Palestine and the United Nations, International Law, and the Question of Apartheid

On the evening of January 21, 2023, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada Palestine/Israel Network (MCEC PIN) and Canadian Voices for Palestinian Rights (CVPR) hosted a lecture and discussion with lawyer Michael Lynk at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ontario.

Lynk, law professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, last spring completed a six-year term as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza).

Lynk introduced his talk by speaking of international law, what it means for Palestinians living under occupation, and how the UN arrived at a new definition of Apartheid after the situation in South Africa changed. His Powerpoint (download it here) went on to explain why Israel is being identified as an Apartheid state.

Afterwards, attendees broke into groups of eight to discuss the presentation and consider ideas for follow-up. Everyone was asked to write a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly, and their own Member of Parliament.

Among the 75 in attendance was Member of Parliament Tim Louis of Conestoga/South Kitchener, and three staffers from the office of MP Mike Morice of Kitchener Center, who was out of town. Arabesque, a popular Palestinian/Arab restaurant in Kitchener, treated everyone to freshly baked bakalava and sweets. And thanks to Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church for its welcoming venue.

An earlier video presentation can be viewed here.

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