Issue 609: Syria Session & I24 UNESCO Video

UNESCO Casts Doubt on Jewish Ties to Jerusalem – Hillel Neuer on i24

“It’s a victory for terrorism…” – Hillel Neuer

VIDEO: Click here to watch i24 News interview.

UN Watch published several influential reports on the UNESCO episode over the past week, as well as numerous updates on Twitter, and is cited in today’s Miami Herald column on “UNESCO’s crazy vote to deny Jewish, Christian ties to Jerusalem’s holy sites.” We will be publishing a special report ahead of next week’s World Heritage Committee vote on a similar resolution.


UN Session on Aleppo Today Fails to Call Out
Russia, Iran, Hezbollah—Despite Power’s Promise

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer next to the “Goddess of Justice” statue,
a gift of the Assad regime on permanent display next to the UN Human Rights Council.

NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2016 — Western and Arab states opposed to Syria initiated a special session today at the UN Human Rights Council “on the deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent situation in Aleppo.” Following is UN Watch’s address, delivered by Deputy Director Leon Saltiel.
UN Watch intervention to UNHRC special session on Syria, Oct. 21, 2016

Thank you, Mr. President.
UN Watch commends the sponsors of today’s session.
Sadly, however, four years have passed since this council last convened such an urgent meeting. During this time, hundreds of thousands have been murdered and maimed, and millions displaced. The forces of Bashar al-Assad are aided and abetted by the warplanes, arms, and gunmen of Russia, Iran, and the Hezbollah terrorist organization.
Today is a chance for this council to take action for Syria’s desperate victims. Does the resolution before us achieve this objective?
Yesterday, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the General Assembly that “accountability starts by speaking the truth about who is responsible for the unspeakable horrors we are witnessing”; and that “the perpetrators have names.” UN Watch agrees.
Yesterday, Ambassador Power said that if we don’t call out Russia by its name, “we obscure responsibility.” UN Watch agrees.
Yesterday, Ambassador Power declared: “Now is not the time to equivocate or use euphemisms. Not when hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk. The value of this institution, and all it stands for, depends on it.” Mr. President, we agree.
And so why is it that that today’s resolution strongly condemns ISIS, yet refuses to even mention once Russia, Iran, or Hezbollah — the key forces behind the Assad regime, responsible for the vast majority of death and destruction in Syria?
Are not the vague references to “the supporters of the Syrian authorities” precisely the equivocation and euphemism that Ambassador Power rightly denounced as a threat to the lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, and to the credibility of the United Nations?
Finally: how can it be that, right now, outside this chamber, the UN has on permanent display a statue donated by the Syrian regime — and of all things, a statue of the Goddess of Justice? Is this not the height of cynicism? It this not a standing insult to the millions who suffer daily? When will the council take action to remove it?  
Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Watch