UN Watch in the News — December 2021

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during December 2021 and January 2022 on topics including: UN General Assembly targets Israel with 14 resolutions; UN manipulates unverifiable data; rights abusers join Human Rights Council; General Assembly approves funding for anti-Israel inquiry.

UN Watch’s Hong Kong Campaign Reported by Christiane Amanpour on CNN International

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour reported on the campaign to free jailed Hong Kong newspaper owner Jimmy Lai that was organized by UN Watch’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, with the participation of lawmakers and human rights activists worldwide.

More here.

UN Manipulates Unverifiable Data

Cited on JNS, “Fake news and the UN’s secret data on ‘settler-related incidents’,” Dec. 21, 2021:

A lot can be concealed—or revealed—by a footnote. It all depends on whether the reader bothers to check it.

For example, a Nov. 10 press release posted by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (“UN experts alarmed by rise in settler violence in occupied Palestinian territory“) begins:

“UN human rights experts* have expressed alarm at the rising rate of violence directed by Israeli settlers towards Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

However, though the footnote maintains that special rapporteurs are independent, [Michael] Lynk [Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967] has a long history of anti-Israel activity. In 2016, U.N. Watch revealed that Lynk “plays a leadership role in numerous Arab lobby groups, including CEPAL, which promotes ‘Annual Israeli Apartheid Week’ events; signs anti-Israel petitions; calls to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes; addresses ‘One State’ conferences that seek to eliminate Israel; and argues that ‘the solution’ to ‘the problem’ must go back to Israel’s very creation in 1948, which he calls ‘the start of ethnic cleansing.’”

So much for the “U.N. experts.”

Rights Abusers Join Human Rights Council

Cited in the Washington Examiner, “China among governments with questionable records on UN Human Rights Council,” Dec. 29, 2021:

Other countries to be added to the committee include a handful of African nations, many of which with their own questionable record.

The governments of Eritrea and Libya have been accused of conducting arbitrary executions, enforced disappearances, and torture, according to U.N. Watch, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to holding the United Nations accountable to its founding principles.”

General Assembly Approves Funding for Anti-Israel Inquiry

Quoted on JNS, “UN inquiry comes with new independent facade, same anti-Israel bias,” Dec. 29, 2021:
Israel faces an unprecedented, open-ended U.N. Commission of Inquiry created by the UNHRC, which includes notorious human rights violators such as Cuba, China, Russia, Mauritania and Eritrea.

“The mandate essentially is to produce evidence admissible in court, and they’re hiring a team of lawyers to produce legally admissible findings. The Hague could copy and paste the findings and other courts can do the same,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the UN Watch NGO and an expert on the world body’s anti-Israel bias, who anticipates that the commission’s biannual reports will assail Israel.

“What makes this different from all of the regular U.N. reports produced from the UN’s offices in Jerusalem, by the secretary-general and other U.N. organs, is that this inquiry comes with the appearance of an independent commission, as opposed to bureaucrats. It has the appearance of being run by judges, like a court case. That’s the effect, and that’s why it can be so troubling for Israel in the eyes of the global public,” Neuer told JNS.

As to those judges, the UNHRC’s president appoints three members to lead the commission. The commission is currently led by South Africa’s Navi Pillay, who served as the U.N. high commissioner for human rights and has displayed a consistent, well-documented animus toward Israel. Her accusations of illegal Israeli conduct during the Gaza flotilla raid of 2010 were later refuted by a U.N. commission headed by Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

“Pillay’s appointment to lead the commission—someone who displays perpetual disdain and comprehensive condemnation of Israel—shows that this whole thing is a done deal. She has an appalling record on Israel,” said Neuer, adding that the commission’s mandate doesn’t just address alleged war crimes, but could include accusations of apartheid and of racism by Israel in the disputed territories in Judea and Samaria.

Cited in the Jerusalem Post, “My Word: The UN’s perpetual, painful probe,” Dec. 30, 2021:

The Geneva-based UN Watch NGO has created a database that keeps track of the UN’s disproportionate focus on Israel and how different countries voted. In the UNGA’s 76th Session (2021-2022) there were 14 resolutions against Israel and five against the rest of the world combined. The resolutions call into question Israel’s rights in its capital, Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, and condemn Israel’s presence on the Golan Heights. The Golan, presumably, should be handed over to that luminary of human rights Syrian President Bashar Assad, who thinks nothing of gassing his own people.

I no longer do a double-take at the UN’s two-faced hypocrisy.

According to the database, since 2015, the General Assembly has issued 112 condemnatory resolutions against Israel compared to 45 against the other 192 member states combined. These include six against North Korea and five against Iran – but China not even once.

The UN has also been hijacked.

According to UN Watch, starting on January 1, 2022, “a staggering 68.1% of the UN Human Rights Council will be dictators and other serial human rights abusers… Qatar, Cameroon, Eritrea, Kazakhstan and Somalia were all elected in October to the UN’s top human rights body, joining China, Cuba, Russia, Libya, Pakistan and Venezuela.”

U.S. Contemplates Return to UNESCO

Cited on JNS, “A possible US return to UNESCO ­is a very bad idea,” Dec. 19, 2021:

Rejoining UNESCO would imply acceptance by the United States and Israel of the plethora of politically generated anti-Israel resolutions that have been adopted by various constituent bodies of UNESCO.

Indeed, as stressed by the NGO UN Watch, UNESCO passed a total of 47 resolutions between 2009-2014, 46 of which were directed against Israel and only one criticizing Syria. None of these resolutions made any reference to human rights, educational and cultural violations by the likes of North Korea, Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, ISIS or any of the other culturally destructive regimes in the world.

Should Tourists Visit Human Rights Abusing States?

Cited in Forbes, “Should Travelers Think About Human Rights Before Choosing A Country To Visit?” Dec. 23, 2021:

According to Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of United Nations Watch, on January 1, 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council will be 68.1% composed of dictatorships and other non-democracies, “the worst in history.” Current members include Venezuela, Pakistan, Somalia, Russia, Eritrea, China, Libya, and Cuba. Joining on January 1 are Qatar, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan.

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