LONDON – The incoming UN human rights investigator in the occupied Palestinian territories insisted on Tuesday, April, 8 that Israeli atrocities against Palestinians were similar to those of Nazi Germany.
"If this kind of situation had existed for instance in the manner in which China was dealing with Tibet or the Sudanese government was dealing with Darfur, I think there would be no reluctance to make that comparison," Richard Falk told the BBC News.
Falk, a world-renowned Jewish-American professor of international law at the prestigious Princeton University, first made the comparison last June.
"Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not," he wrote in an essay titled "Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust".
"It is especially painful for me, as an American Jew, to feel compelled to portray the ongoing and intensifying abuse of the Palestinian people by Israel through a reliance on such an inflammatory metaphor as ‘holocaust.’"
He said the comparison which could sound provocative to some was meant to shake the American public from its torpor over Israel’s collective punishment of the 1.6 Gaza strip population.
Falk, appointed in March by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a six-year tenure as the special rapporteur on human rights for the Palestinian territories, will take over from outgoing John Dugard next June.
Infuriated, Israel said Tuesday it won’t grant him a visa to enter Israel, Gaza or the West Bank.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it intends to protest with the UN Human Rights Council choosing Falk for the post.
The prominent Jewish-American professor believes Israel has for long been able to dodge having its policies held up to international law and morality.
He attributed Israel’s shield from international criticism to a particular historical sensitivity of the Jewish people.
In his writings, Falk has repeatedly warned that the Israeli pattern of conduct in Gaza was "a holocaust-in-the-making."
Deputy Israeli Defense Minister Matan Vilnai threatened on Friday, February 29, to turn the Gaza Strip into a "bigger holocaust" for the Palestinians.
Shortly afterwards Israel unleashed an air and ground blitz against the sealed off coastal strip that claimed the lives of more than 129 people, including more than 40 children, toddlers and newborn babies, as well as 13 women.
Falk is not the first international figure to liken the Israeli aggressions against Palestinians to the Nazis’.
Last August, a 27-strong group of German bishops visiting occupied East Jerusalem compared the discriminatory treatment helpless Palestinians suffer under Israel’s stifling checkpoints and occupation to infamous Nazi tactics.
Various Israeli academics also drew a parallel between them and the Nazi holocaust against Jews.
Dugard, the outgoing special rapporteur on human rights, has branded Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territories as apartheid.
(IslamOnline.net and agencies)