UN Watch in the News — January 2022

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during January 2022 on topics including: Facebook threatens to delete Hillel Neuer’s page; UN targets Israel with Commission of Inquiry; U.S. restores funding to UNRWA; Dutch government to stop funding terror-linked Palestinian NGO — and more.

North Korea to Chair UN Disarmament Forum

Quoted in the Associated Press, “North Korea fires 2 suspected missiles in 6th launch in 2022,” Jan. 27, 2022:

Despite international concerns over its weapons activity, North Korea will still get to chair a U.N. disarmament forum during a one-month presidency between May 30 and June 24, according to a U.N. statement.

The U.N. Conference on Disarmament, which has 65 member states and focuses on nuclear disarmament issues, says the conference’s presidency rotates among member states.

U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based activist group, called for the U.S. and European ambassadors to walk out of the conference during North Korea’s presidency, saying that the country threatens to attack other U.N. member states with missiles and commits atrocities against its own people.

Quoted on Voice of America, “NGO to Stage Rally in Protest of N. Korea Chairing UN-Backed Forum,” Jan. 27, 2022:

Speaking to VOA, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said it is unconscionable for the North to chair the UN-backed body that calls itself “the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.”

Calling the North “the world’s foremost weapons proliferator,” Neuer accused the regime of selling its missile and atomic know-how to other rogue regimes in violation of UN sanctions.

Aside from organizing the protest with 100 other NGOs, Neuer said his group is urging the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and other free democracies to boycott the conference when the North becomes the chair.

Quoted in the Wall St. Journal, “The United Nations World Conference on Armament,” Jan. 30, 2022:

“Having the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un preside over global nuclear weapons disarmament will be like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter,” UN Watch chief Hillel Neuer said in a statement.

Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, “North Korea to lead UN nuclear disarmament conference,” Jan. 28, 2022:

UN Watch, a NGO based in Geneva, said the US and European ambassadors should walk out of the conference, which has 65 member states and focuses on nuclear disarmament, when North Korea takes the helm.

“This is a country that threatens to attack other UN member states with missiles, and that commits atrocities against its own people,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said.

Quoted in The Times of London, “North Korea named chair of UN disarmament conference,” Jan. 28, 2022:

The sight of North Korea presiding over a disarmament conference could “undermine the image and credibility of the United Nations,” Hillel Neuer, the executive director of the Geneva-based group UN Watch said yesterday.

“Having the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un preside over global nuclear weapons disarmament will be like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter,” he said.

Quoted on MailOnline, “‘It’s like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter’: Anger after UN announces North Korea will chair forum dedicated to nuclear disarmament as Kim Jong-un stages sixth test missile launch this year,” Jan. 27, 2022:

The post is mostly formal but UN Watch say it undermines the purpose of the conference to have such a regime as the president.

Neuer said: ‘North Korea holding the president’s gavel is liable to seriously undermine the image and credibility of the United Nations, and will send absolutely the worst message.

‘If the UN seeks to be an institution with a moral compass, it cannot allow the likes of North Korea to direct arms control agencies, and to keep electing the world’s worst abusers on its top human rights body.’

Cited in Newsweek, “North Korea Tests 2 More Missiles While Biden Administration Distracted by Russia, Ukraine,” Jan. 27, 2022:

The Geneva-based activist group, U.N. Watch, has called for European and U.S. ambassadors to walk out during this time.

Facebook Threatens to Delete Hillel Neuer’s Page

Quoted on The Times of Israel, “Facebook threatens to delete page of pro-Israel UN watchdog chief,” Jan. 18, 2022:

Facebook has threatened to delete the personal account of the director of a prominent pro-Israel lobbying group at the United Nations, saying he violates community rules.

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer was also told that his page had already been under sanctions to reduce its visibility for months, the group said in a statement.

“It turns out that, as I suspected, Facebook has been deliberately and unjustifiably hiding my posts from the public,” Neuer said in the statement. “Now they’re arbitrarily threatening to delete my account. It’s a Kafkaesque situation, and makes absolutely no sense.”

Quoted on The Algemeiner, “Facebook Threatens to Ban Head of UN Watchdog for Post Critical of Taliban, BDS Movement,” Jan. 18, 2022:

The post in question showed a photograph of Taliban leaders in the presidential palace in Kabul after their takeover of the country in August 2021. Hillel Neuer commented on the photo, “Prediction: Ben and Jerry’s will never announce a boycott of the Taliban.”

The statement was an ironic reference to the ice cream giant’s controversial decision to end sales in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

Facebook has now sent a new message to Neuer that read, “If you get a few more Community Standards violations, you could lose Hillel Neuer forever. Nobody wants that.”

The message listed Neuer’s page as “at risk of being unpublished” and said the page had “reduced distribution and other restrictions.”

Quoted in Israel Hayom, “Facebook admits error after flagging NGO director’s pro-Israel post,” Jan. 18, 2022:

According to UN Watch –  which is a non-governmental organization “whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter” – Director Hillel Neuer received the warning on Tuesday because of a post that criticized Ben and Jerry’s double standard regarding Israeli communities beyond the Green Line.

Quoted on CNS News, “Leading UN Watchdog Says Facebook Has Dropped a Threat to Delete His Account Over Taliban Post,” Jan. 20:

U.N. Watch legal advisor Dina Rovner last month wrote to the chief legal officer of Facebook’s parent organization, Meta, asking for clarity on the decision to take down the post – along with another one, posted on the U.N. Watch account – arguing that the threat to delete the account was being made on “entirely baseless grounds.”

“In fact, thousands of people who read and liked this post, which was shared on various social media platforms, understood that it was condemning the horrific human rights abuses of the Taliban, a terrorist organization subject to U.N. Security Council sanctions, and implicitly criticizing the ice cream company’s decision to cancel the license of its Israeli distributor, even as Ben & Jerry’s turned a blind eye to gross abuses worldwide,” Rovner wrote.

