With regard to Lynk’s appointment as rapporteur for the “Palestinians”

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Thirteen Propositions about Zionism and Israel

A very close friend of mine, Shelly Schreter has allowed me to re-publish his essay “Thirteen Propositions about Zionism and Israel” below. He also begins with a preface.

Shelly is an ardent Zionist yet a very committed orthodox Jew who although originally from my home town Montreal has lived in Israel for the last 25 years or more.

He every strongly opposes the current right wing government but also has few good things to say about the left. I don’t agree with most of his points however there is enough there for me to support. I highly respect him and his opinion and as such I am re-blogging his piece here and welcome everyone’s input.


March 2016

Dear friends and family,

Recent events provoked me to set down some of my views about Israel, Palestine, BDS, etc. in the attached piece. The ideas have been articulated before, including by me, though some of the formulations are updated. It just seemed like restating the basics was necessary at this time of widespread confusion, and this is my attempt at doing it.

At 2500 words, this is too long for publication, and I don’t have the time to craft an op-ed article or smooth narrative out of it. I can only submit it for your examination, and hope that you find it of interest, whether or not you agree with its arguments. Your feedback will of course be welcomed. And you are free to share it with anyone you like. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Pesach holiday. Be well,

At 2500 words, this is too long for publication, and I don’t have the time to craft an op-ed article or smooth narrative out of it. I can only submit it for your examination, and hope that you find it of interest, whether or not you agree with its arguments. Your feedback will of course be welcomed. And you are free to share it with anyone you like. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Pesach holiday.

Be well,

Shelly Schreter


Thirteen Propositions about Zionism and Israel

Shelly Schreter      March, 2016

There is tremendous self-deception and denial in the Jewish world today about Zionism, Israel’s future, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), BDS, the idea of a Jewish state, and the requirements for Israel’s security. We have lost the pragmatic common sense and clear-sighted evaluation of political realities which enabled earlier generations to create and sustain the Jewish state. This is an attempt to recover that earlier vision, while we still have a chance to save the Jewish state, and thereby the Jewish people: the stakes are “only” everything.

This is an advocacy piece, and strong statements will be made. Both left and right should find what to oppose here. First, two points of general principle, followed by the specifics of our conflict with the Palestinians.

  1. What matters are the actual consequences of a political position, not its intentions. History is full of political programs which have boomeranged and seriously missed what their advocates were aiming for. A political vision is only as good as the accuracy of its analysis and the implementability of its prescriptions in response to the issues it addresses.


  1. Priorities are necessary, and have to be clear and shared, for a political vision to have any chance of success. You can’t have everything, and must agree on what is more and less essential. Refusal to do that, in favour of total or apocalyptic programs, is a classic formula for failure and disaster.


  1. The one-state solution, whether proposed by Jewish “patriots” or Arab and other enemies of the Jewish state, is no solution: it is the guarantee of endless civil war. Locking two rival and antagonistic peoples, neither of which is going away, into the hateful embrace of a joint state is a monster scenario, a human rights horror. Anyone who imagines that a bi-national state of Israel/Palestine could avoid such an outcome is either a fool or a knave. No one who actually cares about either people could wish such a terrible fate upon them.


  1. Only a two-state solution can provide for the survival of a Jewish state and justice for the Palestinians in a state of their own. Both people need the degree of self-determination that only a political nation-state, with all its flaws, can offer. How can the next requirement, in order of priority – security for both nation-states – be provided? Most Israelis, after vigorous debate, would accept two states, provided their well-grounded fears about security could be addressed satisfactorily. Many Palestinians are in a similar place, even after long years of indoctrination through official media and educational systems, and the experience of occupation, dispossession and expropriation. Mutual hatred abounds, but so does a basic hunger for a measure of justice and a reasonable degree of protection one from the other.


