NGO Monitor is a project of The Institute for NGO Research, a recognized organization in Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (since 2013). As such, the Institute for NGO Research is participating in the 40th Session of the UN Human Rights Council by presenting submissions, giving oral statements, and hosting side events. See below for these materials.
Item 7:Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
Thank you Mr. President.
Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk’s report yet again uses unacceptable language to further his agenda targeting the Jewish State.
In his previous report, Lynk used the terms “avaricious” and “rapacious” – synonyms for greedy – to describe Israel’s presence in the West Bank. Again, in his most recent report, Lynk refers to occupying powers acting in a quote “avaricious manner” and Israel’s quote “appetite for territory and settlement-implantation.” This terminology is all too reminiscent of classic antisemitic tropes and propaganda.
Lynk’s completely inappropriate use of predatory rhetoric is coupled with his promotion and reliance on individuals and groups wholly ineligible as human rights defenders. In this report, Lynk cites to at least two Palestinian organizations with ties to the PFLP terror group. He also regularly speaks on panels with such NGOs. This use of language and failure to remain “impartial” are in direct violation of UN guidelines, and speak to a larger issue about his appointment as Special Rapporteur – namely, in his own words “that he is not an international lawyer.”
Lynk’s lack of expertise should have disqualified him from being appointed from the start. His partnership with terror tied NGOs violates UNHRC resolution 5/1 on neutrality and impartiality. And his utilization of antisemitic imagery goes against the core values of the United Nations.
Mr. President, with global antisemitism on the rise, this Council has a responsibility to condemn such use of language, and not promote and condone it.
Item 7:Interactive Dialogue with Commission of Inquiry on the civilian protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem
Thank you, Mr. President.
In her remarks to the Council on March 6, High Commissioner Bachelet stated that she was disappointed that Israel did not address the serious issues raised in the COI report. Well, we also have many serious issues to raise about the COI and its report:
The COI worked from a one-sided mandate and pre-determined conclusions. The COI had no relevant operational or legal expertise. The COI refuses to disclose the names of its military advisor and other consultants. The report cost $1.5 million but the COI keeps secret how the money was spent.
In its press conference, the COI was unable to answer simple questions about its methodology. The COI’s legal analysis was incoherent and reflected a fundamental lack of understanding of both IHL and international human rights law. The COI failed to undertake any examination of the legal obligations of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. The COI got basic historical facts wrong, and ignored the responsibility of Egypt and the PA for conditions in Gaza. The COI admitted the purpose of the riots was to breach the border fence and occupy territory within Israel yet flippantly characterized this objective as festive.The COI casualty figures came solely from Hamas. The COI called Hamas and Islamic Jihad, peaceful, community organizers. The COI ignored hundreds of pieces of evidence showing use of weapons and military attacks on Israel. The COI ignored rocket, mortar, and machine gun fire on Israeli civilian communities. The COI endorsed the burning of thousands of tires wreaking public health and environmental destruction. The COI ignored the extensive recruitment and use of Palestinian children as combatants.
Item 7:Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
Thank you, Madame Vice President.
High Commissioner Bachelet did the right thing in delaying the publication of the Council’s BDS Blacklist. Enacted as yet another way for the Palestinian Authority to exploit UN frameworks for legal and economic warfare, the production of this blacklist has been marred by irredeemable due process failures and antisemitic discrimination. The company names already leaked in the media are truly astounding. The vast majority are involved in providing for basic needs and civilian goods and services to Palestinians and Israelis alike. Egregiously, and based upon crackpot theories provided to them by BDS groups, many of whom are in this room, OHCHR has singled out pharmaceutical companies that have no presence in the West Bank. Many companies provide civilians protection from on-going Palestinian terrorism. Other companies are engaged in activities mandated by the Oslo Accords and other international agreements. And some even have contracts with the PA to carry out the very functions, upon which OHCHR wants to blacklist them. Outrageously, companies that promote Jewish and Christian history are uniquely targeted, evidencing the discriminatory foundation of this entire exercise.
Madame Vice President, at this very moment, hundreds are demonstrating outside, without sabotaging the UN fence, launching balloon bombs, or firing rockets onto the property, to protest the BDS blacklist and the rest of the grotesque anti-Israel spectacle taking place at the Council today. We are here to tell you, enough is enough.
Item 8: Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Thank you, Madame Vice President.
The Vienna Declaration affords special protections to the human rights of children. Why then is the UN Commission of Inquiry report on the violence along the Israel-Gaza border completely silent regarding the exploitation and recruitment and use of Palestinian children by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and the Palestinian Authority?
In the context of this violence, Hamas has sent thousands of children to the border with Israel placing them in grave danger. The ploy is to use these children as cynical cover so that Palestinian terrorists can storm the Israeli border and cause murder and mayhem at one of the many civilian communities nearby. The Palestinian Authority gives its full blessing to the deployment of its children as cannon fodder.
What is even more disturbing about this scheme, however, is how the international community, including CoI, Member States, UN agencies – particularly UNICEF and UNRWA – and NGOs, like Human Rights Watch and FIDH say and do absolutely nothing. They would rather score cheap political points against Israel than keep Palestinian children from harm’s way. They would rather promote radical political agendas that inflame conflict rather than educate Palestinian children to embrace peace and co-existence.
Madame Vice President, if the most influential members and observers of this Council and powerful UN agencies, Commission of Inquiry, and NGOs are unwilling to stand-up for the rights of Palestinian children against Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, what is the point of the Vienna Declaration?
Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Thank you, Mr. President.
The Durban Declaration and Program of Action is supposed to serve as a model to prevent racism, yet we see antisemitism on the rise around the world. On March 3, a parade through the streets of the Belgian city of Aalst featured floats of Jewish caricatures with large noses, hands outstretched asking for money, and a rat on their shoulder. On March 13, Norwegian prosecutors determined that a rappers slur about Jews” was not antisemitism, and was in fact criticism of Israel. On March 14, a high school in Toronto was defaced with Swastikas and the words “Nazis were here.” I ask you, Mr. President, what is the Council doing to combat these outrageous antisemitic acts?
On the contrary, we are aware that the Jewish State is singled out by this Council, and is the only country with its own unique agenda item. We are aware that this Council provides a platform to an NGO that hosts annual cartoon contests where the winning images are antisemitic caricatures of Jews. We are aware of the use of taxpayer funds, both from donor governments and via UN frameworks, that fuel antisemitic NGOs around the world. We are also acutely aware that in the face of this hatred, the UNHRC remains silent. Antisemitism in France is reportedly up 74%. In Germany 60%.
Mr. President, we call on this council to uphold the UN’s values of combating racism and adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism in order to condemn the hatred of Jews that plagues our world.