Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Making The Same Mistake


Stephane Dion stepped in it last week when he suggested that the UN Human Rights Council choose someone other than Michael Lynk as Special Repporteur for the Palestinian Territories. Apparently, M. Dion has been consulting with UN Watch, a pro Israeli lobby group. He would have done well to talk to people who are familiar with Lynk and his work. Michael Harris writes that Joanna Quinn, director of the Centre for Transitional Justice and Post Conflict at the University of Western Ontario -- where Lynk teaches -- supports Lynk's nomination unreservedly. She says:

“I would like to emphasize that Professor Lynk’s scholarship and public outreach … have consistently held that there must be war crimes accountability for individuals involved both with Israel and with Palestine. His analysis has been fair-minded.”

William Kaplan, a former law professor at the University Ottawa, says:

“I have known and been a professional colleague of Michael Lynk for over thirty years. “He is principled and honourable. This guy is even-handed and fair-minded … Instead of attacking him, and quoting him unfairly out of context, I wish everyone would take a deep breath, take a reflective look at his scholarship, and give him the chance to do his job and then judge him on the job he does.”

And the NDP's Craig Scott, a professor at Osgoode Hall, called "the work of UN Watch, as re-circulated by other groups, “a piece of character assassination.” He described Lynk’s work as “careful, measured … and mainstream.”

The Harper government made the mistake of assuming that the Netanyahu government spoke for all of Israel. It would appear that the Trudeau government is making the same mistake.


image: law.uwo.ca

10 comments:

Rural said...

I rarely comment upon international politics Owen, it is a swamp which I do not wish to enter, however I have never understood the blind support of Israel and the condemnation of any who would criticize that state and those that cannot separate state from religion.

Owen Gray said...

Assuming that Mr. Netanyahu speaks for the majority of Israelis, Rural, is as fallacious as assuming that Mr. Harper spoke for the majority of Canadians.

The Mound of Sound said...

Harper always sought for the Conservatives to emulate the Republicans and it seems Trudeau and Dion, on foreign policy and some other matters, are happy enough to emulate the Democrats. I was never a Dionista. He was a weak leader and bungled his Green Shift initiative, allowing Harper and Layton to bludgeon the Liberals with it, yet I found his efforts to push back against Quebec separatists inspiring. Whatever he once had seems to have evaporated during the Harper years. Now he comes across as unprincipled, a weasel and a hack. C-51, the Saudi death deal, BDS, pipelines and now professor Lynk. For all the nice, mainly gestural things this government has done, its stance on the big issues will prevent me from returning to the Liberal fold.

Owen Gray said...

This episode was easily avoidable, Mound. A little forethought can be very useful.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Harper use to go after people that he thought were not clicking their heals and saluting Israel. I see Owen, that Dion in the process of doing Israels bidding also has no problem doing that. Canadians do not want a subservient Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Owen Gray said...

Trudeau promised a change in tone, Pam. And, on many files, he has delivered. But this song is the same song.

ron wilton said...

Seems as though your locations out here in the wild wild west have dissolved into the ethers. Where might you be found or perhaps you are on a leave?

Anonymous said...

Owen, I know that my comments will generate some rabid feedback; however, I feel so strongly about this subject that I must comment. I have to agree with Rural. My father started life in Northern Ireland and the religious issues there are well known. He taught me that categorizing any of us based on our religious beliefs just created so much prejudice that he wanted nothing to do with it. When I grew up in BC, it seemed that in Canada we were basically classified either Christians or Jews. Christians encompassed Roman Catholics and Protestants, who were primarily Anglican, United Church and Baptists. Nowadays, the evangelicals have co-opted the Christian appellation as only referring to themselves. We've seen how well that works in the USA. I feel very strongly that post WWII should never have created a country for only Jewish people. Instead, as they were uprooted from Europe by Hitler they should have been allowed to stay in Europe, preferably to take up residence in the areas of Europe that they were murdered and/or uprooted from. Taking land from the Palestinians was the worst decision ever. It is unfortunate that this decision has created a Jewish Homeland that is practicing aparthied in their dealings with the Palestinians which is terrible, considering the prejudices they themselves suffered from. Will we ever learn?

Owen Gray said...

I've never objected to the creation of Israel, Anon. But I do object to equating the state of Israel with the Netanyahu government. Netanyahu does not speak for all Jews. He speaks for the Likud Party.

Owen Gray said...

I've had some health issues, ron. I've just published a brief post to that effect. I hope to be back in about a week.