By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler
Israel refused to allow senior UN rights official and Special Rapporteur in the Palestinian territories Richard Falk into the country earlier today, sending him back to the US after he landed at the Tel-Aviv airport.
Falk planned the trip to investigate human rights abuses in the Gaza Strip but was expelled, according to Israeli sources in the foreign ministry, because of statements he made comparing Israeli policies in Gaza to Nazi policies during WWII.
Falk was notified before his trip that he would not allowed into Israel, whose foreign ministry believes the Princeton professor emeritus has not viewed the circumstances fairly. The BBC has this quote:
“[He] does not try to advance human rights, but instead comes with his conclusions ready and those conclusions are of course extreme, methodic criticism of Israel and only of Israel,” said foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
Falk’s ignominy stems in part from his endorsement of 9/11 conspiracy theories, according to JTA:
“It is not paranoid under such circumstances to assume that the established elites of the American governmental structure have something to hide and much to explain,” Richard Falk, the U.N. Human Rights Council official who monitors allegations of Israeli abuse, wrote in the Nov. 9 edition of The Journal, a student publication in Edinburgh. “What has not been established by the ‘9/11 Truth Movement’ is a convincing counter-narrative – that is, an alternate version of the events that clears up to what degree, if at all, the attacks resulted from incompetence, deliberate inaction, and outright complicity.”
For more, read this Ha’aretz article, which has further coverage on today’s drama.