PLO rep tries to shut down Hillel Neuer for exposing UN investigator’s bias

Following is the testimony of UN Watch delivered by Executive Director Hillel Neuer before the United Nations Human Rights Council, in their debate targeting Israel held under Agenda Item 7, including objections by the Palestinian representative and the Chair. United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland, 25 March 2022.

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UN Palestine Rapporteur Michael Lynk: Israel has imposed on Palestine an apartheid reality in a post-apartheid world.

Chair: I give the floor to the representative of the United Nations Watch.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer: Mr. President, in Mr. Lynk’s report, he writes: “When the facts change, so must our minds.” The premise is that he objectively examined the facts. Only then did he now conclude that Israel is the only country in the world he calls an apartheid state.

But was this determination truly the product of an objective examination?

Let us consider. In March 2016, as documented in 33/NGO/82, the Canadian government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opposed the appointment of Mr. Lynk as Special Rapporteur, saying that candidates needed to have “a track record that can advance peace in region,” and to be “credible, impartial and objective.” Canada expressed “concerns” about Mr. Lynk’s “suitability and impartiality.”

“This candidate was not put forward by Canada and does not represent the views of this government. There are legitimate questions and concerns raised, which is why we’ve asked for a review.”

Why did Canada take the rare move of opposing a UN appointment?

First, because in Mr. Lynk’s application, he failed to disclose his leadership role in three separate pro-Palestinian lobby groups, including the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations, the Canadian-Palestinian Education Exchange, and Friends of Sabeel.

Second, because far from being impartial…

Chair: Please, point of order. Canada, please. Ah—Palestine.

State of Palestine: We are now discussing the report of the High Commissioner and the update. It is unacceptable to see this high level of accusations leveled against the Special Rapporteur with whom we engaged in an interactive dialogue this morning. Thank you.

Chair: Thank you very much. I will take note of this. I cannot fail to notice that derogatory and inflammatory remarks have been made which are personal in nature. This is not acceptable. I will give the floor back to the representative of United Nations Watch to continue, to finish.

UN Watch: …as required by UN rules, Mr. Lynk for years actively lobbied against Israel, including his attempt at the Canadian Parliament in 1996 to quash a Canada-Israel trade deal. Finally, Mr. Lynk worked with…

Chair: Sorry, again. Right of reply of the State of Palestine, please.

State of Palestine: Allow me to say that this is outside the terms of this session. Negative accusations to UN representatives and members of this Council…this is unacceptable! This arrogance by the UN Watch representative should stop! Thank you, Mr. President.

Chair: Thank you, Excellency. There is a General Debate under Item 7. Speakers are expected to raise issues or comments on human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, and related reports. With this in mind, I give the floor back to the speaker.

UN Watch: …organizations that promoted events like the “Annual Israeli Apartheid Week.” Mr. President, no one here changed their minds. Their minds were made up long ago.

Chair: Thank you. BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, you have the floor.

BADIL: Israel continues to enjoy international impunity for the crimes of forcible transfer, annexation, and policies and practices that amount to colonization and apartheid….

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