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Before you is an imaginary scenario:

The accused, Professor Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur: UN Human Rights Council

Charged with: Fraud to commit incitement

Opening statement for the Prosecution

My Lord, the accused is more than a prosecutor. Look at the broad shoulders. They carry a whole criminal justice system. Michael Lynk polices, he prosecutes and he adjudicates. And, my Lord, every time Lynk the policeman apprehends and hauls the one villain to court, he passes a guilty verdict, every time.

Who is this offender, so utterly habituated to crime? It is no walking talking human. Lynk polices, prosecutes and passes the verdict on a country, one tiny enough to fit into the domicile of my Lord’s court. The habitual villain goes by the name Israel, home to the Jewish people.

I submit, the case before the court is unique as the unicorn.

The accused is charged with committing fraud with intent to incite from March 2016 when the Human Rights Council selected Lynk for that very purpose. I will read to the court his latest fraud with intent to incite. The accused wrote it during the May 2021 conflict between Gaza and Israel.

“This most recent violence has a depressingly familiar pattern to it. Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza exchange missiles and rockets following dispossession and the denial of rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, with Israel’s far greater firepower inflicting far higher death tolls and injuries and a much larger scale of property destruction. Israel’s actions to stop the rocket fire from Gaza “constitute indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians and civilian property. These attacks likely violate the laws of war and constitute a war crime.”

My Lord, the statement is pockmarked with fraud.

Prof Lynk’s “Palestinian armed groups” are defined as terrorists by, among others, the US, the EU, Japan, UK, Jordan, Israel and, my Lord, his own government of Canada.

“Armed groups and Israel “exchange rockets,” he writes. My Lord, did the US fleet in Pearl Harbour and Japanese Kamikaze "exchange rockets"?

(Bench interrupts) You make a wild analogy, do you not? You don’t mean to tell me that the narrative is so ludicrous?

My Lord, yes I do. The next one is more grotesque. The professor makes a pineapple equal to a banana. He will get the chance to refute my Pearl Harbour analogy. He may enlighten the court. I for one cannot wait to hear his explanation why Gaza’s “armed groups” and the IDF are military forces of equal legitimacy or, to his mind, illegitimacy.

(From the Bench: Continue then.)

In one breath the accused writes of Islamist tyrants who seized the Gaza Strip in a violent coup, and of Israel, a member of the comity of nations, a dynamic, free, cultured, multi-party democracy. In Israel you can speak your mind more freely, my Lord, than you can in the professor’s own Canada. In Israel you won’t be ‘cancelled’ for saying that Woke-ism = Racism. You won’t be branded a ‘hater’ for denying that men give birth, or for insisting that humans, like creatures, can have only two genders: male and female. (Incredulous laughter from the Bench)

Another narrative:

“Following dispossession and denial of rights”… The accused refers to the pending Israeli Supreme Court ruling about whether to respect the property rights of Jewish landlords in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem. If the Court rules in favour of the Palestinian Arab occupiers, it will be Jews who are denied rights to property.

“…In the occupied Palestinian territory” My Lord, on this item our whole case will stand or fall.

Israel “inflicting far higher death tolls and injuries and …property destruction.” The devil is in the detail, and the accused runs scared of detail. How many fatalities were combatants plus civilians who were shielding them? How many properties destroyed were used for the rocket assaults, the propaganda war and by the attackers for taking refuge? How many were killed by misfired Hamas rockets?

Israel’s “indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians and civilian property…” These, my Lord, are the personal judgment of the accused.

“..Violate the laws of war and constitute a war crime.” By a Freudian slip the accused fingers the double war crimes committed by his “armed groups”. It was they who shot rockets from among their civilians upon Israeli civilians.

My Lord, I am ready to call the accused to the witness box

Prof Lynk, your title is – A long one isn’t it! Let me read it out:

Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967.

I would like you to tell the court in what capacity you work for the UN Human Rights Council.

Prof. Lynk: That’s readily done. I don’t work for the Council. I am not employed by it, I don’t get paid for my work. Council members selected me to act as the Special Rapporteur. I submit reports to Council members and to the UN General Assembly. They debate my reports and pass resolutions thereon.

Guidance from the Bench

The court cannot rule on an employment contract. In any case Professor Lynk’s terms of employment have no bearing on the case. The fact that the Human Rights Council appointed him is sufficient in and of itself. Prosecution, I must ask you to keep your witness to the straight and narrow.

Prosecution: My Lord I will.

Prof Lynk, can we move on to why you were appointed by the Human Rights Council. A Special Rapporteur has to satisfy what criteria?

Answer: There are certain attributes he must have:


Experience in law and human rights



Personal integrity


Thank you. Well, I for one shall not argue about your expertise and experience. Professor in the Faculty of Law, Western University, London, Ontario, since 1999. No question, you are right up there with the accomplished professors who held the office before you, And independent – you do the work not for the love of money but for the love of the work.

Lynk: I believe so.

Prosecution Know Richard Falk? The Special Rapporteur at one time.

Lynk: Of course. Law professor at Princeton.

Prosecution Yes, the law professor who fingered Israel for involvement in 9/11. And who posted a cartoon depicting Israel as a rabid mongrel. The dog wore a Judaic head cover decorated with the Star of David. The cartoon, Falk admitted, was ‘strongly anti-Semitic’. Then he apologised for offending dogs.

(From the Bench) I thought you were examining the witness. What is your question?

Prosecution: My Lord, I am building up to it. My question is coming.

Bench: Then mind what you are building up is not a castle. Patience is not a virtue in my book. Keep the building to a cottage.

Prosecution: My Lord…

Prof Lynk, John Dugard was another Special Rapporteur. Know him?

