Thank you so much for your generous support this year, which allowed us to achieve incredible results—see our Top 10 list below—to defend the true principles of human rights. Please feel free to share this briefing with any friends who may wish to make a 2015 tax-deductible donation while there is still time.
THE TOP 10 BIGGEST UN WATCH MOMENTS OF 2015
On the same day that the UN appointed William Schabas to head its Gaza probe, UN Watch released videos of his anti-Israel statements—and led a 6-month campaign demanding his removal. “I have opinions like everybody else about the situation in Israel,” Schabas insisted to the media, only “they may not be the same as Hillel Neuer’s or Benjamin Netanyahu’s, that’s all.” Yet by February 2015——after his paid legal work for the PLO was exposed—Schabas resigned in disgrace. Watch video
UN Watch’s 2015 Geneva Summit for Human Rights gave a platform to victims of Iran, North Korea, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Tibet, Turkey and Venezuela, as well as victims of Boko Haram and the Islamic State. Awards were bestowed upon jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, and to Masih Alinejad (photo above), who fights Iran’s compulsory hijab. Major media coverage included Le Monde, The Guardian, CNN, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Toronto Star, France 4 and Swiss TV. Watch video
In June, UN Watch gave a UN platform to the courageous Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. Tintori urged the Council to “demand the liberation of all political prisoners in Venezuela.”
AMBASSADOR RON DERMER: “HILLEL HAS BEEN A HUGE THORN IN THE SIDE OF ISRAEL’S ENEMIES”
Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and other dignitaries gathered in Miami in February to pay tribute to the work of UN Watch at the annual gala of WIZO Florida, which presented the Guardian of Israel Award to UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer. Ambassador Dermer told the audience: “Like roses, the Jewish people need thorns to protect them. And Hillel has been a huge thorn in the side of Israel’s enemies. Because he speaks the truth, and he exposes their hypocrisy—day after day, month after month, year after year. So thank you, Hillel, for being one terrific thorn, and for tirelessly defending Israel, and defending the truth.” Watch video
In September, UN Watch revealed evidence—based on secret Saudi diplomatic cables—that Britain made a deal to vote Saudi Arabia onto the UN Human Rights Council. UN Watch worked together with The Australian to produce an explosive report. This became a top story in the UK, reported by the Financial Times, The Daily Mail, the Independent, The Times of London and The Guardian. In a tense interview with Channel 4’s Jon Snow, British Prime Minister David Cameron was challenged on the “horrid” deal. Watch video
UN Watch led the opposition to the election of Venezuela, UAE, Burundi, and other regimes to the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council. Speakers at UN Watch’s October press conference at UN headquarters included Venezuela’s former UN ambassador Diego Arria and Dr. Qanta Ahmed, expert on women’s rights and Pakistan. Correspondents from CBS, New York Daily News, Fox News, were present along with media from France, Germany, and Norway. The event was reported worldwide.
When the UN agreed to hold a special assembly for Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro in November, UN Watch led the counter-effort by organizing a joint appeal signed by 50 leading Venezuelan dissidents and human rights groups, holding a press conference with top activists, and leading a protest rally against the visit. Covered by NBC News, Reuters, and many more. Watch video
In an unprecedented acknowledgment of wrongdoing, UNRWA was recently forced to suspend several employees, after UN Watch published three reports documenting how UNRWA teachers regularly incite to racial hatred, anti-Semitism and terrorism on social media. UN Watch identified more than 30 perpetrators, and organized petitions to pressure key governments. Full Story
When the UN inquiry into the 2014 Gaza war presented its biased report in June, UN Watch was there to respond with a counter-report, and gave a UN platform to top military experts. Major General Mike Jones and Lt. Col. Geoffrey Corn from the U.S. military, and British Colonel Richard Kemp, all took the floor in the UN debate. The distorted findings of the UN probe—falsely accusing Israel of war crimes—were contrasted with those of the experienced military officers, who explained how Israel acted in self-defense, and to minimize casualties. Watch videos
In September, UN Watch revealed that Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Faisal bin Hassan Trad was elected Chair of the 5-person panel that chooses UN human rights experts. The story went completely viral, generating hundreds of news articles, editorials and cartoons. As a result, many around the world now understand who really decides things at the UNHRC.