UN Watch in the News

UN Watch in the News — October 2023

UN Watch was quoted in several media outlets around the world in October 2023, on Iran’s chairmanship of a UN human rights forum, UNRWA’s antisemitism, Russia’s bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, and the Hamas massacre and its aftermath.

Quoted in New York Times, “Russia Is Denied a Seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council,” October 10th, 2023 (also in Boston Globe):

Russian forces in Ukraine continue to commit apparent war crimes, including unlawful attacks and mistreatment of prisoners, and crimes against humanity, including torture, summary executions, and enforced disappearances against civilians,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement last week.

Many countries and rights groups also said that Russia’s re-election to the body would be a blow to the U.N.’s efforts to promote peace.

“Putting the torturer of Ukrainians on a world human rights body would be a travesty of justice,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based nongovernmental organisation monitoring the United Nations, said in a statement.

Quoted in Wall Street Journal,  “Russia Seeks Seat on U.N. Human Rights Panel After Ejection Over Ukraine War,” October 8th, 2023:

Some U.N. diplomats and analysts say Russia is looking to exploit its control over wartime shipments of grain and sales of arms and energy to win support in a secret vote set for Tuesday. In addition to Russia, Albania and Bulgaria are vying for two seats representing Eastern Europe.

“There might be countries that are embarrassed to publicly vote for Russia, but if they’re getting grain and arms and oil, they might vote with Russia,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch, a nonprofit group that monitors the U.N.

Quoted by Fox Business, “Palestinian Group Accused of Harboring Terrorists Received $1B From Biden Admin,” October 18, 2023:

However, U.N. Watch and IMPACT released a report in March, uncovering 100 pages of evidence that schools built and run by the UNRWA taught hate toward the Jewish people and glorified terrorism.

The UNRWA Islamic education exam asks students whether “Liberating the Al-Aqsa Mosque and making sacrifices for it is an obligation for all Muslims” is true or false. The exam cited the statement as true and noted that violence and martyrdom to free Al-Aqsa are obligations for Palestinians and “all Muslims.”

Quoted in NY Post article “Helping Palestinians Requires Eradicating Hamas, Not Funding It —As Biden’s Aid Package Would Do,” October 25th, 2023:

We have proof UNRWA staff are breeding the next generation of Hamas extremists within the walls of their US-funded schools, disseminating educational materials that teach Palestinian children to hate Jews, glorifying acts of terror and celebrating the slaughter of innocent Israelis.

A reading-comprehension exercise in a UNRWA middle school praised a firebombing of an Israeli bus as a “barbecue party,” UN Watch discovered. Another UNRWA middle school went so far as to encourage young girls to sacrifice “their blood,” with grammar exercises including such phrases as “I will commit jihad to liberate the homeland” and “I will not give up a centimeter of my land.”

Interviewed by Republic World, “Israel’s Moral Duty to Defend Citizens: UN Watch Official says Hamas Attack Worst Form of Inhumanity,” October 19th, 2023

“If on September 12, 2001, the world would have gone to the United States and said, you just had the worst terror atrocities in the history but now is the time for ceasefire, they would have been laughed at. After a Pearl Harbor attack on December 8, 1941, if someone has asked the same thing to France after being attacked by Japan, they would have been laughed at.” – Hillel Neuer

Mentioned in the Canadian National Post article “FIRST READING: The Canadian Taxpayer Money Funding and Enabling Hamas,” October 13th, 2023.

In 2015, the UN suspended several UNRWA employees after a probe by the group UN Watch found them uploading Facebook posts that were explicitly calling for violence against Israel.
Even when UNRWA schools are operating as intended, they’ve long been notorious for materials promoting violence and urging students to pursue the ultimate eradication of Israel.

Mentioned in Libero Quotidiano “UN, Professors Rooting for Hamas: ‘Death to the Jews,’” October 26th, 2023:

The controversy has been ignited by a report from the NGO Un Watch , which has the task of monitoring what happens inside the UN. A report that tells how, while Hamas terrorists killed children and civilians in Israel in the infamous October 7 attack, many teachers and principals of the UN agency that manages education and social services for Palestinians publicly celebrated the massacre by thanking Allah and terrorists. Indeed, posts have been published on social media “in which they regularly call for the killing of Jews”. These are “teachers who are part of UNRWA, the UN agency for the relief and employment of Palestinian refugees and also paid by our country, which in 2018 also asked to increase the funds to support it.

Quoted in Yahoo News “Hamas Preventing Gaza Residents From Fleeing to Safety, Palestinian Activist Says,” October 27th 2023:

UNRWA allegedly claimed that people claiming to be Hamas health ministry officials had shown up in a truck and taken tens of thousands of liters of gasoline, but then shortly afterward deleted the post off X and claimed instead that the event had never happened, watchdog group UN Watch reported.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer has kept a screenshot of the original X thread about the topic on his own account, which has not received any community notes or corrections from the U.N.

