UN Watch In the News — January 2021

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during January 2021 on topics including: China cracks down on Hong Kong democracy activists; U.S. government releases Palestinian refugee figures; Human Rights Watch attacks Israel over Palestinian coronavirus vaccines; Jewish leaders assess new U.S. administration’s approach to U.N.; Israel campus activists fight back; world marks Holocaust Remembrance Day amidst increasing antisemitism.

North Korea Reviews Australia’s Human Rights Record

Cited in Newsweek, “North Korea Raises Human Rights Concerns at U.N.,” Jan. 21, 2021:

Pyongyang’s U.N. ambassador Han Tae Song said his nation is “still gravely concerned about continued human rights violations in Australia, infringing upon international human rights law,” per a video from the U.N. Watch NGO. At no point in the clip did Han acknowledge concerns about human rights in his country.

North Korea’s remarks attracted several reactions as its own human right records are often under the scanner.
“No Joke: North Korea today reviewed Australia’s rights record at the UN,” tweeted UN Watch, an UN-accredited NGO that monitors the world body.
Cited in 9 News (Australia), “North Korea slams Australia’s human rights record – but they aren’t alone,” Jan. 22, 2021:
In a video posted by UN-monitoring non-government organisation UN Watch, North Korea ambassador Han Tae-Song told the UN Human Rights Council the isolated dictatorship held deep concerns about Australia’s conduct.
Tweet and video published on SBS News, “North Korea has criticised Australia’s human rights record during a United Nations review” and News.com.au, “‘Beyond parody’: North Korea lashes Australia on human rights,” Jan. 22, 2021: Jan. 22, 2021:

China Cracks Down on Hong Kong Democracy Activists

Quoted in The Independent, “Hong Kong: 53 democracy activists arrested in crackdown by Chinese authorities,” Jan. 6, 2021:

International rights lawyer and activist Hillel Neuer called it the “largest roundup yet under the new national security law imposed by China to quash dissent”.

“The UN Human Rights Council will do nothing. Worse: China just became a member,” Mr Neuer tweeted.

U.S. Government Releases Palestinian Refugee Figures

Cited in National Review, “From Pompeo’s Twitter Account, an Understated Policy Statement,” Jan. 15, 2021:

These numbers [Palestinians classified as refugees by UNRWA] matter. For one, there remains significant support at the U.N. for the agency and its activities as they stand (never mind the numerous corruption and anti-Semitism scandals that have roiled the agency over the years). Just last month, the U.N. General Assembly passed one of its annual, lopsidedly anti-Israel resolutions expressing its continued support for UNRWA. According to the tally kept by U.N. Watch, an NGO that monitors U.N. malfeasance, only four countries opposed it.

Human Rights Watch Attacks Israel Over Palestinian Coronavirus Vaccines

Cited in New York Post, “A new libel against Israel from Human Rights Watch,” Jan. 29, 2021:
In reality, as UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer notes, the 1995 Oslo II Accord designates responsibility for the health care and vaccinations of its people to the Palestinian Authority.

Jewish Leaders Assess New U.S. Administration’s Approach to U.N.

Quoted in Jewish Insider, “Jewish leaders raise concerns about Biden’s U.N. approach,” Jan. 25, 2021:

Similar concerns were voiced by Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a human rights NGO and U.N. watchdog based in Geneva.

“It will require an enormous amount of effort to get them to do good things,” he said of the council. “But its anti-Israel agenda, its commissions of inquiry against Israel and its blacklist against Israel were unstoppable by both Democrats and Republicans. It is anti-Israel. UN Watch does not object to the U.S. entering the council.”

“We think it could be a force for good,” Neuer continued, “but it has to fight and call out the abuses and double standards and antisemitism. I’m concerned because the Obama administration did try to do good things at the council, but unfortunately became a cheerleader for the council. We hope the Biden administration does not make the same mistakes.”

Neuer said his organization is also concerned that the Biden administration “might consider restoring funding to UNRWA despite the fact the organization is fundamentally hostile to the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. It’s fine to send money to Palestinians, but the U.S. should not be funding an agenda” that promotes the idea that 2 million Palestinians living in Jordan “should have Israeli citizenship… I hope it does not fund it.”

Israel Campus Activists Fight Back

Cited in The Algemeiner, “Fighting Back for Israel on Campus,” Jan. 20, 2021:

As UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer famously asked representatives of Arab countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March of 2017: “Where are your Jews?” Egypt, Iraq, and other Arab states have the audacity to criticize Israel, but Jews have been pushed out of almost every Arab country due to antisemitic hatred.

World Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day Amidst Increasing Antisemitism

Cited in Daily Signal, “On Holocaust Remembrance Day, We Must Confront Today’s Anti-Semitism,” Jan. 27, 2021:

According to U.N. Watch, Israel has received 112 condemnatory resolutions from the U.N. General Assembly since 2015, many times more that of notorious human rights abusers like North Korea, Myanmar, and Syria over that span of time. This widely disproportionate targeting of the Jewish state indicates a prevalent anti-Jewish sentiment among world leaders.

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