The United Nations Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories suggested that Palestinians would be justified in choosing violent means to achieve their goals, leading one major Jewish American group to express outrage.
In defending an article penned by a Palestinian writer who contributes to the radical anti-Israel site, the Electronic Intifada, U.N. official Richard Falk writes: "The burden of [Linah Alsaafin’s] excellent article is the insistence that it is for the Palestinians, and only the Palestinians, to decide on the forms and nature of their resistance. … She persuasively insists that for sympathetic observers and allies to worship at the altar of Palestinian non-violence is to cede to the West the authority to determine what are acceptable and unacceptable forms of Palestinian struggle."
Falk’s essay was published at his personal WordPress blog as well as at al-Jazeera.
Alsaafin’s essay, which was posted on Electronic Intafada, is titled, "How obsession with ‘non-violence’ harms the Palestinian cause."
Falk, a vociferous critic of Israel, received a sharp rebuke from B’nai B’rith International, an organization established to protect Jewry worldwide.
"Falk’s implication, as a representative of the United Nations human rights apparatus, that Israelis may legitimately be targeted with violence clearly demonstrates he is unfit for the position he holds," the group said in a statement calling for Falk’s removal from the U.N.
Falk followed up his defense of Palestinian violence by blaming American Jews and the U.S. government for "Palestinian hardship."
"I formed a well-evidence [sic] belief that the U.S. Government and the organized Jewish community were responsible for the massive and enduring confiscation of Palestinian land and rights," Falk wrote.
B’nai B’rith decried Falk’s "anti-Israel animus" and characterized his position as "shocking."
"In effect, he has endorsed the premises motivating all too many jihadists and other dangerous extremists around the world," the group said. "B’nai B’rith once again calls for Falk’s removal from his U.N. position."
One prominent D.C. official called Falk's remarks "completely outrageous."
"This is completely outrageous and needs to be condemned at the highest levels [of the UN], by the secretary general himself," the source said. "There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of rhetoric from someone representing the UN and human rights, supposedly."