  1. The Israeli peace camp, by failing to address the security issue seriously enough, has contributed to its relegation to political marginality. Of course there were Yitzchak Rabin and other military authority-figures, but on the whole the Israeli left has appeared “soft” on security, if not at times cavalier and detached from reality. It is true that this issue is tailor-made to the needs of the political right, but the absence of a coherent and compelling defense doctrine on the Left has undermined its electoral appeal fatefully. When compounded by issues of intra-Jewish ethnic prejudice (Ashkenazim and Mizrachim), elitist cultural styles and long-term socio-economic realities, the Right and its religious allies have held political ascendancy in Israel for most of the last 4 decades. Palestinian terror tactics have deeply undermined the legitimacy of the Left’s arguments. This is further exacerbated by Jewish/Israeli left-wingers who trash the two-state prescription by ceding victory to the Right (“too late to reverse the settlements”), and projecting a single state in which Arabs will eventually win the internal power struggle. The smugness of their “see-what-you-have-done?” argument makes them even more hateful to the Israeli electorate, who have no illusions about the fate of non-Muslim or non-Arab minorities in Arab countries.


  1. The Israeli Right has NO answer for what to do with all those Arabs. Learning nothing from the post-colonial era following World War II, they have fantasized that improving the economic status of the Palestinians in the West Bank would convince them to support, or at least reluctantly accept, Jewish domination. They have been disappointed when that did not happen. Some have fantasized that the inconvenient Arabs would gradually disappear, perhaps aided by incentives – positive (monetary aid packages, aka bribes) or negative (making their lives so miserable as to motivate mass emigration). A small but growing fringe group has undertaken violent initiatives to impel Arabs to depart. Practically no one thinks of ever giving them voting or other basic civil rights. How can a degeneration into some version of apartheid be avoided? The Jewish right-wing belief that the situation, even if not ideal, is still “manageable”, is daily belied by terror attacks which show no sign of ending. Some argue that the demographics are trending in favour of the Jews, since Arab birth rates are declining. This pretends that the massive Jewish birth rate among haredim who dissent from the State of Israel makes a difference, or that a Jewish-dominated state with a 40 or 45% minority of unwilling Arabs could avoid the ravages of civil war. Some still imagine that the Palestinians don’t exist, that they are an artificial construct of the larger Arab opposition to Jews and Zionism, that they would evaporate if not for the life-support of international organizations and Arab regimes diverting attention from their own criminality. In a way, they are just as irrelevant as the Israel-haters trying to reverse Israel’s creation. Too late, haters of both sides, history has moved on. In brief: The Israeli Right has no answer.


  1. Israel and Zionism cannot be sustained without the basic support of the democratic nations of the world, without the ability to demonstrate the essential justice and rightness of their cause. This was true in 1948, but is it still today? Russia and China and other nations do what they like without worrying about such things, don’t they? It is easy to sneer at the role of morality or “rightness” in international relations, but lunatic to deny it altogether. Israel is hardly Russia or China. It is at best a strong regional power, heavily dependent on American support. Ancient Israel was not in such a different position, as it had to maneuver delicately between the superpower competitions of its era in order to survive, and lost everything when it made fatal mistakes in assessing its political alternatives. Israel is right to depend primarily on its own military ability to defend itself against malicious neighbours. But that ability in turn strongly depends on the basic goodwill of the public in North America, Western Europe and other democratic nations, who accept that Jews are a people, deserving the right to self-determination and self-defense. The struggle on campuses and in the media of these countries to undermine this belief is critical, since that is where the attitudes of future elites are being shaped. It is also central for preserving Israel’s most important, long-term strategic asset: the support of the Jewish people around the world.


