Approximately 200 students and faculty members from the Rambam Mesivta rallied outside of the United Nations on Monday, May 13, to call for the immediate ousting of Richard Falk, the Human Rights Special Appointee, who recently stated that the terrorist attack in Boston was a form of “retribution” that we in the United States should expect for our support of Israel and for the “torture” that American soldiers inflict with drone attacks in Afghanistan.
Richard Falk has a longstanding history of anti-American and anti-Semitic vitriol. Last year, he posted a cartoon on his website that depicted a dog wearing a Star of David as a skullcap and an emblazoned USA sweater urinating on the Lady of Justice and devouring a child. Falk denied that the cartoon was anti-Semitic before he removed the cartoon from his website.
The Rambam students received letters of support from members of Congress including representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania who wrote, “As our country deals with the aftermath of the Boston bombings, it is outrageous and unacceptable that an appointed official at the United Nations Human Rights Council would assert that the attack was in any way justified. As an elected official who cares deeply about the defense of our country’s dignity, I thank you for what you are doing today and pray that it will help lead to change.”
Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado echoed the notion and joined the students in “expressing outrage and indignation over the remarks of the top United Nations Human Rights official who blamed the Boston terror attacks on ‘American global dominion and Tel Aviv.’” At the rally, students chanted forcefully and in unison “Kick him out”; “Stop the bias. Stop the hate”; “Falk, take a walk”; and “Blame the terrorists, not the victims.”
According to rally organizer, Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, “It is an important part of chinuch to teach talmidim to speak out against anti-Semitism and defend Klal Yisrael. We are about to celebrate chag haShavuos by learning night and day–but we also must remember that the same Moshe Rabbeinu who was sent by Hashem to give us the Torah was the same Moshe Rabbeinu who killed the Mitzri who threatened the Jew. Learning Torah is of paramount importance–but we cannot turn a blind eye to the suffering of another Jew or of a potential threat to Klal Yisrael.”
Students hope that the pressure created by the rally which was covered by many New York news outlets coupled with the outrage expressed by members of Congress contacted by the students, will culminate in the removal of Falk from his position as a Human Rights Representative of the United Nations. v