Global call for UN man to resign

By Jessica Elgot, July 14, 2011
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Two British MPs have urged Prime Minister David Cameron to support a call for a UN human rights expert to resign over an antisemitic cartoon he posted on his blog, a call backed by the Obama administration.

MPs Theresa Villiers and David Burrowes have written to Mr Cameron, saying: "We strongly feel that Richard Falk should resign from the UN Human Rights Council in light of the fact that the cartoon expressed clear antisemitic sentiments and would be offensive both to Jews and American citizens alike."

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, this week condemned Mr Falk's actions in a letter to UN Watch's Hillel Neuer. Ms Pillay does not have the power to sack Mr Falk without the agreement of the council. Mr Neuer said: "The moral pressure is now on Mr Falk to resign."

The US academic, known for his vocal criticism of Israel, originally denied posting an antisemitic cartoon on his personal blog, which was a caricature of a dog wearing a kippah and an American flag, urinating on a statue of Blind Justice and eating human blood and bones.

Mr Falk, 80, who is Jewish, later removed it from the blog, saying: "It may be in bad taste to an extent I had not earlier appreciated but I certainly did not realise it could be viewed as antisemitic, and still do not realise."

Last updated: 2:02pm, July 14 2011