Israel shuns U.N. official over Nazi comparison

Israel is blacklisting a U.N. official who compared its crackdown on the Gaza Strip to the Nazis.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said this week it will refuse an entry permit to Richard Falk, who will become the new U.N. rapporteur on human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in June, over a fierce critique of Israeli policies he made last year.

In an essay titled “Slouching Toward a Palestinian Holocaust,” Falk – described in media reports as a Jewish American law professor – likened Israel’s closure of Hamas-ruled Gaza to Nazi tactics.

Falk has stood by his statements, but has cautioned that they should not be taken literally. Rather, he said, they should be taken as a warning that the Jewish state must heed 20th century history in dealing with its Palestinian neighbors.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and imposed sanctions after Hamas, an Islamist group sworn to its destruction, took over the territory and launched hundreds of cross-border rocket salvos.

The Foreign Ministry said it wants Falk to retract his Holocaust comparison and ensure that any report he issues on Israeli-Palestinian human rights violations include censure of the Gazan rocket attacks.

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