However, some reports from Gaza claim that people started to return home after going to the southern part of the territory and still suffering from ongoing attacks.

Mentioned in Deutsche Welle “Israel and the UN: A Tricky Relationship,” October 28th, 2023 (also in the Business Standard):

According to UN Watch, a non-governmental organization in Geneva, the General Assembly passed 140 resolutions criticizing Israel between 2015 and 2022 alone, condemning the construction of settlements and the annexation of the Golan Heights.

In the same time period, only 68 resolutions were passed concerning the rest of the world, including just five on Iran, for example.

Mentioned in NY Post “Sen. Marsha Blackburn Wants Halt to US Gaza Funding: ‘Should be Locked Down,’” October 22nd, 2023:

UNRWA has employed educators who “regularly call to murder Jews” and teach from textbooks “that glorify terrorism, encourage martyrdom, demonize Israelis and incite antisemitism,” according to a March report by the non-governmental organization UN Watch and the Israeli non-profit Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.

Since the US can’t legally fund the Palestinian Authority or Hamas, the Biden administration has given the lion’s share of its funding to UNRWA, which serves millions of refugees in the West Bank and Gaza.

Mentioned in Libero Quotidiano “‘Death to the Jews’, Joy for the Murdered Children: The Latest Scandal Overwhelms the UN,” October 26, 2023:

The chilling statements of Antonio Guterres , secretary general of the United Nations, on the attack on Israel on 7 October were not enough: “It is important to recognize that the Hamas attacks did not come out of nowhere. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation” and if the demands of the Palestinians “cannot justify the appalling attacks of Hamas”, “these appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment” of the people of the Gaza Strip. Now the controversy has been ignited by a report from the NGO UN Watch, which has the task of monitoring what happens inside the UN.

Quoted in Toronto SunBiased UN Vote Exposed its Hatred of Israel,” October 29th, 2023:

None of this is surprising given the UN General Assembly’s longstanding bias against Israel – led by Arab and Muslim nations – that year after year condemns Israel for more human rights violations than all other nations on earth, combined.

“The UN’s latest assault on Israel with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights organization, noted last year.

“Make no mistake: the purpose of these lopsided texts is not to promote human rights, but to demonize the Jewish state.”

Mentioned in the Times of India “Czech Defense Minister Calls To Quit UN After Resolution Omits Hamas, Hostages,” October 29th, 2023:

The Czech Republic, one of Israel’s closest allies in Europe, was one of only 14 countries that opposed Friday’s resolution, which came three weeks after Hamas massacred more than 1,400 persons in Israel and took some 230 others hostage to Gaza, including dozens of foreign nationals. “In my opinion, the Czech Republic has no place in an organization that cheers on terrorists and does not respect the fundamental right to self-defence,” Cernochova said. “Let’s get out.”
Her remarks were posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, by the executive director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer on Sunday.

Interviewed on i24 News “U.N. chief appears to justify Hamas attacks: Hillel Neuer on i24 News,” October 29th, 2023:

Quoted in the International Business Times “Hamas Accused Of Stealing Aid While Second Convoy Crosses Into Gaza,” October 23rd, 2023:

In a report, the UNWRA spoke of a group claiming to be Hamas Health Ministry officials, who used a truck to steal more than 20,000 tons of gasoline and medicine.

The gasoline was to be used to power sanitary water plants that would be used by almost one million Palestinians in Gaza.

Although the UNWRA deleted their statement shortly after, UN and Israeli officials confirmed that the theft had taken place.

Hillel Neuer, the Executive Director of United Nations Watch, declared: “We estimate 24,000 litres of fuel, that’s enough to power water desalination plants for four days to provide water to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.”

“That was stolen by Hamas, this fuel they’re going to use for their terrorist purposes,” Neuer added.

Mentioned in The Jerusalem Post “UN’s Francesca Albanese: ‘Manipulate Curricula To Obscure Palestinian Culture, History'” October 27th, 2023:

According to a report by UN Watch and IMPACT-SE in March, the UN agency continues to employ teachers who spread hate and teach hateful and inciting content to children, even after repeated reports warning of the antisemitism in their schools.

Quoted in Telegraph “Iranian Schoolgirl ‘In Coma’ After Alleged Beating By Morality Police In Tehran,” October 4th, 2023:

UN Watch also reacted to the incident by saying: “16-year-old Armita Geravand is now in a coma after being beaten by the morality police of the Islamic regime (which the New York Times said was disbanded). On November 2nd, the Islamic regime will be Chair of the U.N. Human Rights Council Social Forum. Why?”

