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UN's Falk Seeks Int'l Court Decision on Israeli 'Occupation'

UN's human rights expert Richard Falk says that if peace talks fail, the UN should seek an opinion on "Israel's occupation."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/30/2013, 6:13 AM

Richard Falk
Richard Falk
Reuters

Richard Falk, the United Nations’ human rights expert who has a history of anti-Israel statements, is at it again.

On Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, Falk said that if renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) fail, the UN General Assembly should turn to the International Court of Justice and seek an opinion on “the legal consequences of Israel's occupation of land claimed by the Palestinians."

If the General Assembly ever approved such a resolution, Israel would be highly unlikely to accept any ruling by the Hague-based court.

Falk made the recommendation to the General Assembly's human rights committee on Tuesday, according to AP. He referred to Israel's “occupation” as "an affront to international law."

Israel did not have any delegate speak at Tuesday's committee meeting. Israel's UN Mission had no immediate comment.

Falk has repeatedly locked horns with Israel, the United States, Canada and some human rights groups for positions including labeling Israel's 2008 counterterror offensive in Gaza a war crime and urging a boycott of companies helping Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.

He has compared Israelis to Nazis and criticized Israel for keeping Islamic Jihad terrorist Khader Adnan in custody, even after a video of him pleading for suicide bombers to “carry the next explosive belt” was exposed.

Falk responded by criticizing the Jewish State and condemning the procedure of administrative detention, a procedure that also is used by the United States. He also castigated Israel for lack of compassion for the Islamic Jihad spokesman who launched a hunger strike in order to pressure Israel to release him.

Falk has also come under fire for his anti-Israel bias from UN Watch, a lobby group affiliated with the American Jewish Committee.

He recently publicly called on the UN to investigate and potentially expel the watchdog organization, after it mobilized world leaders to condemn his comments blaming the Boston Marathon bombings on “the American global domination project” and “Tel Aviv.”

In April, Canada asked the rights council for Falk's departure after UN Watch highlighted the comments he made about the Boston bombings. Washington has also said he should quit his UN role, which like other rights monitors at the world body he holds on an unpaid, voluntary basis.

Falk, however, insists he will not step down and claims his opponents were trying to silence his criticism of the Jewish state by labelling him as an anti-Semitic.

"I don't intend to resign, and there doesn't seem to be any formal initiative that is seeking my dismissal," Falk said in June, a day after calling for an international investigation of Israel's treatment of Palestinian Authority terrorist prisoners.

The 82-year-old has rejected claims of anti-Semitism, saying they were "hurtful" and "completely malicious", given that he is Jewish himself.