Ottawa, ON — Today, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Canadian professor Michael Lynk to serve as the “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”
Lynk has been significantly involved in anti-Israel advocacy in Canada. This has included signing anti-Israel petitions, calling for Israel to be prosecuted for “war crimes”, accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing”, addressing “one-state” conferences (which call for the end of Israel), and serving as a leader in CEPAL – a group that promotes Israeli Apartheid Week.
In response, Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following statement:
“We strongly denounce the appointment of Michael Lynk to this role. Despite the specific requirement that candidates for the position demonstrate impartiality and objectivity, Mr. Lynk has a long record of involvement with anti-Israel initiatives and has repeatedly made public statements that demonstrate hostility towards Israel.
“We call on the Government of Canada to object to this appointment and continue working with our allies to press for UN reform. Bodies like the UNHRC must be fundamentally restructured to ensure they are no longer abused as platforms for extreme agendas, but rather serve to advance the UN’s founding ideals.
“This requires shutting down the position of a Special Rapporteur for the Palestinians – an office that reflects the UNHRC’s systemic prejudice against Israel. It is ludicrous that this is the UN’s only Special Rapporteur focused on the human rights of a particular community. It is likewise shameful that the Special Rapporteur refuses to investigate the abuse of Palestinian rights by the Palestinian leadership, particularly Hamas in Gaza. In so doing, the Special Rapporteur obscures genuine human rights violations in the Middle East and the underlying obstacles to Israeli-Palestinian peace.”