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.