  1. Separation from the Palestinians, while preserving key self-defense assets, is Israel’s most important strategic need. As recent events confirm again, the status quo in the West Bank is not sustainable or “manageable” over time. It is clear how high a price Israel pays externally for perpetuating its rule over the West Bank. Make no mistake: on the principle of “if it walks like a duck”, this is an occupation. Less obvious to many supporters of Israel, perhaps, is the internal price Israel pays. Occupation corrupts, and Israeli society daily exhibits more and more of the costs of sending many of its young people to occupy a resistant Palestinian nation. Some criticize Israel’s public relations efforts, as if that were the problem, rather than its symptom. Israel’s ability to make its case to the world is crippled by its status as occupier and ethnic cleanser of the Palestinians. Far from being an asset, its West Bank settlements and their expansion are a liability which undermines Israel’s self-defense capacity. To use public relations terminology: Israel can market a narrative of legitimate self-defense against enemies determined to destroy it, as it did before 1967. Israel cannot succeed in marketing a narrative of gradual annexation, expropriation and expulsion of native populations. These are fatally “damaged goods”. This is not only immoral, it is inevitably a losing formulation, an enormous gift to BDS and all the Israel-haters contending that Israel’s very existence is a crime, an “original sin”. Israel cannot afford these costs, cannot continue sustaining them – and survive.


  1. Basic internal consensus and international support are ultimately more important defense assets for Israel than total control of the West Bank, and certainly more than the continuing expansion of the Jewish settlements there. This is where the issue of priorities is most keenly in play. The left cannot deny that losing control of the hill country in the West Bank, or the area within conventional rocket range of Ben Gurion Airport (to use a critical example), represents a real security risk. My own front door in Ra’anana is within mortar range (nothing fancier needed) of the West Bank. All this has to be weighed in a careful analysis against the costs of our present trajectory, which is rapidly eroding our international support and deepening the already-dangerous divisions within Israeli society. What good will controlling the heights over Israel’s Coastal Plain be, if the Western and specifically the American consensus on re-arming Israel in case of war is broken, and if the internal schisms and corruptions within Israel have brought us to the point of societal breakdown? What good will it do to defend the precious vessel of our sovereignty with one hand, while shattering its internal viability and integrity with the other? Civilian settlements had a function for self-defense and staking a viable claim in the heroic pre-State era. But when West Bank settlements today present sitting-duck targets requiring major military assets to defend, and provide a convenient focus for the growing international isolation of Israel, while absorbing massive internal resources at the expense of health, welfare, education, housing, transportation and other systems, then where is the sense?!? Security is basic, and the Gaza experience is cautionary and deeply disturbing. However, Israel has solved such problems before, never hermetically or perfectly, but enough to enable life and growth to proceed vigorously. Demilitarization of the West Bank is a goal which can be pursued internationally, and policed by NATO – and by the IDF. None of this is perfect or costless, it is only vastly preferable to the alternatives. Again: priorities.


  1. “Hanging on until the Arabs come to their senses”, in terms of the West Bank settlements, is a dangerous myth, which some believe innocently while others exploit cynically. It is no holding pattern; it is a long-term campaign to change conditions on the ground. Either way, its effect (and in many cases its declared purpose) is to render the two-state solution impossible, and it thereby threatens Israel’s basic existential interests. If there is no Palestinian state, neither eventually will there be a Jewish state, and no amount of denial or fantasizing can avert that. It is indisputably true that Israel has to be strong to survive in its brutal neighbourhood. But displays of strength alone will never bring the Arabs to a readiness for compromise. When that is the sole strategy, all we achieve is to increase their hatred and determination to persist in the struggle to eliminate us. It reinforces the sense of rightness of their cause and of fighting injustice which bolsters them and their growing international support. And on the other hand, it mortgages Israeli society to the maintenance of unviable and dysfunctional settlements, whose residents have no intention of serving as bargaining-chips in some future negotiation. Thus, scaling back the settlements to the large blocs adjacent to the 1967 borders, and agreeing to resolve the conflict in a series of swaps (along the lines of known parameters), would have another crucial strategic benefit for Israel: averting the civil war which threatens if we do not.


  1. Reminder of basics: Zionism was a movement to liberate the Jewish people from intolerable, unlivable circumstances. It was NOT a movement to liberate the territory of the ancient Land of Israel. Jewish self-determination and sovereignty were not achievable anywhere else but in the ancient homeland, as history proved. The Land of Israel was a means to a critical end, to a survivalist need, but not an end in itself. Confusion over that basic point threatens the one Jewish state we do have. This profoundly mistaken idea is a distortion to which all nationalist movements are potentially vulnerable, if not aware and vigilant. Its zealots must be prevented from kidnapping the pragmatic, progressive  Zionism which nurtured the creation of the Jewish state.


