UN official compares Israel settlements to war crimes, sparks backlash

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A United Nations human rights investigator is called an anti-Semite for comments made against Israel on Friday at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Critics say this is just another long line of anti-Israel prejudice emanating from the global body as it seeks to rewrite history.

Michael Lynk, a special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, was speaking at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council presenting the findings of his report where he said that he wanted to “make Israel understand that its illegal occupation and its disregard for international law and international opinion can and will no longer be gratuitous.” Lynk, who has long been criticized for his anti-Israel views, noted: “I conclude that the Israeli settlements constitute a war crime.”

Lynk’s remarks immediately drew fire from critics who noted that his report and remarks excluded any criticism of the Hamas terrorist group or the Palestinian Authority.

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Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, told Fox News: “Her so-called 20-page expert report lacks a single reference to the use of human shields by Hamas, to one of the Palestinians killed by failed Hamas fire. rockets, or indeed any Palestinian who has committed a war crime. The real question is why the Biden administration has decided to join and legitimize this Council and its absurd human rights authority figures, knowing full well that neither the Council nor the Lynk Platform can be or will be changed. “

Then-President Trump withdrew the United States from the Human Rights Council in 2018. Nikki Haley, the United Nations ambassador at the time, said the 47-member council was ” a protector of the perpetrators of human rights violations and a cesspool of political prejudice “. In one of the Trump administration’s many policy changes regarding the UN, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last February that the Biden administration would reconnect with the council and contest a seat for its 2022 session.

Blinken, in a statement, noted: “The United States has long been a champion of human rights. If elected to the Human Rights Council, we will take the opportunity to be a leading voice in the Council to promote respect for human rights.

Bayefsky, who is also chairman of Human Rights Voices and who speaks regularly and monitors the Human Rights Council, told Fox News: “The so-called UN Human Rights Council expert on ‘Palestinian territories’, Michael Lynk, is a notorious extremist. Three days after September 11, he criticized Western countries’ “non-compliance” with the law for “creating this kind of act”. He regularly makes the grotesque analogy of Israel and the Jewish victims of the Nazis to the Nazis. He constantly questions the legitimacy of the existence of a Jewish state, repeatedly reverting to the alleged affront of 1948.

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Bayefsky concluded: “Today’s appalling example of promoting anti-Semitism under the guise of protecting human rights is quite normal, both for the supreme human rights body. of the United Nations and its representative, Michael Lynk.

While Israel does not participate in agenda item 7, which is only used to condemn the Jewish state, the Palestinian representative thanked Lynk for his report.

Its ambassador, Ibrahim Khreish said it was imperative to heed the recommendations, “so that we can punish this colonial and plantation system, end investments there, and boycott this system and impose economic sanctions and policies to condemn the injustices committed by this (Israeli) government “.

While no comment was made by Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations to Fox News, international spokesperson for Hebron’s Jewish community, Yishai Fleisher criticized Lynk by calling him “a thief of ‘national identity’.

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Fleisher told Fox News in Hebron that he had to understand that the areas he called settlements showed that he lacked basic knowledge and understanding of history. “The Jewish people are indigenous to Judea, we had two republics here and we are now in the period of the third republic. We come from this land, our language is filled with idioms of this land, our whole identity is linked to this land, and the only war crime that should be discussed right now is the war crime Michael Lynk is committing by denying our history. “

Of all the agenda items of the UN’s supreme human rights body, there is only one dedicated to attacking one country which is Israel. – item 7 of the agenda. Despite multiple efforts to reform point 7, it still continues to this day.

Human Rights Council members from 47 countries include China, Cuba, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela.

Frank Miles of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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