Anne Bayefsky

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Anne Bayefsky is a Professor at York University, Toronto, Canada, an Adjunct Professor at Touro College in New York, and a Barrister and Solicitor, Ontario Bar. She is currently on leave from York as a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. She is the recipient of Canada's human rights research fellowship, the Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research., and of a 1995 Macarthur Foundation grant for research in peace and international cooperation.[1]

She is a member of the International Law Association Committee on Human Rights Law and Practice, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the series "Refugees and Human Rights", published by Brill.

Dr. Bayefsky has been associated with several organizations regarded as supporting views of the right wing in the State of Israel: Contributing Expert, Ariel Center for Policy Research; board member, UN Watch; adviser, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.[2] In July 2009, she described, in a Jerusalem Post article, Barack Obama as "the most hostile sitting American president in the history of the state of Israel." [3]


In 1996 Bayefsky began her tenure as a full professor in the Department of Political Science at York University in Toronto. She is currently on leave. From 1996 to 1999 she was the director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies. From 1998 to 2004 she served as project director for the university’s Human Rights Treaty Study, a major international review of the U.N. human rights treaty system. In 2001 she published a report in collaboration with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.[1]

United Nations and human rights

She has been a critic of the United Nations, especially its record in human rights, is on the Governing Board of UN Watch, an UN Economic and Social Council-accredited non-governmental organization based in Geneva, and runs a website, "designed for the purpose of enhancing the implementation of the human rights legal standards of the United Nations." [4]

UN Watch was founded by the American Jewish Committee. It "notes that the disproportionate attention and unfair treatment applied by the UN toward Israel over the years offers an object lesson (though not the only one) in how due process, equal treatment, and other fundamental principles of the UN Charter are often ignored or selectively upheld.". [5]

Her website was created through the financial support of the Ford Foundation. Research funds were also provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The section of the website entitled "How To Complain About Human Rights Treaty Violations" was supported by the Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations, London, U.K. Additional funding came from acknowledged the Jacob Blaustein Institute, New York and from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

In 2001 she was a delegate of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists to the NGO Forum and a delegate of UN Watch to the 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism. She has served as an academic member of the Canadian Delegations to several international meetings, including the UN Human Rights Commission (predecessor to the UN Human Rights Council (1993-1996), the UN General Assembly (1984 and 1989), and the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights (1993). [1]

In October 2009, she published an article in the Jerusalem Post, describing the September 29 Richard Goldstone report on Israeli actions in Gaza, to the UN Human Rights Council, as '[repeating] the ancient blood libel against the Jewish people. Or as Goldstone casts this abomination for a modern audience, Israel 'deliberately…terrorize[d] a civilian population;" Israeli 'violence against civilians w[as] part of a deliberate policy.'" It was tabled, apparently partially with US pressure, but she asked in the article, "Does President Obama plan to use the opportunity to extract concessions from Israel in exchange for putting the Goldstone report permanently to rest? Or does he appreciate that there can be no peace progress so long as Israel's alleged 'peace' partners are bent on gutting its right of self-defense, and the phrase 'living side-by-side in peace and security' is meant to apply to a party of one? Initial signs are worrying."[6]