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Berman Rejects Proposed Boycott of Private Companies Tied to Jewish Settlements

Berman Sends Letter to Ambassador Rice Praising Official Response

Van Nuys, CA -- Congressman Howard L. Berman today sent a letter to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice praising her strong denunciation of a report by United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk, in which Falk calls for a boycott of private companies tied to Jewish settlements.

Responding to Falk’s report, in an October 25 statement, Ambassador Rice called the proposed boycott “irresponsible and unacceptable.” Ambassador Rice’s full statement can be read here.

In the letter to Ambassador Rice, Berman writes: “Though Falk continues to abuse his position as special rapporteur and promote his offensive political views, it is heartening to know that the U.S. mission to the UN, under your [Ambassador Rice’s] leadership, has not allowed Falk’s outrageous and biased work to go unchallenged.”

The full copy of the letter to Ambassador Rice can be found below:

October 30, 2012

The Honorable Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10017

Dear Ambassador Rice:

I am writing to express my sincere appreciation for your strongly worded statement of October 25th rejecting the latest incendiary and one-sided report by Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories. I share your view that Mr. Falk’s call for a boycott of private corporations operating in Israel is intolerable and will do nothing to further the prospects for peace.

Like you, I believe an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only achievable through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. I am concerned that Falk’s inaccurate and biased report will further diminish the chances for normalization between both parties -- and agree that Falk’s continued service in the role of a UN Special Rapporteur is deeply regrettable. Though Falk continues to abuse his position as special rapporteur and promote his offensive political views, it is heartening to know that the U.S. mission to the UN, under your leadership, has not allowed Falk’s outrageous and biased work to go unchallenged.

As someone who considers himself a stalwart protector of the U.S.-Israel relationship, I am heartened to know that our mission to the UN has been an important voice in challenging anti-Israel firebrands at the UN, such as Richard Falk. While standing up to such demagoguery may not always be the most politically expedient action at the UN, it is the right thing to do, and I deeply appreciate your forceful denunciation of such incendiary rhetoric.

Sincerely,

HOWARD L. BERMAN
Member of Congress

Press Contact
Robert Lattin
202 226-8467
Robert.Lattin@mail.house.gov

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