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Ziegler wins U.N. advisory role

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A Swiss writer who praised a Holocaust denier won an advisory position to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Jean Ziegler won 40 of 47 votes Wednesday to become one of 18 “expert” counselors.

His election to the Geneva-based council, dominated by anti-Western authoritarian states, was virtually guaranteed and U.N. Watch, a United Nations monitor, had campaigned to convince Switzerland to withdraw his nomination.

That culminated in a letter this week signed by 24 human rights activists and groups opposing Ziegler. Swiss officials dismissed the effort as politicking.

Ziegler, a leftist theorist, has praised and supported dictators including Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Ethiopia’s Haile Mengistu, Libya’s Moammar Ghadafy, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and North Korea’s Kim Il-Sung.

In 1996, Ziegler praised French Holocaust denier Roger Gaurady as “one of the leading thinkers of our time.”

In interviews, Ziegler says his critics are puppets of his Western opponents and notes that he had helped expose how Swiss banks hoarded funds deposited by Jews during the Holocaust.

Also elected as an “expert” adviser to the council was Richard Falk, a Princeton emeritus professor who has likened Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians to the Holocaust.

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