Citizen Action Monitor

Harper’s bullies demand resignation of UN Rapporteur for boycott call of companies profiting from illegal Israel settlements

Harper regime’s morally repugnant pro-Israeli policy once again on full display for all responsibly informed Canadians to see

No 600 Posted by fw October 29, 2012

In his report to the UN General Assembly on the 24th of October 2012, Richard Falk, UN Rapporteur, Palestinian Territories, named companies such as Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, the Volvo Group and CEMEX, among others, as companies that have violated international human rights and humanitarian law by “exploiting Palestinian resources and helping Israel construct illegal settlements and providing security for them.”

This post is in three parts:

  1. Falk’s New York press conference – Falk’s comments drew a hostile reaction from attending pro-US and pro-Israeli media in this 2:43-minute video clip;
  2. UN News Centre Press release summarizing Falk’s report; and
  3. Harper bullies’ call for Falk’s resignation — from Sun News Canada — aka Fox News of the North — this blatantly biased coverage of Falk’s report, including resignation call by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, delivered by Pierre Poilievre, Conservative MP (Nepean-Carleton). 7:47-minute video.

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1. Falk’s New York Press Conference video

UN expert calls for boycott of companies in settlements‎ (video) — published October 26, 2012 by  PressTVGlobalNews

2. UN News Centre Press release summarizing Falk’s report

UN independent expert calls for boycott of businesses profiting from Israeli settlements (October 25, 2012)

A United Nations independent expert today called on the world body’s General Assembly, as well as civil society, to take action against Israeli and international businesses that are profiting from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

“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,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, said in a news release issued as he presented a report on his work to the Assembly.

Highlighting the activities of companies such as Caterpillar Incorporated of the United States, Veolia Environment of France, G4S of the United Kingdom, the Dexia Group of Belgium, Ahava of Israel, the Volvo Group of Sweden, the Riwal Holding Group of the Netherlands, Elbit Systems of Israel, Hewlett Packard of the USA, Mehadrin of Israel, Motorola of the USA, Assa Abloy of Sweden, and Cemex of Mexico, the Special Rapporteur noted that a wide range of Israeli and international businesses are involved in the establishment and maintenance of the Israeli settlements.

“All Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been established in clear violation of international law,” said Mr. Falk.

“Yet today Israeli settlements control over 40 percent of the West Bank and between 500,000 and 600,000 Israeli citizens are living in Palestinian territory,” he added. “In the last 12 months alone, the settler population has increased by over 15,000 persons.”

He drew the Assembly’s attention to developing international law and standards concerning businesses and human rights, including the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Businesses and Human Rights.

“The principles outlined in the Global Compact are clear,” Mr. Falk said. “Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and ensure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.”

The Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The Guiding Principles, endorsed by the Human Rights Council, provide a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity.

Mr. Falk also noted guidance developed by the International Committee of the Red Cross that points to the prospect of corporate and individual criminal responsibility for violations committed during a situation of armed conflict.

“In short, businesses should not breach international humanitarian law provisions. Nor should they be complicit in any breaches. If they do, they may be subject to criminal or civil liability. And this liability can be extended to individual employees of such businesses,” the Special Rapporteur said in presenting his report.

Mr. Falk noted that he had written to all the businesses mentioned in his report, and that positive responses were received from some of them.

“It is encouraging to be informed that Assa Abloy has moved its Mul-T-Locks factory from the West Bank to Israel, and that the Dexia Group, G4S, and Cemex are looking for ways to bring their operations into line with their commitments under the UN Global Compact,” he added.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not United Nations staff, nor are they paid for their work.

3. Harper bullies’ call for Falk’s resignation

Canada calls for removal of anti-Israel UN official Richard Falk  Sun News, published on You Tube, October 26, 2012 by SDAMatt2a

Here’s a transcript of Foreign Affairs Minister Baird’s call for Falk’s resignation, delivered by Pierre Poilievre:

“The latest report from the UN’s Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories is offensive and unhelpful but not overly surprising. Richard Falk has a long history of making these outrageous statements and frankly has only tarnished to reputation and integrity of the UN. His comments by no means represent the position of the Government of Canada. Canada has been clear that any unilateral action is ultimately unhelpful to a just and lasting peace for Israel and the Palestinians. Mr Falk has not only done a disservice to the UN but to the Palestinian people. Canada calls on Mr Falk to either withdraw his biased and disgraceful report or resign from his position with the UN.”

Turning this statement on its head, here’s my response to Harper’s bullies, Baird and Poilievre:

“The latest retort from Canada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs is offensive and unhelpful but not overly surprising. The Harper Government has a long history of making these outrageous statements and frankly has only tarnished the reputation and integrity of Canada. The Harper Government’s comments by no means represent the position of the responsibly informed people of Canada on the troubled history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has been clear that any unilateral policy by the Harper Government is ultimately unhelpful to a just and lasting peace for Israel and the Palestinians. Mr Harper and his spokespersons have not only done a disservice to Canada but to the Canadian people. We call on Minister Baird to either withdraw his biased and disgraceful statement or resign from his position with the Government.”

SEE ALSO

  • Read it here — Executive Summary of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, New York Session, posted October 10, 2012 – The Russell Tribunal’s report is a damning indictment of Israel’s well-documented violations of international law, US complicity in Israel’s violations of international law, and the UN’s responsibility for the failure to prevent Israel’s violations of international law. The Tribunal’s conclusion presents four ways to address the violations and systemic failures that have allowed flagrant Israeli abuses to continue unchecked.”
Fair Use Notice: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing

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