Mentioned in The Spectator “For Too Long, The Un Has Been Gripped By Israelophobia,” October 10th, 2023:

In 2017 – a long time ago, I know, but we take what we can get – a video of a debate at the UNHRC went viral. One by one, diplomats from different Arab autocracies were seen lining up to accuse Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’, ‘terrorism’, ‘discrimination’, ‘extremism’, ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘apartheid’. At the end, the Canadian international lawyer Hillel Neuer was given the floor.

‘Once upon a time, the Middle East was full of Jews,’ he said. ‘Algeria had 140,000 Jews. Algeria, where are your Jews? Egypt used to have 75,000 Jews. Where are your Jews? Syria, you had tens of thousands of Jews. Where are your Jews? Iraq, you had over 135,000 Jews. Where are your Jews?’ He concluded: ‘Mr President, where is the real apartheid?’ Faced with its own hypocrisy, the debating chamber was stunned into embarrassed silence.

Mentioned in New York Post “Biden Admin Sent $730M To Un Group Despite Calls For Anti-Jew Violence: ‘Rotten To The Core’,” October 10th, 2023:

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been accused in recent years of employing educators who “regularly call to murder Jews” and teach from textbooks “that glorify terrorism, encourage martyrdom, demonize Israelis and incite antisemitism,” according to a March joint report by the non-governmental organization UN Watch and the Israeli non-profit Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.

Mentioned in Miami Herald “Despite Jailing Critics And Dissidents, Cuba Keeps Seat On U.N. Human Rights Council,” October 10th, 2023:

Ahead of the vote a joint report by U.N. Watch, Human Rights Foundation and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, three non-government organizations that promote human rights around the world, highlighted that authoritarian governments have used the seat at the council to protect abusers and have failed to advocate for the victims. The report deemed Cuba, Russia, China, Burundi, and Kuwait as “unqualified” to be part of the council. The last two countries also won their seats on Tuesday.

Mentioned in Fox News “Biden Admin Sent Tens Of Millions In Covid Relief Funds To Group Accused Of Harboring Hamas Terrorists,” October 14th, 2023:

UN Watch reported earlier this year that UNRWA schools were complicit in teaching children to hate Jewish people and glorify terrorism. UN Watch reported that USRWA has acknowledged that teachers “mistakenly” produced and distributed inciting material but promised in 2021 that it no longer circulates such material.

Mentioned in O Antagonista “Crusoe: “The Country Against”,” October 20th, 2023:

In an interview with Crusoé , the executive director of the NGO UN Watch, Hillel Neuer , says he does not believe that Brazil’s presidency of the UN Security Council can influence the war between Israel and Hamas. For him, Iran’s call to Lula “already says a lot” .

Quoted in The Telegraph (UK) “UN’S Palestinian Human Rights Expert Likened Israel’S Actions To The Holocaust,” October 21st, 2023:

UN Watch, an Geneva-based group that monitors bias, has also raised multiple examples of Gaza-based staff of the UN’s Relief and Works Agency appearing to welcome the Oct 7 attack.Dina Rovner, from UN Watch, said: “On October 7th, Hamas perpetrated the worst massacre against Jews since the Holocaust. Hamas terrorists brutally slaughtered more than 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, injuring thousands, and taking some 200 hostages.

Mentioned in Tageblatt “Middle East conflict / After criticism from the ambassador: Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn takes a stand,” October 13th, 2023:

Jean Asselborn is not only criticized by the Israeli ambassador. The non-governmental organization (NGO) “UN Watch” also accuses Luxembourg of being the EU state that is “most anti-Israel”. The statements can be read on the NGO’s website and are illustrated with a picture in which Jean Asselborn can be seen together with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Quoted in Gazeta Do Povo“Political bias in coverage of the Israel-Hamas war: the issues that most bother the left and right,” October 19th, 2023:

“It was a big lie” by the New York Times, said human rights lawyer Hillel Neuer , in X. The paper “simply trusted the terrorist organization Hamas.” He republished a call between two Hamas operatives that was reportedly intercepted by Israel in which they say “I’ve never seen a missile falling like that, that’s why we’re saying it belongs to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

Mentioned in Business Insider India “Israel Is Preparing For A Ground Invasion Of Gaza. Here’s Why It Hasn’t Happened Yet,” October 27th, 2023.

Meanwhile, in Jordan, public opinion is overwhelmingly opposed to LGBTQ+ rights, according to the LGBTQ+ collaborative knowledge base, Equaldex. Under Hamas, LGBTQ+ Palestinians suffer “severe persecution and ostracism,” per UN Watch’s 2022 report. Same-sex intercourse between men is banned in Gaza and punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment under Section 152(2) of the British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance of 1936, which is still in force in Gaza, according to the Human Dignity Trust.


UN Watch