Lynk: Indeed. Prof Dugard. Among the many bows to his fiddle he was a part time judge at the International Court of Justice.

Prosecution: Fiddle – good word. Perhaps you know that his title was not quite the one you have? What is your title again?”

Lynk: Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967.’

Prosecution ‘For the human rights situation.’ Interesting… I don’t suppose you know the title in Dugard’s time?

Lynk: Don’t think I do.

Prosecution I happened to be the prosecutor in that case so I can help you out. Prof Dugard had the title, ‘Special Rapporteur onviolation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.’ Note the words I stressed: on violation. How imporatnt would you say they are? Very or not at all? Well Professor? No?

Then you leave me to tell you. Israel was seen as a violator before the Special Rapporteur gathered evidence to that effect. The role of Prof Dugard was to find the evidence that would make Israel guilty. It was the mandate for the job – to pass a guilty verdict! He would have contravened the mandate had he reported that Israel had not committed any crime. I made that point when Dugard stood in the same dock you now stand in.

What’s more, the title underwent window dressing after I exposed the problem. Prof Lynk, you are living proof that the title changed. Your title is the one that’s been window dressed. Do you think your title is better? More legal-wise?

Lynk:I believe my title avoids bias.

Prosecution Do you now. That remains to be seen. We are about to pay your title a visit. We must find if it holds water. Or is it leaky like the title Prof Dugard had. But before we do that, I want to throw another name at you. Heard the name Otto Ohlendorf?

Lynk: A Special Rapporteur before my time?

Prosecution: Not exactly. Herr Otto Ohlendorf was a commander in the Einsatzgruppen. That was the name of Nazi firing squads that roamed the Soviet Union exterminating Jewish populations. Now here’s the thing. Ohlendorf had degrees in law from three universities. He had a doctorate in jurisprudence.

(From the Bench) What is the question you want the accused to answer?

Prosecution: No question, my Lord. I’m done with that line of examination. I’m ready to move on to a new line.

Bench: Then we could all do with respite. The court will adjourn. We reconvene on the morrow.

Day 2

Professor Michael Lynk in the dock. Charge: Fraud with intent to commit incitement.

Prosecution summing up

A professor of law who worked in refugee camps on the 'West Bank' with the UN Relief and Works Agency ought to satisfy, almost by default, three of the six criteria laid down for a Special Rapporteur. The accused has cleared that bar by a mile. He’s got the expertise, the experience and, being an outsider, is independent of the Human Rights Council.

We have three other criteria to consider. To investigate the ‘human rights situation’ on the ground and to write up reports thereon, the job spec requires that the Special Rapporteur must have:


Personal integrity


My Lord, we may not blindly assume that a professor who forsakes varsity gown and corridors and decamps to ‘Palestine’ packs his scholarly habits. We may not assume that he will, by force of habit, act objectively, impartially and with integrity. Yes, the accused was appointed for those attributes. But so was Professor Falk who smeared dogs and Jews. And so was Prof Dugard, who pre-supposed Israel’s guilt and went to look for the crimes that would fit a guilty verdict.

(From the Bench) Continue in that succinct way. I discerned a buzz of gratitude from the gallery.

Prosecution : Thank you, my Lord, I shall try.

Prof, I want to put a proposition to you. Call them the three virtues: impartiality, personal integrity and objectivity. Your function demands them – as indeed that of a presiding judge demands those attributes. Going about unearthing a country’s abuse of human rights must be a demanding occupation. Do you find it so?

Lynk: It is demanding. I would say I’m more like a police detective than a judge.

Prosecution: Interesting you say that. But here’s the proposition or rule. Whether policeman, judge or Special Rapporteur, you must have all three virtues or none at all. You have the lot or you have none. Someone who is not impartial can’t have integrity and objectivity. Someone who is not objective can’t be impartial and have integrity. The virtues, I submit, are mutually inclusive. Do you agree with that proposition?

Lynk: I do. Completely.

Prosecution: Very good. Now on to the litmus test: the job title on your business card, if you have one, ends with, “Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967.” Yes?

Lynk: Those are the words.

Prosecution : Prof Lynk, you co-edited the book, ‘International Law and the Middle East Conflict’, Routledge, 2011.

Lynk: I did.

Prosecution: Fascinating title. I must get round to reading it. Because I haven’t yet, you will have to help me out. ‘Palestinian territories occupied since 1967’ refers of course to the Six-day War. The war ended with Israel occupying more territory than it had when the war began. Correct?

Lynk: A whole lot more.

Prosecution: You edited a book on the Middle East conflict, so tell me: Israel took the whole lot of territory from…? What countries did all this territory belong to before the Six-day war?

Lynk: Well, Israel took Gaza which had been under Egypt, and it took the 'West Bank' which had been under Jordan.

Prosecution: So then, Egypt and Jordan had the territories until Israel took them over. That is what you have told the court. Correct?

Lynk: Correct.

Prosecution: Well now, I am puzzled. Your job title, clear as daylight, maintains that in 1967 Israel took the territories from the Palestinians. Now you told me, no – Israel took the territories from Egypt and Jordan. Which of the two is correct? They cannot both be. Professor…?

(From the Bench) The accused must answer or it will be recorded on the trial records as a ‘no answer’.

The accused consults with his defence team, which requests, and gets, a seven day adjournment.


This "trial record" was emailed to Prof Lynk at his Faculty of Law, Western University, London, Ontario. He has 7 days to respond before the "trial" resumes and "judgment" follows.

Steve Apfel is an economist and costing specialist, but most of all a prolific author of fiction and non-fiction. His blog, ‘Balaam’s curse’ https://enemiesofzion.wordpress.com/ is followed in Europe, America, Canada, Asia, S. Africa, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.