Michael Lynk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the “Palestinian territories” on Friday condemned Israel for its reaction to the Director-General of B’Tselem’s recent appearance before the Security Council, in which he blasted Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria.
According to a statement from Israel’s UN mission, Lynk held a press conference condemning Israel, and announced that his next report will also focus on Israel’s treatment of so-called “human rights” organizations such as B’Tselem and Americans for Peace Now.
At the press conference, which was called to discuss “Israel breaching Palestine’s right to development,” the Rapporteur discussed the recent appearance by B'Tselem’s director Hagai El-Ad at the UN Security Council and what he called Israel’s “worrying” reaction.
El-Ad’s appearance was condemned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who described B’Tselem as a “delusional little organization” and later ordered that the national service law be amended so that it will no longer be possible to do national service with B'Tselem.
In addition, coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) said he would look into revoking El-Ad’s citizenship but later backtracked on that and instead proposed a law that would forbid Israelis from appearing before international bodies with operational powers.
“Israel should not intimidate human rights defenders,” Lynk said on Friday. He went on to accuse Israel of an attempt to “delegitimize the great work of human rights defenders.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, reacted harshly to the Rapporteur’s announcement.
“This statement is offensive, and shows the immense damage done by extreme Israeli organizations that defame us in in front of the international community,” said Danon. “This UN Rapporteur stands at the head of a biased body, he is not credible and we do not recognize his authority. The lies spread by extremist organizations are ‘ammunition’ in the hands of those hostile to Israel and provides legitimization for those who wish to act against us in the international arena.”
“We will continue to tell the truth about Israel in every possible forum, and we will continue to act to stop UN funding for these organizations,” Ambassador Danon promised.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)