A United Nations agency report published on Wednesday, which accuses Israel of being an “apartheid regime”, was written by a 9/11 conspiracy theorist and promoter of openly antisemitic publications.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which is composed of 18 Arab states, including Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen, commissioned Richard Falk to write the report.
As set out by Yair Rosenberg of Tablet Magazine, Mr Falk has on a number of occasions written and talked about his belief that there was “an apparent cover-up” of 9/11, and talked about the “eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events.”
The former UN rapporteur on human rights to the Palestinian territories also published an antisemitic cartoon on his blog in 2011, showing a dog wearing a kippah urinating on Lady Justice while chewing on a skeleton.
Mr Falk has also lent his encomium to one of the most notoriously antisemitic works published in recent years, The Wandering Who by Gilad Atzmon, who describes himself in the book as a “proud, self-hating Jew”. In the book he questions whether the blood libel was false, declares that “robbery and hatred is imbued in Jewish modern political ideology on both the left and the right” and that “The history of Jewish persecution is a myth, and if there was any persecution the Jews brought it on themselves”, as well as numerous other antisemitic statements.
In a blurb for the book, proudly emblazoned on its front cover, Mr Falk wrote that the work was “a transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all [especially Jews] who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely.”
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations have strongly criticised the UN report, and the role of Mr Falk in drafting it.
In a statement, Stephen Greenberg and Malcolm Hoenlein, the Chairman and CEO of the organisation, said that “this latest outrage perpetrated against Israel by a UN body must not be allowed to stand”, and described Mr Falk and Rima Khalaf, the Executive director of ESCWA, as “serial purveyors of anti-Israel calumnies who abuse their official UN positions to launch unjustified and outrageous attacks on Israel.
“Secretary General Guterres should unambiguously reject the ESCWA report and undertake to prevent similar unwarranted attacks in the future,” their statement continued.
In the UK, Richard Verber, Board of Deputies Senior Vice President, called the latest report on Israel "a shameful exercise in distortion, delegitimisation and propaganda.
"It is wholly unacceptable to singularly deny the Jewish people the right to self-determination, let alone spread barefaced lies about the situation faced by Israel's citizens today," he said.
"We call on the governments of UN Member States to condemn publicly this outrageous 'report'."