”

Are Falk’s actions and statements any less hateful?

Consider the facts.

Falk is the only UN expert in history to have been condemned for racism by Britain, or any other member state of the European Union.

The Home Secretary Theresa May need only consult with her colleagues, British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant, and Philippa Thompson, Deputy Team Leader of the Equality and Non-Discrimination Team within the Human Rights & Democracy Department of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who recently examined and addressed Mr. Falk’s racism.

This UK Non-Discrimination Team determined that Falk’s recent writings are “resonant of the longstanding antisemitic practice of blaming Jews (through the State of Israel by proxy) for all that is wrong in the world.”

The Home Secretary should know what her own government has already determined concerning Falk’s racist statements and actions:

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron “strongly condemned” Falk’s 2011 publication of an antisemitic cartoon, showing a dog wearing a Jewish head-covering urinating on a depiction of justice and devouring a bloody skeleton. Falk was also condemned for this racist act by British MPs David Burrowes and Theresa Villiers.
  • The British Foreign Office last year condemned Falk for providing the cover endorsement of a book that asks whether “Hitler might have been right after all.” The UK Mission in Geneva protested to the UN human rights office, expressing London’s “serious concerns.” The book endorsed by Falk, “The Wandering Who,” also accuses “the Jews” of being “the only people who managed to maintain and sustain a racially orientated, expansionist and genocidal national identity that is not at all different from Nazi ethnic ideology.” This book is so vile that it has been denounced by even the most virulent anti-Israel activists within the UK, condemned as racist, for example, by Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah. Tony Greenstein, a proud member of the English group “Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods,” rebuked Falk for endorsing the anti-Semitic book as a “transformative” work.
  • The British Mission to the United Nations condemned Mr. Falk’s April 19, 2013 vile comments blaming the Boston terrorist attack on “the American global domination project” and “Tel Aviv.” Britain called Falk’s words “anti-Semitic.” The UK highlighted that it was the third time the British Government had to condemn Falk’s anti-Semitism. Falk was also denounced for his comments by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and other world leaders.

In addition the Home Secretary should note:

•  That Falk is so extreme in his support for the Hamas terrorist organization that even the Palestinian Authority – as revealed in a Wikleaks cable, and which Falk himself admits – has sought to remove him, on grounds that he is a “partisan of Hamas.”

•  That Falk recently published an article attempting to downplay, reinterpret and justify the latest call by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to destroy Israel.

•  That Falk accused Israel of planning a Palestinian Holocaust, prompting a bloc of dictatorships, including Bashar al-Assad’s Syria and Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, to successfully nominate him as the UN Human Rights Council’s expert on Palestine.

•  That Falk is one of the world’s most high-profile supporters of the leading 9/11 conspiracy theorists, lending his name to those who accuse the U.S. government of orchestrating the destruction of the Twin Towers as a pretext to launch wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

•  That Falk actively promotes the writings of David Ray Griffin, a disciple and close friend of Falk who has produced 12 books describing the World Trade Center attack as “an inside job.”

•  That Falk not only contributed the Foreword to Griffin’s 2004 “The New Pearl Harbor” – praising the author’s “patience,” “fortitude,” “courage,” and “intelligence” – but Griffin credits Falk for getting the book published, and also specially thanks Falk’s wife, Hilal Elver, someone who remains a member of Human Rights Watch’s Santa Barbara Committee, from which Falk was expelled following a protest by UN Watch.

•  That Falk has repeatedly appeared on the “” show of Kevin Barrett, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist and Holocaust skeptic who rails against the “ethnic Jews” who he says run Washington and the media, a show on which Falk has endorsed Barrett’s “good work” while also praising Iranian tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

•  That in 2011 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took the floor of the Human Rights Council to issue an unprecedented condemnation of Falk’s 9/11 remarks, saying they were “preposterous” and “an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in that tragic terrorist attack.”

•  That U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice in 2011 denounced Falk’s comments as “despicable and deeply offensive,” and condemned Falk’s “one-sided and politicized approach,” saying his words were “so noxious that it should finally be plain to all that he should no longer continue in his position,” and that “the cause of human rights will be better advanced without Mr. Falk and the distasteful sideshow he has chosen to create.”

•  That in reaction to Falk’s April 19, 2013 justification of the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman said: “The Secretary-General rejects Mr. Falk’s comments” which “undermine the credibility and the work of the United Nations.”

•  That former U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice stated that, “Someone who spews such vitriol has no place at the UN.” The U.S. Mission to the United Nations condemned Falk’s “provocative and offensive” remarks, and the “absurdity” of his service as a UN human rights expert.

•  That Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird slammed Falk’s “mean-spirited, anti-Semitic rhetoric” and called for him to be kicked out of the UN, saying “The United Nations should be ashamed to even be associated with such an individual.”

•  That U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and numerous members of the U.S. Congress condemned Falk’s remarks.

Was Prime Minister Cameron sincere, and his officials, when they publicly condemned Falk’s racist hatred, on three separate occasions?

Was the Foreign Office sincere when its anti-discrimination expert Philippa Thompson explained in detail how Falk promotes anti-Semitism?

I believe so. And to prove it, the Home Secretary should acknowledge that Falk’s actions are “not conducive to the public good” and act forthwith to remove him.

About the Author
Hillel Neuer is executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights organization in Geneva, Switzerland. An international lawyer, Neuer has been described by the Tribune de Genève as a human rights activist who is “feared and dreaded” by the world’s dictatorships. Israel's Ma’ariv newspaper ranked Neuer as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Jewish People in the World.” Hillel Neuer is a renowned speaker who has published widely, testified before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress, and appeared on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. On September 14, 2016, the City of Chicago adopted a resolution declaring “Hillel Neuer Day” in recognition of his work as “one of the world’s foremost human rights advocates.” In June 2018, McGill University awarded Neuer with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, citing his work as “an innovator” in “creating global platforms for courageous dissidents and champions of human rights from around the world,” and for being “a passionate advocate for human rights, fighting tirelessly against discrimination, torture, and injustice."