  1. Inevitable Conclusion: Jews or Israelis who advocate a one-state solution in one form or another, or who pursue policies which render the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state alongside Israel increasingly impossible, are contributing in effect to the demise of the Jewish state. In that sense, and tragically contrary to their conscious intentions, they are in effect anti-Zionist, and should be repudiated. Their intentions cannot in any way compensate for the damage they cause or the threat that they pose. And by extension, political leaders or anyone else who tries to promote the two-state format, opposing the settlements while supporting Israel’s basic existence and right to self-defense, must be recognized as the true friends of Israel that they really are.


  1. BDS are precisely the kind of one-staters making the conflict more intractable and extreme. They are lying to their adherents, by pretending to oppose Israel’s policies, when in fact their opposition is to Israel’s very existence. As such, they are one more example in the long line of failed Arab intellectuals and politicians who led the Palestinians and well-intentioned supporters down the path of futility, pursuing one dead-end after another, and leaving the Palestinian people trapped in miserable refugee camps for generations, exploited by their hypocritical Arab brothers, and enslaved by pathological ideologies of victimhood and glory or salvation through death. The extremists of both the Palestinian and Jewish camps are dangerous parasites who validate one another’s sick narratives and perpetuate a toxic conflict, while in fact obscenely dependent upon one another. Both brainwash their adherents into believing that total solutions are desirable and attainable, rather than giant death-traps. They should all be exposed and discarded, while progressive elements on both sides do the hard work of figuring out how to co-exist in mutual security, hopefully evolving one day into genuine peace. The Jewish state is a fact, and is not going away or apologizing for its existence. The exact same is true of the Palestinian people. Let’s all deal with it.



Shelly Schreter,

Ra’anana, Israel


Rumsfeld: The One Human Being “Unaware” Of Building 7?

I can’t believe that you or anyone can believe the hundreds of lies in Christopher Bollyn’s video link you sent. One long unsubstantiated anti-Semitic monologue!!


By Jerry Alatalo

RethinkAlphabet Some people have, as most journalists experience, various levels of negative opinions of Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change. But try to name one other journalist who’s gotten directly into the faces of Rothschild, Kissinger, Silverstein etc., and now – Donald Rumsfeld. Mr. Rudkowski recently ran into the former Secretary of Defense during the time of 9/11 in 2001, and asked him about World Trade Center Building 7, the 3rd skyscraper to collapse on September 11, and about which virtually every man, woman and child on Earth knows about.

Consider this:

In response to the “smoking gun” controversy surrounding Building 7, Rumsfeld told Luke Rudkowski: “I don’t know anything about that.”

There are people who’ll see this short three-minute video and react with laughter, or get some kind of “kick” out of hearing Rumsfeld, frankly, lie through his teeth. Unfortunately, what Rudkowski captured on film and audio…

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I can’t believe all this drivel stated as if it were fact.

There is no occupation of “Palestine” and the only one hurting “Palestinian” artists are their own leaders who through corruption and deceit deprive them of the millions in funding that should have gone to shore up their economy and living conditions.

Instead of boycotting, why aren’t they sticking to the Oslo accords and sitting down with the Israelis to negotiate a lasting peace agreement?

Unbelievable. These “artists” have too much time on their hands.

Artists for Palestine UK

Why has Shakespeare’s Globe added a performance at Israel’s Cameri theatre  on March 30 to the tour schedule for its production of Hamlet, in breach of the boycott of institutions that reinforce the oppression of Palestinian artists and their communities?

