In the next two weeks, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will select a new Special Rapporteur on the “situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”
This job, created “to investigate Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law,” is an integral part of the systematic bias toward Israel that plagues almost every corner of the UN.
As documented by UN Watch, the group’s first choice, Penelope Green from the UK, and second choice Michael Lynk of Canada, both have extensive histories in anti-Israel activism and promoting BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions). Even more disturbing, both candidates have expressed highly troubling sentiments about terrorism.
If the UN were a respectable and responsible institution, Green and Lynk would have been immediately disqualified from consideration. One of the cornerstones of human rights monitoring and credible fact finding is a commitment to impartiality.
Instead, anti-Israel bias and politicization are the most important qualifications for a job relating to the conflict, outweighing commitment to institutional requirements, fairness, due process and other human rights and good governance principles.
At some point, one hopes that the UNHRC and the countries and officials that enable its abuse of ethics and rules will decide that universal principles are more important than politicization and ideology.
If the UNHRC, the OHCHR and the UN as a whole wanted to prove that they really care about human rights, rather than its exploitation, they should strive to appoint as Rapporteur individuals who are objective and impartial. They should also expand the Rapporteur’s mandate to include examination of violations by all actors in the Palestinian conflict.