U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Israel news photo: Flash 90

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, on Thursday slammed United Nations special rapporteur Richard Falk's call for a boycott of private companies accused of profiting from the so-called “illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank” as being “irresponsible and unacceptable.”

Falk singled out U.S. companies including Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard along with other multinationals in a report to the U.N. on Thursday. 

“My main recommendation is that the businesses highlighted in the report — as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise — should be boycotted, until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards,” Falk said in a statement emailed by the UN.

“In short, businesses should not breach international humanitarian law provisions. Nor should they be complicit in any breaches,” he charged. “If they do, they may be subject to criminal or civil liability. And this liability can be extended to individual employees of such businesses.”

The U.S. delegation has repeatedly clashed with Falk over his anti-Israeli bias and his suggestion of a U.S. cover-up in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“Throughout his tenure as Special Rapporteur, Mr. Falk has been highly biased and made offensive statements, including outrageous comments on the 9/11 attacks,” Rice said.

“Mr. Falk’s recommendations do nothing to further a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and indeed poison the environment for peace. His continued service in the role of a UN Special Rapporteur is deeply regrettable and only damages the credibility of the UN,” Rice added.

Falk is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and was appointed as special rapporteur in 2008 to a six-year term.