B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International is outraged over the nomination and subsequent appointment of Canadian labor lawyer Michael Lynk as the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) new special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories. We are not, however, surprised by this nomination as the UNHRC has long exhibited an undisguised prejudice against Israel.
Lynk has consistently been vocal in displaying his own bias toward Israel. In the past he has promoted Israel Apartheid Week at Western University, where he teaches law, and has stated that he would like to “isolate Israel.” In 2009, Lynk even participated in a “one-state solution” conference, which was co-sponsored by the Trans Arab Research Institute, implying a vision that excludes the world's only Jewish state.
This position again shows the institutionalization of bigotry at the United Nations. Even when given an opportunity to finally elect a more impartial candidate, the UNHRC still chooses to be prejudiced, ensuring that an agenda of singling out Israel for hostility will continue. The post of special rapporteur on Palestinian rights—explicitly ignoring Israeli rights—is inherently discriminatory and illegitimate, and Lynk’s record of open anti-Israel bias only confirms B’nai B’rith’s view of the rapporteur role and of the UNHRC, which sadly contributes to defamation and tensions, not peace and human rights, in Palestinian-Israeli relations.
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), for its part, also met this week in New York to ostensibly discuss gender equality and the fight against gender-based violence and discrimination. However, like every year, the CSW singles out for criticism the only democratic nation in the Middle East and the only one genuinely championing women's rights, Israel.
B’nai B’rith will continue to monitor U.N. activities in New York, Geneva and around the world. It is imperative that we continue to call attention to the anti-Israel bias and discrimination that the U.N. models to dire effect.