UN Watch in the News

UN Watch in the News — March 2023

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during March 2023, including numerous articles covering UN Watch’s joint report on UNRWA teachers’ incitement to antisemitism in UNRWA schools, and a profile on Executive Director Hillel Neuer. 

Featured in The Washington Examiner, “Why is the Biden administration funding a UN agency it deems ‘unacceptable?’” March 16, 2023:

In the diplomatic understatement of the year, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides stated last month that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the U.N. body tasked with helping so-called Palestinian refugees, “has serious flaws.” Then, during a March 1 hearing on Capitol Hill, Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield asserted that the proven misuse of UNRWA facilities for terroristic purposes “is absolutely unacceptable.”

Relatedly, the watchdog group U.N. Watch revealed in 2021 that over 120 UNRWA educators posted antisemitic and pro-terrorist posts on their social media accounts, including praises of Adolf Hitler and theories about Jews controlling the world.

Featured in Ynet News, “‘Wake up Hitler, there are still people to burn’ in Palestinian textbooks,” March 15, 2023:

Teachers working in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) are routinely advocating the murder of Jews and working off textbooks that glorify terrorism and encourage Jihad.

In the books, false stories are taught and Adolf Hitler is portrayed in a favorable light, says a report by the United Nations Watch and submitted to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

The report will be discussed in the U.S. Congress, in deliberations over the possible reduction of U.S. contributions to fund UNRWA. In it, some 47 documented cases of school staff promoting antisemitic material are recorded, as school staff openly violates the official UNRWA policy of “zero tolerance for racism and discrimination.”

UN Watch CEO, Hillel Neuer, said: “UNRWA is fully culpable in this fiasco. Teachers advocating hatred and violence are held to account all over the world but UNRWA continues employing hateful staff, despite their past promises to cease such practices. It’s important to note the issue here isn’t the online sharing of this content, but the teaching of said content by school staff to begin with.”

Featured in The Jerusalem Post, “UNRWA continues to teach and spread hate to Palestinians, report states,” March 14, 2023:

Despite repeated reports warning of the antisemitism in United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) schools, the UN agency continues to employ teachers who spread hate and teach hateful and inciting content to children, according to a new report by UN Watch and IMPACT-SE published on Tuesday.

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer stressed that because teachers who incited racism and violence were not fired and antisemitic content was not removed, “UNRWA should therefore be considered complicit in its staff members’ misconduct.”

“Around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed. Yet UNRWA, despite proclaiming ‘zero tolerance’ for incitement, systematically employs preachers of anti-Jewish hate and terrorism. Let us be clear: the problem is not the social media posts, but rather the employment of teachers who preach antisemitism and terrorism,” said Neuer.

“A mere slap on the wrist to teachers of hate only sends the message that it’s business as usual. Instead, those who incite to racism or murder should be fired, under a zero-tolerance policy, just as the UK government banned a teacher from the classroom for life over an antisemitic Facebook post.”

Featured in The Algemeiner, “‘There Are Still Some People You Need to Burn’: UN Teachers in Gaza Praise Terrorists, Hitler on Social Media, New Report Says,” March 14, 2023:

Teachers and staff working at Palestinian schools funded by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) regularly incite antisemitism, terrorism, and hate on social media, according to a new report released Tuesday by Impact-se and UN Watch, two nonprofits that research educational content in the Palestinian Territories.

The report, titled “UNRWA Education: Reform or Regression,” cited over 200 examples of UNRWA teachers promoting hateful content on social media, including a Syrian math teacher’s praising a March 2022 terrorist attack in Israel that claimed four lives, a Lebanese teacher’s calling the architect of several attacks a “martyr” and “noblest of souls,” and a Syrian UNRWA employee’s sharing on social media a photograph of Hitler, which she captioned, “there are still some people you need to burn.”

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said on Tuesday that UNRWA must be held accountable and is “complicit” in its staff members’ behavior.

“Around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed,” he continued. “Yet UNRWA, despite proclaiming ‘zero tolerance’ for incitement, systematically employs preachers of anti-Jewish hate and terrorism. Let us be clear: the problem is not social media posts, but rather the employment of teachers who preach antisemitism and terror.”

Featured in The Times of Israel, “Report finds incitement against Israel still prevalent in UNRWA school material,” March 14, 2023: 

A report by an Israeli nonprofit argues that UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, has failed to remove hateful content glorifying terrorism and demonizing Israel from its school curriculum.

The report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE), written jointly with the UN Watch nonprofit, finds 47 new instances of alleged incitement by UNRWA teachers and staff, despite previous pledges by the agency to remove such content and adopt a zero tolerance policy for employees who incite to racism or murder.

Featured in The Algemeiner, “Palestinian Education Brainwashing: Why Children Are Turning Toward Terrorism,” March 20, 2023:

There is an issue with indoctrination in Palestinian society.

Scores of children are being taught by both their teachers and educational materials that Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth, and that they should seek “martyrdom” by perpetrating deadly terror attacks against Israelis and Jews to do this.

According to the latest report by IMPACT-se, a non-profit watchdog group that monitors educational resources for extremist materials, and the non-governmental organization UN Watch, the extremist problem in UNRWA schools persists despite the UN refugee agency pledging to get to grips with it.

Profile on Hillel Neuer in The Jewish Standard, “Giving a voice to the voiceless,” March 2, 2023:

“At United Nations Human Rights Council sessions, the council spends one day focusing on human rights situations around the world and another day focused only on Israel,” Mr. Neuer said. “No other country in the world has its own agenda item — not Syria, not North Korea, not Russia or Ukraine. Only Israel and Palestine have a special agenda item the whole world focuses on, a special, what we call ‘Hate Israel Day.’ And that’s systemic at the United Nations.

Mentioned in The Algemeiner, “Ken Roth & Peter Beinart Gaslight Jewish Community With Recent Tweets,” March 24, 2023:

In two separate tweets, Ken Roth and Peter Beinart, both known for their animus toward the Jewish state, addressed the noticeable rise in antisemitic incidents in the United States and around the world. As noted by both NGO Monitor and UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer, Roth’s own criticism of the Jewish state has on occasion devolved into antisemitic rhetoric and imagery, as well as justifying antisemitism.

Featured in i24 News, “L’incitation à la haine contre Israël toujours présente dans les manuels scolaires de l’UNRWA (rapport),” March 14, 2023:

L’agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés palestiniens (UNRWA) utilise toujours des manuels avec des contenus haineux glorifiant le terrorisme et diabolisant Israël, révèle un rapport issu d’une organisation israélienne à but non lucratif. Le rapport de l’Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE), rédigé conjointement avec l’organisation UN Watch, fait état de 47 nouveaux cas d’incitation présumée de la part d’enseignants et de membres du personnel de l’UNRWA. Ce rapport intervient malgré les engagements pris précédemment par l’agence de supprimer ce type de contenu et d’adopter une politique de tolérance zéro à l’égard des employés qui incitent au racisme ou au meurtre.


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