UN Watch in the News — July 2021

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during July 2021 on topics including: International Criminal Court opens war crimes investigation into Israel; Human Rights Watch head blames Israel for UK antisemitism; Austria and Germany to boycott Durban IV; PA governor bans Hebrew signs.

Human Rights Abusers Sit on UN Human Rights Council

Quoted in The Dispatch, “How the U.N. Human Rights Council Ends Up With So Many Human Rights Abusers,” Emma Rogers, July 15, 2021:

While any U.N. member state can submit its name for an empty seat, the behind-the-scenes process tends to be more complicated. Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch, explained in an interview with The Dispatch: “In reality, they agree amongst themselves. So within the regional groups, they try to prevent competition so that there’ll be the same number of candidates for the same number of positions.”

This means, if there are four open seats for Latin America and the Caribbean, the regional states typically decide among themselves which four members will run.  The U.N. General Assembly vote is effectively a rubber stamp. Sometimes this is challenged, though rarely, Neuer explains, because regional actors often dissuade additional candidates from stepping forward.

International Criminal Court Opens War Crimes Investigation

Published in Le Temps (Switzerland), “The opening of an ICC investigation into Palestine? A wrong decision,” Hillel Neuer, July 15, 2021:

When, in September 2005, Israel withdrew all of its troops and civilians from Gaza, it hoped for peace in return. Instead, Israeli towns received thousands of missiles fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israelis who advocated the pullout believed that if Israel was ever attacked it would at least garner international support. Yet, as recent developments at the International Criminal Court show, the opposite is happening. Israel’s efforts to defend its citizens from deadly attacks – in May alone 4,300 missiles were fired at Israelis by Palestinian terrorist organizations – are now under investigation for suspected war crimes.

The ICC was designed to fight impunity for the worst atrocities, not to pursue a democracy defending itself from terrorists, with a robust legal system, and with an army that has, in the words of British Colonel Richard Kemp, “done more than any other in history to avoid harming civilians in a war zone.”

Human Rights Watch Head Blames Israel for UK Antisemitism

Quoted by The Algemeiner, “Head of Human Rights Watch Faces Storm of Criticism After ‘Blaming’ Israel for UK Antisemitism,” July 19, 2021:

Hillel Neuer, head of the NGO UN Watch, asked, “Would Roth ever say ‘Persecuting Blacks, gays and women is wrong, but…’?”

Neuer called on Neil Rimer, the co-chair of HRW, “to fire Ken Roth for his vile and obscene justification of antisemitism.”

Quoted in the Jewish Journal, “Human Rights Watch Director Tweet Blames Israeli Gov’t for Rise in UK Antisemitism,” July 19, 2021:

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer noted that Roth had issued his tweet during Tisha B’Av “when Jews mourn the destruction of their Temple & sovereignty in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Since then, the Jews faced burnings, expulsions and the Holocaust. Now there is Israel. We’re thrilled & proud. And we’ll never take lessons from an antisemite.”

Quoted by The Algemeiner, “Human Rights Watch Head Deletes Tweet Pinning UK Antisemitism on Israel, Claims Critics ‘Misinterpreted’,” July 20, 2021:

Hillel Neuer, head of the NGO UN Watch, wrote, “No, Ken, people didn’t ‘misinterpret’ you. We understood exactly what you said. And you doubled down and reiterated your ugly stance in a subsequent tweet, even after you were called out by leading figures worldwide for legitimizing antisemitism.”

UN Peacekeeping Under Fire

Quoted by The Washington Times, “Problems with world peacekeeping: U.N. does it incompetently, corruptly, and criminally,” July 20, 2021 & JNS, July 21, 2021:

Cubans have been out in the streets, protesting decades of oppression and poverty. They’ve been beaten and arrested for – as the New York Times phrased it – “Shouting ‘Freedom’ and other anti-government slogans.”

That’s not wrong if you understand that the protestors are not generally “anti-government.” Their opposition is specifically directed toward the socialist dictatorship that denies them basic human rights.

In theory, that should galvanize the United Nations Human Rights Council. In practice, as UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer has pointed out, the 47-nation UNHRC “has failed to take a single action: no resolution, no urgent session, no commission of inquiry.”

Black Lives Matter Defends Cuban Regime

Quoted in the New York Post, “BLM under fire for defending Cuban regime, blaming protests on US,” July 15, 2021:

Black Lives Matter has been accused of hypocrisy by ignoring the pleas for help from Cuba’s oppressed citizens — instead blaming the violent protests on US opposition to the Communist “revolution.”…

The BLM statement, shared by its official Twitter page, was quickly ripped online…

“@Blklivesmatter just sided with the oppressors,” tweeted Canadian human rights lawyer Hillel C. Neuer.

Call for Israel to Return to UNESCO

Cited in the Jerusalem Post, “Israel should return to UNESCO,” July 29, 2021:
Nevertheless, the anti-Israel resolutions continued, some 46 of them between 2009 and 2014, according to UN Watch. In essence, UNESCO was being used as an anti-Israel tool, much as other UN organizations are. This was the context under which Israel and the US chose to withdraw.

Austria and Germany to Boycott Durban IV

Cited in the Jerusalem Post, “Austria joins Durban Conference boycott,” July 10, 2021:
The United States and Israel walked out of the initial conference. Follow-up conferences dubbed Durban II and III were boycotted by 10 and 15 countries, according to the NGO UN Watch.
Quoted by i24 News, “Germany to boycott Durban IV conference,” July 25, 2021:
The Durban Declaration adopted at the 2001 event demonized and delegitimized Israel and a parallel NGO forum engaged in antisemitism and Holocaust denial, in what UN Watch describes as “the worst international manifestation of antisemitism in the post-war period.”

Quoted in the Jerusalem Post, “Germany will boycott the Durban IV conference,” July 25, 2021:

UN Watch released a report earlier this month criticizing the world body for its role in increasing antisemitism around the world, drawing a line between today’s rise in hatred of Jews and the 2001 Durban conference, which it described as “hijacked by pro-Palestinian activists who turned the event into the worst international manifestation of antisemitism in the post-war period.”

“The United Nations has played a key role in the spread of global antisemitism,” UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said. “Those countries boycotting Durban recognize this and should be commended for not commemorating a festival of Jew-hate.”

UN Counter-Terrorism Resolution Favors Israel

Quoted in the Washington Jewish Week, “An unexpected U.N. turn toward Israel,” July 14, 2021:
The single-mindedness of the U.N.’s vilification of Israel has been breathtaking. As observed by Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, “The U.N.’s assault on Israel with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal. It’s absurd that in the year 2020, out of a total 23 of U.N. General Assembly resolutions that criticize countries, 17 of them — more than 70 percent — were focused on one single country: Israel. Make no mistake: The purpose of the lopsided condemnations is to demonize the Jewish state.”

PA Governor Bans Hebrew Signs

Quoted in the Jewish Journal, “PA Gov Bans Hebrew Signs,” July 8, 2021:

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer noted in a tweet that “multicultural Israel” has various streets written in Arabic, whereas “in the apartheid State of Palestine, Hebrew signs are banned and land sales to Israeli Jews are punishable by death.”

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