Geneva 20/03/18 – In response to her criticizing the apparent use of antisemitic tropes by a UN official, NGO Monitor Legal Advisor Anne Herzberg was called to order for violating the “sense of respect” during the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Herzberg was addressing language in a report by “UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967” Michael Lynk, which characterized Israel as greedy. Lynk referred to Israel and its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict as “avaricious,” “rapacious,” and “pathological” – unprecedented language that is well beyond standard UN condemnations of Israel.
“State of Palestine” also interrupted the NGO statements to object to our statement.
NGO Monitor will be filing a formal complaint against Lynk for the exceptional language in his report.
In addition to an oral statement before the Council, NGO Monitor published a report describing how Lynk is unqualified for his position as Special Rapporteur. Lynk has a history of working with terror-linked and virulently anti-Israel non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in violation of his mandate. The Canadian labor law professor also admitted that he lacks experience in international law, and his 2016 appointment was protested by the Canadian government.
A March 2017 report by Lynk promoted Manal Tamimi as a “human rights defender” – an activist who repeatedly utilizes violent and virulently antisemitic rhetoric and imagery on social media. NGO Monitor’s complaint was instrumental in forcing the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to remove the reference to Tamimi and issue a revised version of Lynk’s report.
“Special Rapporteur Lynk’s latest rhetoric is a stark reminder that he is unqualified for his role,” stated Herzberg. “It is completely inappropriate for a UN official charged with assessing human rights to behave in such a partisan manner and to use this kind of inflammatory language. We will continue to monitor and expose the use of antisemitic language in UN reports as well as Lynk’s close partnerships with and reliance on radical anti-Israel groups that discredit his work. As long as he continues in his position, he compromises the legitimacy of the entire UN.”