This is the question addressed on Friday (March 25) to artistic director Dominic Dromgoole, as his ten year stint at the celebrated London theatre draws to a close, in an open letter signed by British and Palestinian theatre professionals.

inminds Globe apartheid pic Image projected on the Globe’s iconic riverside building by activists taking part in a protest organised by inminds.com in London on Friday

In 2012, 37 actors, writers and directors protested the fact that Shakespeare’s Globe had invited Habima, the national theatre of Israel, to take part in its Globe to Globe festival.   The specific ground for the protest was that Habima regularly performs in Ariel, the largest of Israel’s illegal settlements in…

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September 11, 2001: “Taboo” In 2016 Election.

I can’t believe that you or anyone can believe the hundreds of lies in Christopher Bollyn’s video link you sent. One long unsubstantiated anti-Semitic monologue!!


By Jerry Alatalo

Suits 1Alphabet Chicago, Illinois native and investigative journalist Christopher Bollyn now resides in Europe. He has toured the United States for many months recently giving his presentation “Solving 9/11 Ends the War”. After sharing Luke Rudkowski’s astonishing encounter with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, it seemed fitting to follow-up with part of one of Mr. Bollyn’s powerful talks. It’s strongly suggested that Americans become aware of this major issue by finding Mr. Bollyn’s many full lectures, some over 2-hours long, posted on YouTube.

This writer believes Christopher Bollyn is a man of rare true morality and integrity, one who has made the conscious decision to speak the truth about 9/11 in the face of profound personal risk, and that his message imploring the American people to rise up with enough power to manifest prosecution of criminals behind the greatest false-flag operation in history is vital.

Since September 11…

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So this just appeared on the “Artists for Palestine UK” website. I submitted the first comment which is below. Read their accusations and tell me if you agree. I doubt if they publish my comment however you never know?


I can’t believe all this drivel stated as if it were fact.

There is no occupation of “Palestine” and the only one hurting “Palestinian” artists are their own leaders who through corruption and deceit deprive them of the millions in funding that should have gone to shore up their economy and living conditions.

Instead of boycotting, why aren’t they sticking to the Oslo accords and sitting down with the Israelis to negotiate a lasting peace agreement?

Unbelievable. These “artists” have too much time on their hands.


Reply to Daniel Molnar’s Comment on Richard Falk

“to publicize daily and without fail, every act of Israeli inhumanity: the Turkish news: http://www.worldbulletin.net/ is pretty brave in doing that; Al Jazeera America on line is gone. Keep in mind super rich American Zionists are funding various disinformation/ repression efforts.”

Do they also publish every act of Israeli HUMANITY? Or is that too biased? Al Jazeera, funded by billions in petro-dollars died because everyone saw through the staged lies and hidden agenda against the west and Israel in general. They will continue to succeed in the markets where people have already succumbed to their propaganda such as Europe and the Middle-East.

Zionist Hasbarah is not “disinformation/ repression”. It is the conveyance of fact and non-revisionist history.

US Professor Amazed at Wealth in Gaza City; Notes 900 Mosques, Only 2 Libraries

US Professor Amazed at Wealth in Gaza City; Notes 900 Mosques, Only 2 Libraries
MARCH 23, 2016 6:33 AM
Author: Elder of Ziyon

A professor at the Jackson School of International Studies at Washington University visited Gaza City for six hours a few weeks ago, and he was astonished that after reading years of propaganda about how poverty stricken Gazans are, they really aren’t.

I was flooded with impressions as we drove into the old city of Gaza. The first was, unexpectedly, that it looked nothing like India. Given the severe poverty, even humanitarian crisis, that Gaza as a whole is experiencing, I had expected the obvious and wrenching poverty that I had seen in some Indian cities or many other Third World countries, for that matter—collapsing infrastructure, rickety shacks, a surfeit of beggars, children in rags, adults sleeping on the sidewalks. At least in this part of the city and others that I saw later in the day, none of that was visible. Instead, I saw hordes of children going to school, university students walking in and out of the gates of the two universities—both the children and the university students reasonably dressed. I observed morning shoppers buying vegetables and fruits from stands, shopkeepers opening their shops, and people walking purposefully to wherever they were going for the start of the day. There were cranes and construction workers everywhere, with lots of uncompleted buildings being worked on. A garbage truck, with a UN sign on it, was making its rounds.

