Washington, D.C. – In response to the latest developments in the Middle East and specific comments from the UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, issued the following statement:
“I am greatly concerned by public statements earlier today from a UN official that displays an alarming rush to judgment against Israel before the facts have been gathered and ignores Israel’s basic right to defend herself against terror.
“As the United Nations Security Council convenes to discuss the Gaza-bound flotilla, it is deplorable for the UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, to urge boycotts and sanctions against Israel. Not only is it irresponsible to issue such verdicts before all the facts are known, but these types of proposals only exacerbate the challenges in the Middle East.
“While I am deeply saddened by the loss of life, we must recognize that Israel has a right to defend herself and we have to withhold judgment until the facts are fully understood.”