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U.S. Urges UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Condemn Falk’s “Hateful Speech”
July 8, 2011

The following is the text of a July 8, 2011 letter from Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay.

Dear Madame High Commissioner,

I am writing to express how deeply disturbed I am by a cartoon recently posted by Special Rapporteur Richard Falk on his blog.  The cartoon depicts a dog labeled “USA” and wearing a Jewish head cover urinating upon a female meant to depict Justice; the dog is simultaneously chewing on bloody human bones. This is a clear example of hateful speech, and I deplore it in the strongest terms.

Special Rapporteurs are supposed to be impartial, objective, and demonstrate personal integrity.  Mr. Falk’s behavior is not consistent with these qualities, and his lack of judgment in posting this cartoon is stunning, even if he has subsequently removed it from his blog.  Notwithstanding his retraction, that Special Rapporteur Falk should have even temporarily endorsed such a cartoon by posting it on his personal blog demonstrates that he is unfit to serve in his role.  I regret that statements in the media about this issue attributed to the OHCHR do not come near to addressing its seriousness.

I would respectfully request that you join me in condemning this hateful speech, and in making clear that hate speech has no place in the UN system.


Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe

U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council