COP Sharply Criticizes Nomination of yet another Biased Special Rapporteur to Investigate Israel

Council Sinks to New Low with Creation of a Blacklist of Companies

New York, NY, March 25, 2016... The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (COP) today sharply criticized the nomination of Professor Michael Lynk of Canada to the position of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 because of his “well-documented record of harsh and incendiary criticism of Israel demonstrating an overwhelming prejudice against Israel.”

The current President of the UNHRC, Ambassador Choi Kyong-lim of the Republic of Korea, is responsible for filling the position which is being vacated at the end of this month by the current Special Rapporteur Makarim Wibisono. 

Stephen M. Greenberg, COP Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO said, “The nomination of Professor Michael Lynk by the President of the UNHRC continues the recent record of Special Rapporteurs whose prior anti-Israel biases inevitably predetermined the outcome of their investigations further damaging the credibility and weakening the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council.  Of particular concern are We are reports that undue pressure to move forward with the nomination of Professor Lynk was exerted on President Choi Kyong-lim by some Arab and Muslim member states.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Council President did not even consider nominating one of the several qualified human rights experts among applicants for the position of Special Rapporteur with no record of expressing views on the subject they would be investigating and reporting on.

“The nomination of Professor Lynk comes amid an intensification of the annual irrational frenzy of anti-Israel resolutions under the Council’s Agenda Item 7 which this year reached a new low by calling for the creation of a “blacklist” of companies doing business in or with Israelis living in settlements, is a further stain on the legitimacy of the Human Rights Council and stands as yet another insult to the millions of victims of human rights violations around the world whose desperate plight the Council has neither the inclination nor the time to address because of its lopsided focus on Israel.”

In a letter to President Choi Kyong-lim, Greenberg and Hoenlein wrote “Contrary to your conclusion that Professor Lynk is impartial and objective, in fact he has a well-documented record of harsh and incendiary criticism of Israel demonstrating overwhelming prejudice against Israel.  This alone should preclude him from a position where an unbiased observer is needed to report on the status of human rights.”  

Greenberg and We express our appreciation to the U.S. for its continued efforts to defend Israel against the tide of one-sided resolutions at the United Nations.   As U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper noted yesterday in remarks on the 31st Session of the UNHRC “Especially disturbing is today’s resolution calling on OHCHR to implement a database of businesses operating in settlements. This is an unprecedented step taken by the Council, one not applied to businesses operating in the DPRK, Eritrea, or any other state.  This only serves to reinforce the one-sided nature of the Council’s actions against Israel and its biased agenda item 7 directed exclusively at Israel. We also remain deeply concerned by the call for such a database because it is far outside this Council’s scope of authority and because of the enormous waste of resources that it will involve.”

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 54 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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