Michael Lynk slams UN Watch, says his links with pro-PLO lobbies was "not long"

Michael Lynk, new UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine, responded to accusations that he lied on his UN application concerning past links and failed to disclose his board membership on three pro-Palestinian lobby groups, Friends of Sabeel, the Canadian-Palestinian Education Exchange (CEPAL), and the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations.
Lynk said that the organizations were “entirely mainstream” and “very mainstream.” His connection to them was “not long.” He said they accepted the international consensus on how to achieve peace, but then asked whether UN Watch did.

UN Press Conference, Oct. 30, 2016
Matthew Lee, Inner City Press: I’m aware that there is some controversy. There’s been a claim in Geneva that you
didn’t fully disclose your views or some kind of a conflict of interest. Where does it stand in
terms of Canada’s – is it true that they’ve asked for a review and what’s your response to it,
both as a matter of academic freedom and otherwise.
Michael Lynk: I have no idea, frankly speaking, what [was] the Canadian government’s response to the comment today by UN Watch.
I can tell you that the organizations I belong to are entirely mainstream and legitimate organizations that frequently deal with the Canadian government. They’re based in Ottawa or in Toronto.
Actually my history with those organizations is not long. But all those organizations accept the international consensus with respect to that there is an occupation, that the settlements are illegal, that collective punishment is a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and human rights violations are multi-fold.
I would ask you to consider whether or not UN Watch accepts any of the international consensus with respect to how to bring about a just and compassionate peace to the Middle East.
ICP: They seem to be saying that Canada itself, as a government, has asked for a review, or Foreign Minister Dion, or whatever. Is that the case?
Michael Lynk: I have no idea. All I’ve seen is an email from a reporter in Jerusalem asking me for my comments with respect to what the Executive Director of UN Watch [claimed]. The Foreign Minister, I should say, did tweet with respect to my appointment back in March. If you’re referring to that, I am familiar with it. If you are referring to something more recent I am not familiar with it.
Journalist: Yeah, I need to get more familiar with it too.
Kay Marshall (OHCHR assistant to Lynk): There is only the tweet, that I am aware of….
Michael Lynk: And you know, when my appointment was announced, UN Watch did take some time to talk about my background with some of these very mainstream organizations. So what they are raising now is no surprise. I have met on a regular basis with Canadian ambassadors, or deputy ambassadors, in New York and in Geneva, and they’ve not raised these issues with me.


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