TORONTO — Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has joined the chorus of Jewish voices questioning the appointment of University of Western Ontario law professor Stanley Michael Lynk to the position of special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories by the United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC). Canadian MPs Michael Levitt, Tony Clement and Peter Kent have also questioned the professor’s nomination over his alleged anti-Israel bias.
“Michael Lynk… has demonstrated repeatedly that he is unsuitable to fulfill this position through his long record of anti-Israel activity,” Levitt told The CJN. “Given the concerns that I and others have expressed to Minister Dion, I am pleased that he instructed our ambassador to Geneva to reach out to the president of the council to underscore the importance Canada assigns to ensuring that the chosen candidate meet appropriate criteria of professionalism and neutrality.”
On Friday, the day after the council tapped Lynk, Dion tweeted:
— Stéphane Dion (@MinCanadaFA) March 25, 2016
Canada will continue to advocate for transparent processes for the appointment of credible, impartial & objective Special Rapporteurs #UNHRC
— Stéphane Dion (@MinCanadaFA) March 24, 2016
Lynk “was not put forward by Canada and does not represent the views of this government,” Dion’s office said in a statement to the Canadian Press.
The statement also said Canada’s UN ambassador made it clear that the UNHRCA should appoint a “professional, neutral and credible” candidate, the Canadian Press noted.
In statements to The CJN, UN Watch, B’nai Brith Canada, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) have all unequivocally denounced Lynk as having a long and public history of anti-Israel bias.
CIJA said Lynk “has been significantly involved in anti-Israel advocacy in Canada,” including signing anti-Israel petitions, calling for Israel to be prosecuted for war crimes, accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing, addressing conferences promoting one bi-national state, and serving as a leader of a group that promotes Israeli Apartheid Week.”
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, told The CJN, “Because Lynk is Canadian, the Trudeau government can play a critical role by making clear to the UN its opposition to the appointment of a manifestly partisan candidate for a post that, under the UN’s own rules, requires complete impartiality.”
In a statement to The CJN, Lynk said that he is unable to comment at this time. “I would welcome, at the appropriate time, the chance to correct the misleading statements that have been said about me and my views,” he said.