Issue 269: Highlights of recent UN Watch accomplishments around the world

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Human Rights Watch chief mocks Jews

Following is an open letter from UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer to Human Rights Watch chief Ken Roth, which went viral on Facebook. Dear Ken Roth

Following are highlights of recent UN Watch accomplishments around the world. To ensure the continuation of UN Watch’s vital work, please contribute here.
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Washington Post Reports UN Watch Victory in Ousting Biased U.N. Official

Christian Tomuschat, the German law professor who

 

German academic Christian Tomuschat. The biased enforcer of the Goldstone Report resigned following
UN Watch’s campaign.

questions whether America and the West provoked the 9/11 attacks, and who represented the pro-Hezbollah side in a debate on the 2006 Lebanon war, has resigned from the U.N. committee to enforce the Goldstone Report. The biased U.N. probe is now headless, and in disarray. As reported in aWashington Post blog, the unprecedented resignation followed a global campaign by UN Watch to oust Professor Tomuschat, on grounds that his egregious bias breached his obligation under international law to be objective and impartial. UN Watch’s team of researchers tracked down and translated Professor Tomuschat’s German academic writings, publishing a 30-page report that revealed how the U.N. official had frequently compared Israeli actions with “World War II barbarism.” When Tomuschat presented his report to the council plenary — calling for Israel’s Tzipi Livini to be investigated for “war crimes” — UN Watch was the only one to take the floor and challenge his bias, citing the professor’s legal work for PLO chief Yasser Arafat, and his repeated descriptions of Israel as a “state terrorist.” Thousands took action on unwatch.org to urge the U.N. to fire Tomuschat. U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay defended him, but eventually he resigned.

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UN Watch Sparks Rare Swedish Debate on U.N.’s Rights Record, Role of Tyrants

“’U.N. officials often argue that it’s important to involve rogue states in dialogue,’ said UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer. ‘In reality, tyrants were never improved by membership on the old Human Rights Commission. Instead they use the council—like the old commission—to shield their abuses.’”  Dictators’ Paradise, Sweden’s Neo magazine, October 2010.

The real omslag nr 5 – 2010Sweden’s Neo magazine devoted a cover article to UN Watch’s recent clash with Libya at the U.N. Human Rights Council. The essay prompted an unprecedented public debate in Sweden on the U.N.’s actual record on protecting human rights, and on the pernicious role played by dictatorships. This led to editorials in the Swedish press citing UN Watch and its victim testimonies. Sydsvenskan called the Human Rights Council a “Playhouse for dictatorships.”  An op-ed in Svenska Dagbladet said that “the U.N. Human Rights Council has become another arena in which dictators express their political interests dressed in fancy words on human rights. Keep that in mind the next time you hear of a resolution or a condemnation from the UN Human Rights Council.” A leading Swedish Radioprogram featured a debate — opening with UN Watch’s testimony delivered by Libyan torture victim Kristiyana Valcheva — withNeo editor Paulina Neuding and Jan Eliasson, the former Swedish foreign minister who oversaw the 2006 creation of the council. Outside of Sweden, UN Watch’s campaign to expel Col. Qaddafi from the U.N. Human Rights Council was reported by Swiss news agency SDA, German news agency DPA, and Canada’s National Post.

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UN Watch Leads Opposition to U.N.’s ‘Durban 3’ Celebration in New York

“Any celebration of the U.N.’s notorious 2001 Durban conference, the iconic symbol of globalized anti-Western and anti-Israel hatred, is nothing but a political provocation designed by barbarous regimes to project their own atrocities onto the world’s democracies,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch…”   U.S. opposes plan for UN to hold Durban III next year, Nov. 19, 2010.

UN Watch has launched a global campaign urging all 27 European Union states to join the U.S., Canada and others in opposing the resolution at the U.N. General Assembly vote this Monday. Click here to take action.
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UN Watch Publishes Landmark Speech by Human Rights Watch Founder

In  November, UN Watch published a landmark speech by Robert L. Bernstein, the founding Chair of Human Rights Watch, in which he raised critical questions about the work of major human rights groups — especially the one he created — in judging Israel and other democracies. The editor-in-chief of The New Republic then cited the speech in his blog, describing Bernstein as one of the few “who will go down in history as clear-sighted and even heroic founders of the human rights movement which began in the last decades of the twentieth century.” The Jerusalem Post also picked up the speech and published it verbatim, as did numerous blogs.

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UN Watch Addresses Ottawa Inter-Parliamentary Summit on Anti-Semitism

In November, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer was invited to address the 2nd annual conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, held in Ottawa, Canada. The even drew 250 experts and politicians from 53 countries, and resulted in concerted plans for action. In his address to the MPs, Neuer said the demonization of Israel at the U.N. betrayed the vision of human rights and humanitarian pioneers such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Rene Cassin and Henri Dunant.
CTV’s “Canada AM” show interviewed Neuer about anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
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UN Watch Testimony at British Parliament, Youth Outreach

In October, Hillel Neuer was invited to the British Parliament to address a meeting on U.N. human rights affairs, hosted by MP Angie Bray and the Henry Jackson Society. He also lectured before various other London audiences, including the St. John’s Wood Synagogue, a ZF conference, and 200 senior students of the JFS high school. Other recent international speaking engagements included Neuer’s November keynote address to B’nai B’rith Europe’s 4th annual Young Jewish Adult Forum in Zurich, which drew 175 delegates from 27 countries. Delegates drafted a petition to the Red Cross calling for the release of Gilad Shalit, delivered by UN Watch last week at the ICRC headquarters. In October, Deputy Director Leon Saltiel addressed a student delegation from the University of Hamburg on U.N. and human rights issues.

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UN Watch’s Global Media Impact: Speaking Truth to Power

Over the past three months, UN Watch’s truth-telling message has been quoted by the international media on such issues as South Africa’s Security Council voting record, Iranian abuses, and the U.N.’s reticence to speak out for imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The national evening news program of CBC Radio interviewed Neuer on the election of Saudi Arabia to the U.N.’s new women’s rights agency. Others quoting UN Watch included the Associated Press, France’s L’Express, Radio Free Europe, MSNBC, Bloomberg, AFP, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Tribune de GenèveCLICK FOR MORE