Quoted in the Jerusalem Post, “Facebook apologizes for threatening to delete UN Watch director’s account,” Jan. 21, 2022:

Meta apologized for the removal of the post and the restrictions placed on Neuer’s page, saying that the situation had been remedied.

“This post was removed in error and has now been restored,” said Meta in a statement shared by UN Watch. “We have also removed the restrictions on this Page, and have apologized to Hillel Neuer for the inconvenience caused.”

Quoted on The Times of Israel, “Citing error, Facebook nixes threat to delete page of pro-Israel UN watchdog chief,” Jan. 21, 2022:

Neuer wrote “I am very grateful for the quick action and passionate support of my friends and followers worldwide, and the responsiveness of top Meta officials when apprised.”

UN Watch said in a statement that it was grateful for “supporters worldwide who signed the petition, and in some cases made personal appeals, to urge Facebook to remove its threat to delete our Executive Director’s Facebook page.”

It also thanked Meta, Facebook’s parent company for taking “quick action when apprised of the situation” and its subsequent apology.

Neuer’s Facebook page, set up in May 2009, has 49,000 followers. The main UN Watch Facebook page has over 168,000 followers.

Dutch Government to Stop Funding Terror-Linked Palestinian NGO

Quoted in the Jewish Journal, “Dutch Government to Stop Funding Palestinian NGO Designated by Israel As Terror Group,” Jan. 7, 2022:

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tweeted that the Dutch government had found that “34 [UAWC] employees were tied to terrorist PFLP, 12 with dual leadership roles” and that the Dutch government “had paid the salaries of 2 UAWC employees involved in 2019 PFLP murder of 17-year-old girl Rina Shnerb.” “We welcome the Dutch government’s announcement that it will continue to support Palestinian civil society projects through legitimate aid NGOs that are not front groups for [European Union]-designated terrorist organizations such as the PFLP,” Neuer added. “It is vital to distinguish between the two.”

U.S. Restores Funding to UNRWA

Quoted on JNS, “Biden administration remains ‘deeply blind’ to inherent flaws of UNRWA, say Mideast experts,” Jan. 7, 2022:

The U.S. State Department’s Population, Migration and Refugees Bureau ended 2021 with another payment to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), a move some experts have criticized as wrongheaded and in line with an eagerness to blindly reverse policies put forth by the Trump administration.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, called the funding a mistake and quickly pointed out in a Twitter thread that UNRWA has long been the antithesis to those standards, opposing and criticizing attempts to hold it accountable.

“If you are truly focused on UNRWA ‘accountability, transparency and neutrality,’ why are you silent as UNRWA aggressively attacks efforts to apply oversight—and why reward their bad actions with even more money?” he wrote.

UNHRC Stays Silent Over Kazakhstan Violence

Quoted on CNS News, “UN Human Rights Council Mum on Deadly Violence in Kazakhstan, One of its Members,” Jan. 6, 2022:

Last fall’s election of countries like Kazakhstan onto the HRC was opposed by non-governmental organizations led by U.N. Watch. The Geneva-based NGO’s executive director, Hillel Neuer, recalled on Thursday that not a single European Union member-state had spoken out, and that at least 18 E.U. members voted for Kazakhstan’s candidacy

“Kazakhstan is now slaughtering protesters on the streets,” he tweeted. “Maybe Kazakhstan wanted to show the UNHRC that it was just like existing members Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, Bolivia …”

UN Targets Israel with Commission of Inquiry

Cited in the Washington Times, “The U.N.’s final solution to the Israel question,” Jan. 11, 2022:

Last week, the U.N. approved a $4.2 million budget to establish a so-called Commission of Inquiry — essentially a Grand Inquisition targeting and vilifying Israel.

Under the auspices of Human Rights Council, a body dominated by such notorious human rights violators as China, Russia, Cuba, Pakistan, Qatar and Venezuela, an 18-member staff will be led by Navi Pillay, a former U.N. high commissioner for human rights, with “an appalling record on Israel,” in the considered judgment of Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch.

Interviewed on CBN News, “UN Creates Open-Ended Probe Against Israel: ‘This Is Something to Empower Hamas’,” Jan. 14, 2022:

Cited in the Daily Telegraph (Australia), “Warren Mundine: Militants have hijacked Sydney Festival,” Jan. 13, 2022:

Watch the famous video of a UN Human Rights Commission session – where Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, asked Arab and North African countries who once had once substantial Jewish populations to answer the simple question “Where are your Jews?”.

Watch it and you’ll get your answer. They had none.

M&M’s Criticized Over ‘Inclusive’ Campaign

Quoted in Newsweek, “U.N. Watchdog Slams ‘Inclusive’ M&M’s Campaign While Parent Company Sponsors China Olympics,” Jan. 21, 2022:

Candy manufacturer Mars announced Thursday that its promotional M&M’s characters would be redesigned as “the brand continues to evolve to reflect the more dynamic, progressive world that we live in.”

Among those who criticized the announcement was Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, a human rights nongovernmental organization and United Nations watchdog group.

While other people objected to the characters’ makeover because they felt the company was becoming too “woke,” Neuer’s disapproval came from perceived hypocrisy on Mars’ part since it is a sponsor of the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

Quoted in Forbes, “M&M’s Efforts To Be ‘More Inclusive’ Met With Mockery On Twitter,” Jan. 20, 2022:

“@MarsGlobal to make M&Ms ‘more inclusive’ as it sponsors the Beijing 2022 Uyghur Genocide Olympics,” tweeted human rights activist Hillel Neuer, executive director of United Nations Watch (@HillelNeuer).

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