Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prof. Falk, special rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council, unwelcome in Israel

Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)

As part of Israel's well established policy of constructive engagement in international scrutiny and dialogue, and its cooperation with various international mechanisms, Israel has welcomed in the past three years the visits of seven special rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council, one special representative of the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
However, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories is particularly biased and distorted: not only is it the only Human Rights Council mandate not to have been revised and modified since 1992, it also dictates pre-established conclusions to the report, regardless of any real inquiry and findings by the Rapporteur.

The mandate also ignores all human rights violations by Palestinians, either against Israelis or against other Palestinians. Thus, the rapporteur is prevented from considering, even if he wanted to, the issue of Human Rights violations by Palestinians.
In the case of Prof. Richard Falk, beyond the imbalance inherent in his mandate, the bias is further exacerbated by the highly politicized views of the rapporteur himself, in legitimizing Hamas terrorism and drawing shameful comparisons to the Holocaust. In light of his vehement publications in the past, it is hard to square his appointment with the requirements of the Council's own internal procedures which call for the appointment of mandate holders who are impartial, objective and possess the quality of personal integrity.

Hence, Israel has made clear, that Mr. Falk was not invited, nor would be welcome in Israel, under his capacity as special rapporteur. Notwithstanding Israel's reservation, it has nevertheless facilitated Mr. Falk's visit to Israel in June 2008 under his personal capacity, in order to attend an academic event. However, this visit was abused by him for the purpose of presenting an imbalanced report before the Third Committee during the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly this year.
Mr. Falk's recent attempt to arrive uninvited under his capacity as special rapporteur, fully aware of Israel's clear reservation, stands in marked contrast to the Manual of Operations of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, adopted in June 2008, which stresses the necessity of consent and coordination with the state concerned, and was therefore denied.
עד כאן.
מח' מידע ואינטרנט – אגף תקשורת
16 דצמבר 2008

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