Issue 621: U.S. Congress Testimony, UNRWA Report, Geneva Summit

In this Issue:
  • UN Watch Director Testifies Before U.S. Congress Hearing on UN’s Anti-Israeli Bigotry
  • Exposed: 40 UNRWA Teachers’ Antisemitic Facebook Pages—New 130-Page Report by UN Watch
  • World’s Most Courageous Champions of Human Rights Heading to UN Watch’s Feb. 21 Geneva Summit 

UN Watch Director Testifies Before U.S. Congress Hearing on UN & Israel


Click here for video

WASHINGTON – Members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee held a special hearing Thursday to discuss the recent UN Security Council resolution against Israel, where UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, appearing as one of four expert witnesses, presented a new UN Watch report exposing 40 cases of incitement to terrorism and antisemitism by UNRWA school teachers, headmasters and other employees.
Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, head of the subcommittee on the Middle East, opened the discussion by citing recent events involving Israel and the Palestinians including the Security Council resolution. She said “too many continue to see the United Nations for what it is supposed to be—not for what it is.”

Neuer slammed Security Council Resolution 2334 for “absurdly defining Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall, the holiest sites in Judaism, together with the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, as ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’.”

He said the U.S. Congress should “make clear that accusing the Jewish state of illegally occupying its holiest sites and historic capital is as absurd as saying that the Vatican is illegally occupied by the Catholic Church, that Mecca is illegally occupied by Muslims, or that London, Paris and Washington are illegally occupied by the British, French and Americans.”

Neuer described a “U.N. infrastructure of anti-Israel demonization,” citing recent actions by the General Assembly, UNESCO, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Human Rights Council. Click here for 5-minute video.

 Exposed: UNRWA Teachers’ Antisemitic Facebook Pages
Documented in New 130-Page Report by UN Watch

UN Watch released a 130-page report exposing 40 new cases of UNRWA school teachers in Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria whose Facebook pages incite to Jihadist terrorism and antisemitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.
The report reveals Facebook pages of UNRWA teachers celebrating the terrorist kidnapping of Israeli teenagers, cheering rockets fired at Israeli civilian centers, erasing Israel from the map, and posting overtly antisemitic videos, caricatures, and statements.
UN Watch sent letters yesterday to U.N. chief António Guterres, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and U.S. envoy to the U.N. Nikki Haley, urging them to take action and demand U.N. condemnation of the incitement—and the immediate termination of the implicated employees.

IMPACT: Germany’s Highest Circulation Newspaper Publishes Major Article on UNRWA Report 

After UN Watch sent a letter to German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urging his country—which gave $90 million a year to UNRWA—to take action to remove teachers of the agency who spread Holocaust denial and antisemitism, the country’s highest circulation newspaper Bild published a major story about UN Watch’s report.

 World’s Most Courageous Champions of Human Rights
Heading to UN Watch’s Feb. 21 Geneva Summit

UN Watch and its coalition of 25 non-governmental human rights groups announced today that Taghi Rahmani, the most frequently imprisoned Iranian journalist—and husband of ailing political prisoner Narges Mohammadi—will testify in the U.N. for the opening of the 9th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights & Democracy, on February 21, 2017.

Taghi Rahmani has spent his life in and out of Iranian prisons for daring to criticize the regime. In 2012, amid intensified crackdowns against dissent, Rahmani fled Iran with his two children to seek refuge in Paris.
Rahmani’s wife, Narges Mohammadi, made the brave decision to stay behind and continue her work leading the struggle for human rights in Iran. Since 2015, she has been held as a prisoner of conscience of the Iranian regime, despite suffering from a critical and worsening illness.
Rahmani will be joined at the Geneva Summit by some of the world’s most courageous champions of human rights.

Speakers at UN Watch’s Feb. 21 Geneva Summit will include:

  • Danilo Maldonado Machado, Cuban artist, dissident, former political prisoner—just released from prison.
  • Biram Dah Abeid, Leads fight against slavery in Mauritania—freed from prison this year.
  • Dang Xuan Dieu, Vietnamese democracy activist—just released after six years in prison.
  • Can Dündar, Exiled leading Turkish journalist—survived assassination attempt, solitary confinement.
  • Chito Gascon, Heads Philippines Human Rights Commission—now investigating President Duterte for killings.
  • [Name Withheld for Security Reasons], High-level North Korean defector.
  • Antonietta Ledezma, Human rights activist, daughter of Venezuelan political prisoner Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma.
  • Nyima Lhamo, Exiled Tibetan activist, niece of slain religious leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.
  • Mohamed Nasheed, Former President of the Maldives, human rights icon, former political prisoner.
  • Zhanna Nemtsova, Russian journalist, daughter of assassinated dissident Boris Nemtsov.
  • Shirin, Freed Yazidi sex slave of the Islamic State, author of I Remain a Daughter of the Light.
  • Anastasia Zotova, Russian human rights activist, wife of jailed dissident Ildar Dadin.
  • Keynote Speaker: Irwin CotlerFormer Canadian Minister of Justice & MP, counsel to the oppressed.


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