Roskam: Fire U.N. Official Who Blamed U.S. Policy for Bombings

Top House Republican calls for U.N. official's termination in letter to Ban Ki-moon

Rep. Peter Roskam (AP)
April 30, 2013

A top House Republican has called on the United Nations to fire one of its senior Middle East officials after he linked U.S. and Israeli policies to the Boston Marathon attacks that killed four and wounded more than 200.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), the chief deputy whip, called on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to fire Special Rapporteur Richard Falk after he penned an essay that argued the United States and Israel encourage terrorism.

"As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy," Falk wrote in a widely condemned op-ed that appeared in the days following the Boston attack.

"The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world," wrote Falk, a polarizing figure who officially serves as the U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories.

Falk has a history of making inflammatory comments about Isarel. Pro-Israel observers have long called on the U.N. to fire him over these comments.

Ban decried Falk’s comments last week, but did not take any action against him.

Roskam maintains that it is time Falk be fired for his rhetoric, according to a letter he sent Ban on Tuesday and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

"I write to urge you to demand the removal of Richard Falk from his position," Roskam wrote, explaining that Falk’s recent comments cross the line.

Falk’s failed to uphold his mandate to act impartial and in good faith, Roskam argued.

"According to the Council, Special Rapporteurs are appointed to ‘uphold independence, efficiency, competence and integrity through probity, impartiality, honesty and good faith’," Roskam wrote. "These officials are expected to ‘ensur[e] universality, objectivity and non-selectivity’ without ‘double standards and politicization.’

"Mr. Falk’s conduct fails to meet these standards," the letter states. "His recent comments blaming the United States and Israel for the Boston Marathon bombings are reflective of an individual whose biases and bizarre behavior have made him undeserving and unfit to serve under the auspices of the U.N. Human Rights Council."

Falk’s allegation that America’s alliance with Israel led to the bombings is completely egregious, Roskam writes.

"To somehow connect the senseless killing of innocent civilians to the strategic alliance between the United States and Israel is factually baseless and an affront to the victims, their loved ones, and the civilized world," Roskam wrote.

"Indeed, Mr. Falk is the only official making allegations of any connection to a group other than violent extremists," according to the letter. "These statements call into question his ability to maintain a level of objectivity, integrity, and competence expected of a U.N. Special Rapporteur."

Roskam reiterates his call for the "prompt removal" of Falk "from his post as a special rapporteur to the U.N. Human Rights Council."

Roskam is not the only lawmaker to call for Falk to be fired.

A delegation of nearly 30 lawmakers also called on Ban to fire Falk in a letter sent last week.