There was the occasional bombed out building, from the 2014 War. One had the entire top of the building, several stories, simply blown off. But other than those, most buildings were in decent shape, and some apartment buildings were downright nice. There were definitely some junkers on the road, but most of the cars looked like late-model varieties. Some of the side streets were pocked and broken up; the main thoroughfares, though, were in good shape. There were almost no traffic lights, and traffic was a bit chaotic. I must add again that I was in Gaza City (both the old and new parts of the city) only and did not go to some of the outer areas and refugee camps where the bombing in the 2014 war was the heaviest and where, I understand, destruction was massive.

People were certainly not in rags. Men were mostly in chino-type pants and button-down shirts. With very few exceptions, women were covered with the hijab and burka. Perhaps 10-20 percent of them were in black with their faces totally covered. Incidentally, this sort of veiling was not a traditional practice in Palestinian society; it is very much a product of the “new fundamentalism.”

The fascinating people I met during the day actually related to Israel in what I considered a very interesting fashion. In conversation after conversation, there was a kind of by-the-way acknowledgment of the destructiveness of Israel’s policies and, for sure, a general hatred for Israel. But what was striking was how everyone quickly went on from those sorts of almost off-handed comments to criticize how the Hamas government or the people themselves are also responsible for the state of affairs. There was no obsessing about Israel, which I found interesting. Indeed, there might even be a general acceptance of Israel in terms of realizing that Israel will long be part of their future.

Even a professor of international studies had no idea that Gaza didn’t look like the most poverty-stricken parts of Third World countries. The power of anti-Israel propaganda and one-sided media coverage is immense.

And Hamas is building….lots of mosques.
…My final meeting was with a fascinating character, Atef Abu Saif. Atef holds a Ph.D. in political science from the European University Institute in Florence, having worked with a friend of mine, Professor Phillipe Schmitter. Atef is also a novelist. He now teaches political science at Al-Azhar Gaza University and writes frequently, including for the New York Times and Slate. An open member of Fatah (although critical of the Fatah leadership), he has clashed with Hamas on a number of occasions, landing him in jail for short stints.

Atef’s main contention is that there are actually two Gazas. One is the one run by Hamas and includes its supporters. He noted, for example, that there has been a mosque-building binge, leading to a total of 879 mosques in the Strip by 2014, as compared to two public libraries. In his words, “Gaza has become one huge mosque.” The second Gaza consists of the Palestinian public in Gaza, engaged in all sorts of cultural and social activities outside Hamas’s orbit. If not quite a civil society, he intimated, there is a lot that goes on beneath the radar.

My guess is that those libraries were built when Israel controlled Gaza.

Here is the article:


How does a person decide to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel?

How does a person decide to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel?

As someone who understands the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, supporting Israel seems to be the natural position to take. Shared values of democracy, freedom, and tolerance make backing Israel an easy decision. And yet, we now see ostensibly freedom-loving movements throughout the West turn their backs on the only state in the Middle East where the existence of these very movements is tolerated.

It is true that there are issues of democracy and freedom between Israel and the Arabs. It is possible to argue that refugees exist in squalor, that Palestinian children have died, that the conflict seems endless, and that Israel is the stronger party. But none of these suggest that Israel is the causeof the conflict, nor that it is in Israel’s hands to provide a solution. In fact, as a democratic state with a market economy that seeks foreign investment, Israel has strong motivation to avoid conflict and war. History has taught us that such nations tend to seek peace at almost any cost.

But this means nothing to supporters of BDS, because the movement is entirely based on the manipulation and distortion of the truth. If you engage with BDS supporters and directly challenge them, their response is usually little more than an illogical pack of lies. If someone you know is thinking about supporting BDS, why is it so hard to “show them the truth”?

