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UCSB professor in hot seat after Boston Marathon comments

A UC Santa Barbara professor is in the hot seat after making comments that suggest the Boston Marathon bombings are a result of American politics.

Richard Falk’s comments were posted online and are now receiving criticism from around the world, including from a key leader in the United Nations.

Falk is making waves in the international community after what some say he implys the bombings are linked to the United States policy toward Israel and Palestinian territories.

“He didn’t say that the U.S. was responsible for the bombing. He wasn’t blaming the victims. I don’t know where people got that,” said Mark Juergensmeyer, the director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at UCSB.

In a blog post from April 19 called A Commentary on the Marathon Murders, Falk calls the bombings horrific, but then goes on to talk about American politics and its impacts on the world and at home.

He wrote, “The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen …”

Falk continues to say the U.S. needs a more balanced approach to Palestinian territories and Israel.

Now, there is backlash from the comments including from United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon.

“I can tell you the secretary-general has seen the commentary, he’s been briefed on it. The secretary-general rejects Mr. Falk’s comments. The Secretary-General immediately condemns the Boston Marathon bombings, and he strongly believes that nothing can justify such an attack,” said Martin Nesirky, U.N. spokesperson.

Six days after his post, Falk addressed the outcry by saying he had no intention to connect the dots between Boston and what the U.S. or Israel have done.

“My only effort was to suggest that in addition to grieving and bringing the perpetrators to justice, this could also become an occasion for collective self-scrutiny as a nation and as a people,” he wrote.

“In this particular case, he was trying to put the Boston Marathon bombings into the wider geopolitical context and saying this is an interconnected world, and America is involved politically around the world, and we have to expect that sometimes we are going to be affected by wider issues,” explained Juergensmeyer.

Juergensmeyer said Falk is no stranger to media attention, as he plays a role in the United Nations. Falk is a special rapporteur for Palestine and Juergensmeyer said his comments are sometimes connected with his position.

Click here for the link to Falk’s blog.

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