UN Watch in the News — June 2021

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during June 2021 on topics including: Geneva Summit gives a voice to human rights dissidents; Russian opposition leader receives moral courage award; Israel’s enemies launch attacks at the UN; Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands recognized on UN World Refugee Day; call for Canada to reassess its UN membership; UNRWA incites Palestinian children to terrorism; Human Rights Council targets Israel; UNRWA Gaza director forced out for telling the truth.

UN Watch Executive Director Urges UNHRC Reform

Published in the Wall St. Journal, “Expand the Human Rights Council,” June 21, 2021:

The U.S. plans to seek a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council and work to reform it. “Those with the worst human-rights records should not be members of this council,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. Good luck with that.

The 47-nation council was created in 2006 to remedy the defects of its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, once infamously chaired by Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya. The council promised to uphold “the highest standards” of human rights. But 60% of its current members—including China, Cuba, Eritrea, Pakistan, Russia and Venezuela—fail to meet even minimal standards.

The problem is the election process. Regional groups divvy up slots in backroom deals, and democracies rarely put up a fight.

Geneva Summit Gives Voice to Human Rights Dissidents

Quoted in the LA Times, “Ahead of G-7 and U.N. talks, political dissidents and human rights activists press the plight of victims,” June 11, 2021:

The Geneva summit, organized by 25 nongovernment human rights organizations and held online for the first time because of the pandemic, featured testimonies on issues that participants say do not get enough attention from the U.N. group. Topics included concerns about rigged elections, arbitrary detention, forced labor camps and torture.

“Our responsibility is to ensure that the fight for basic human rights is a constant, year-round commitment,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch, a nongovernment organization and U.N. watchdog.

Alexei Navalny Receives Moral Courage Award

Quoted by AFP, “Navalny dedicates award to all political prisoners in Russia, Belarus,” June 6, 2021:

Navalny was given the prize for his “extraordinary courage and heroic efforts to sound the alarm about the Putin regime’s grave violations of the human rights of the Russian people,” explained Hillel Neuer, head of the UN Watch NGO, one of the summit’s co-organisers.

Quoted by Reuters, “Navalny’s daughter says Kremlin can’t silence its critics,” June 8, 2021:

“For all these years, he (Navalny) has been showing the people in power, who are shamelessly abusing that power, that this is not going to work, that we are the majority,” said Navalnaya, speaking from the United States at the event organised by the Geneva-based group UN Watch. “We, the citizens, will decide who is going to rule our country and for how long.”

Quoted by Associated Press, “Navalny daughter accepts human rights award on his behalf,” June 11, 2021:

Navalny was given the award for his “extraordinary courage and heroic efforts to sound the alarm about the Putin regime’s grave violations of the human rights of the Russian people,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which co-organizes the event.

Cited in The Guardian, “Russian court outlaws Alexei Navalny’s organisation,” June 9, 2021:

Navalny’s daughter on Tuesday lamented the “fast downfall of democracy” in Russia while accepting a moral courage award for her father from the Geneva-based group UN Watch.

Israel’s Enemies Launch Attacks at the UN

Quoted in Israel Hayom, “Fighting Israel on other battlefields,” June 7, 2021:

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, noted that the WHO adopted no resolutions on “Syria, where hospitals and other medical infrastructure are repeatedly and deliberately bombed by Syrian and Russian forces; not on war-torn Yemen, where 18 million are in dire need of health assistance; and not on Venezuela, where the health system is in a state of collapse and 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.”

Jewish Refugees From Arab Lands Recognized on UN Refugee Day

Quoted by The Algemeiner, “Jewish Refugees From Arab and Muslim Countries Recognized on United Nations World Refugee Day,” June 20, 2021:

Hillel Neuer of the NGO UN Watch asked a pointed question about the UN’s double standard on Palestinian refugees, saying, “On World Refugee Day, we ask: How come the 850,000 Jewish refugees from the Arab world after 1948 were all successfully resettled in Israel and other countries—with 0 refugees left today—yet UNRWA has multiplied the number of Palestinian refugees from 700,000 to 5 million?”

Call for Canada To Reassess Its UN Membership

Cited in the Calgary Sun, “EDITORIAL: Time to reassess our UN membership,” June 15, 2021:

There’s the infamous UN Human Rights Council, where 60% of 47 member nations are among the world’s worst human rights abusers according to UN Watch, including Russia, China, Cuba, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

UNRWA Incites Palestinian Children to Terrorism

Cited in Israel Hayom, “How the Biden administration funds Palestinian terrorists,” June 30, 2021:
UN Watch has documented in its devastating report, “Poisoning Palestinian Children,” that “school teachers, principals, and other employees of UNRWA incite to terrorism or antisemitism.” The report, which includes examples from UNRWA schools in Gaza, shows how teachers and other staff members openly celebrate terrorism against Israel – including kidnapping Israeli children and firing missiles into Israeli neighborhoods; using maps that erase Israel’s existence; posting photos of Adolf Hitler and praising him; and posting “overtly antisemitic videos, caricatures, and statements.”

Human Rights Council Targets Israel

Quoted in Bild (Germany), “That’s how crazy the anti-Israel agenda at the UN is,” June 21, 2021:

None of the other items on the agenda of the UN Human Rights Council specifically concern a country. In other words: There are no country-specific agenda items for Iran, Syria, North Korea, China or Cuba – all countries in which human rights are as good as foreign.

Lawyer and human rights activist Hillel Neuer from the organization “UN Watch” pointed out on Twitter that the UN Human Rights Council is not granting this dubious “honor” to any other country: “Tomorrow the United Nations Human Rights Council begins a three-week meeting with an item on the agenda only one state: Israel. There are no items on the agenda for: Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Algeria, Hamas, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, China, Qatar, Cuba, Syria or Iran.”

Quoted in the Jerusalem Post, “My Word: Chutzpah Prize contenders,” June 3, 2021:
UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer addressed the special session chaired by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet saying: “The United Nations was founded to prevent war. Yet today’s one-sided session, and the pre-determined investigation it proposes, will achieve the opposite – because they were the very purpose of this war….
“Madam President, isn’t the UN supposed to defend victims of terrorism and racism?”

UNRWA Gaza Director Forced Out for Telling the Truth

Quoted in the Jewish Journal, “UNRWA Gaza Director Takes ‘Extended Leave of Absence’,” June 2, 2021:

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tweeted, “Every U.N. official, journalist and NGO activist in Gaza knows that this (or worse) will be their fate if they too say the truth.” In a subsequent tweet, he pointed to the fact that “Palestinian groups” targeted a New York Times reporter who noted that Hamas arrested a Palestinian activist.

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UN Watch in the News — June 2021

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during June 2021 on topics including: Geneva Summit gives a voice to human rights dissidents; Russian opposition