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U.S. rejects call for boycott by UN Rapporteur Falk

JTA

October 26, 2012 | 9:47 am

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in Tripoli on Nov. 21. Photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in Tripoli on Nov. 21. Photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The Obama administration slammed U.N. special rapporteur Richard Falk's call for a boycott of private companies that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise.

Susan E. Rice, the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, in a statement Friday called Falk's boycott call "irresponsible and unacceptable."

Falk called for the boycott in a report Oct. 25 to the U.N. General Assembly. “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.

The report highlighted the activities of companies that he said are involved in the establishment and maintenance of Israeli settlements.

Among the firms named were U.S. companies Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard and Motorola and Israeli companies Ahava, Elbit Systems and Mehadrin. The report also cited  the Volvo Group and Assa Abloy of Sweden and Veolia Environment of France.

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

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

In 2011, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon publicly criticized Falk's statements in a blog posting in which the special rapporteur proposed consideration of theories that the United States had orchestrated the 9/11 terror attacks.

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