The simple answer is that BDS is a movement that has reached its verdict beforehand. It does not ask if Israel is guilty. Instead, it seeks to determine the correct punishment for a “criminal” that is already condemned. So when you respond to a potential BDS supporter with facts, you are simply irrelevant to them. It is like bringing evidence to a sentencing hearing that should have been presented during the trial itself. You are simply too late.

Recently, I have heard more than my fair share of lies about Jews and lies about Israel. However, what is different about the recent events I have witnessed is that I have seen how these lies are created.

To continue reading, click  http://www.thetower.org/article/what-the-anti-israel-boycotters-are-saying-when-they-think-were-not-listening/

for the original Tower Magazine article. The extract above is only a brief extract.

Please provide your comments on the merits of the article

Zionism did not stem from the holocaust and no Zionist would claim so.

This was my response to Lillian Rosengarten in Richard Falk’s blog. Just in case he deletes it:



Zionism did not stem from the holocaust and no Zionist would claim so. The holocaust gave birth to the United Nations which itself decided to empower the creation of a Jewish and new Arab state. Zionism is rooted in an over 2 thousand year yearning to return to our homeland and simply modernized by Theo Herzl in the late 1800’s after realizing that the world’s nations did not want it’s Jews and no alternative existed but to return home.

Given the ensuing discussions on Ban-ki-Moon, BDS and the UN perhaps the viewers in this blog should note the letter below just sent to our Prime-Minister especially given his statement of trying to make Canada more “impartial” at the UN. Perhaps Richard might comment on the accuracy of their reference to him and Hamas:


Dear Prime Minister:

We are writing to you today as the Official Opposition Critics for Foreign Affairs regarding two of the eligible candidates for the position of “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967”. The two leading candidates, Penny Green and Michael Lynk, have both promoted extreme anti-Israeli views. Canada must strongly and publicly condemn these two candidates and strongly advocate for their disqualification.

According to UN Watch, Ms. Green has posted tweets accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid” and has compared Israel to the Islamic State. She supports the total boycott of Israel as a part of the Boycott, Sanction and Divest (BDS) movement. She even went so far as to complain that the United States and the United Kingdom have not yet started “bombing Israel for its massacres.” It is absolutely outrageous that such an individual can be considered the leading candidate for any UN body.

Michael Lynk, a Canadian who is currently the second ranked candidate, plays a leading role in the Canadian Palestinian Education Exchange (CEPAL), a group which promotes “Israeli Apartheid Week” events, addresses “One State” conferences which seek to eliminate Israel, and calls for the prosecution of Israel for war crimes. Mr. Lynk also blamed the events of 9/11 on “global inequalities” and “disregard by Western nations for the international rule of law.”

Regardless of the questionable nature of even requiring a one-sided UN Special Rapporteur on these issues, the two leading candidates are prima facie disqualified from the position. The rules of the UN Human Rights Council are clearly defined in resolution 5/1 and 16/21 – the criteria of “impartiality” and “objectivity” are to be of “paramount importance” when selecting and appointing mandate-holders. Ms. Green and Mr. Lynk should have been disqualified from the outset. Furthermore, Richard Falk, who held this position in 2014, is an outspoken supporter of Hamas. To avoid further embarrassment and controversy, while also ensuring Israel is not unfairly targeted yet again by a UN body, this position must be filled by a candidate with an objective voice.

As you know, the House of Commons recently adopted a motion to condemn the BDS movement as an unwarranted attack against Israel. To continue standing up for the right of Israel to exist and live in peace with its neighbours, Canada must exercise its influence at the UN. We call on the Government to write to the Council president, South Korean ambassador Choi Kyong-lim, and call on him to disqualify these candidates as they do not meet even the most minimal criteria of impartiality and objectivity as required by Human Rights Council resolutions.

Given your government’s stated intent to continue building on former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s strong support of the State of Israel, we trust you will receive advice in the collegial manner intended.

Yours sincerely,

The Honourable Tony Clement
Official Opposition Critic – Foreign Affairs

The Honourable Peter Kent
Official Opposition Deputy Critic – Foreign Affairs