Canada slams UN official for controversial remarks on Boston bombings

OTTAWA - Canada slammed a top United Nations official Wednesday for suggesting the Boston Marathon attacks were the result of the United States "global domination project" and Washington's policy on Israel.

Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, made the controversial remarks in an April 21 commentary published in Foreign Policy Journal.

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"The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world," wrote Falk.

"As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy."

Falk also wrote that U.S. President Barack Obama hasn't adopted a "more balanced approach to the Palestine/Israel impasse." Instead, Falk accused Obama of "succumbing to the Beltway ethos of Israel first."

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird condemned Falk's comments and called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to "immediately" remove Falk from his position.

"Once again, United Nations official Richard Falk has spewed more mean-spirited, anti-Semitic rhetoric, this time blaming the attacks in Boston on President Obama and the State of Israel," Baird said in a statement.

"The United Nations should be ashamed to even be associated with such an individual."

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rejects Falk's comments, which could undermine the UN's credibility and work.

"The secretary general immediately condemned the Boston Marathon bombing and he strongly believes that nothing can justify such an attack," Nesirky said.

The British and U.S. missions to the United Nations and the advocacy groups Anti-Defamation League and UN Watch all questioned Falk's capabilities for the UN job.

In a statement, the British mission noted that this is "the third time we have had cause to express our concerns about Mr. Falk's anti-Semitic remarks. It is important to the U.K. that special rapporteurs uphold the highest standards in their work and we have twice previously made clear that remarks by Mr. Falk were unacceptable."

The Harper government is a staunch supporter of Israel and Canada was one of nine countries in the 194-country assembly that voted against the successful Palestinian statehood bid last November.

Israel has barred Falk, who reports to the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, from visiting the Palestinian territories because he has compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians with the horrors of Nazi Germany.

He also is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

_ with files from The Associated Press.

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