UN Watch in the News

UN Watch in the News — September 2022

UN Watch was quoted in multiple media outlets during September 2022 on topics including: Antisemitic Qatari envoy loses bid to chair rights forum; Bachelet’s anti-Israel bias and China breakdown; How the UN gives international legitimacy to murderous regimes.

Featured on JNS, “UN Watch: Qatari envoy hoping to chair UN forum is ‘rabid anti-Semite’,” September 13, 2022:

Hend al-Muftah, Qatar’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, is bidding to become chair of the U.N. Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law. She has made anti-Semitic and bigoted remarks, a report released on Monday by the UN Watch nonprofit organization reveals.

UN Watch said that “mutual understanding, however, appears to be the last trait one would ascribe to Ambassador al-Muftah.”

She has “a long record of publishing racist and classically anti-Semitic tropes about Jews, bigoted attacks on gays, and spreading false information and conspiracy theories about Western societies and liberalism,” added the Geneva-based nonprofit.

Featured on The Times of Israel, “Qatar UN envoy blamed Israel for 9/11, said LGBT don’t deserve rights, watchdog says,” September 16, 2022:

The nonprofit group UN Watch documented dozens of instances of Qatar Ambassador Hend Al-Muftah expressing anti-Jewish and homophobic views online, and sent a letter Monday to UNHRC President Frederico Villegas to petition against her nomination to become chair of the UN Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law.

Al-Muftah posted dozens of discriminatory and conspiratorial tweets between 2011 and 2021, including blaming Israel for 9/11, calling Jews “enemies” and saying gay people did not deserve rights, UN Watch said.

Her views “stand in complete contravention to the principles and values of the UN forum which she seeks to lead, and of the founding charter of the Human Rights Council,” UN Watch said in the letter.

Quoted on JNS, “Qatari ambassador to UN who called Jews ‘our enemies’ loses bid to chair rights forum,” September 20, 2022:

The Qatari ambassador to the United Nations, Hend al-Muftah, lost her bid to become chair of the upcoming U.N. Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law after a watchdog group revealed that she had called Jews “our enemies” and gays “disgusting.”

In response to her failed bid, UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer commended UNHRC president Federico Villegas for “doing the right thing and rejecting Qatar’s ambassador of hate,” adding: “Hend Al-Muftah is a rabid antisemite who over a decade has been tweeting vile hate against Jews and gays, while spreading malign conspiracy theories about Western countries.

Quoted in The Times of Israel and JTA, “Qatari delegate to UN in Geneva deletes Twitter account after watchdog exposes antisemitic, homophobic tweets,” September 28, 2022:

The Qatari envoy to United Nations agencies based in Geneva deleted her Twitter account after a watchdog exposed antisemitic and homophobic tweets.

Hillel Neuer, the director of United Nations Watch, which tracks anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias among other bigotries at the United Nations, reported Tuesday that Hend al-Muftah had deleted her account.

Quoted in the Jerusalem Post, “Qatar UN envoy deletes Twitter account after uproar over cursing Jews, gay men,” September 28, 2022:

Three days before the announcement, the NGO UN Watch sent a letter to Villegas detailing Muftah’s tweets and expressing “grave concern” at the UN envoy’s nomination to the position of forum chairperson.

“Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva has a long record of publishing racist tropes about Jews, bigoted attacks on gays, and disinformation and conspiracy theories about Western societies and liberalism,” wrote UN Watch in the letter.

Cited in The Guardian, “England and Wales’ Inadequate Symbol of Tolerance will make little impact in Qatar,” September 23, 2022:

Sadly for Dr Hend’s candidacy the monitoring organisation UN Watch brought this content to light, describing her as “Qatar’s ambassador of hate”, which doesn’t sound the right ambassador for a human rights forum during the One Love World Cup.

Dictatorships and murderous regimes regularly band together to approve United Nations resolutions. As a result, these documents can then enjoy international legitimacy. This represents one of the challenges at the core of how the United Nations functions, according to Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

In a conversation with Adam Scott Bellos on this week’s “Wine with Adam,” Neuer explains how decades ago the Soviet Union persuaded Arab states to develop an anti-Western alliance.

“They built an automatic majority. As a result, they passed one resolution after another, condemning Israel, again, with the imprimatur of the United Nations, with all of its grandeur and gravitas,” Neuer notes. He also stresses how this mechanism continues to characterize the United Nations to this day.

Cited on The Times of Israel, “Berlin mayor torpedoes event honoring head of UN probe into Israel,” September 21, 2022:

A Berlin event scheduled to honor the head of an ongoing UN probe investigating alleged Israeli crimes against Palestinians was called off this week after the city’s mayor pulled support for the city hall ceremony.

According to UN Watch, a pro-Israel monitor, Pillay signed a petition in June 2020 organized by the South African Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (SA BDS) Coalition, entitled “Sanction Apartheid Israel!”

Quoted on JNS, “Report: UN refugee agency accepted $50 million from US-designated terrorist group,” September 6, 2022:

The U.N. agency responsible for assisting refugees globally has accepted $50 million in donations from a U.S.-designated terror organization, according to a report from a pro-Israel advocacy group.

“The United Nations was founded to put an end to the scourge of war and protect fundamental human rights. The High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, must ensure that his agency upholds these values,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, an independent human rights organization based in Geneva, told JNS.

“We call on Mr. Grandi to clarify whether the U.N. Refugee Agency has taken any money from groups that fund radical Islamist ideology or even directly support terrorism. If so, he should apologize to victims of terrorism for legitimizing these groups, investigate the failure to vet such donors and ensure that processes are in place to prevent this from ever happening again,” insisted Neuer.

Quoted in the Jerusalem Post, “Bachelet’s anti-Israel bias and China breakdown,” September 3, 2022:

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet went head to head with Israel and China during her last days in office, leaving a contentious four-year record in her wake.

To understand her attitude toward Israel, the Geneva-based NGO UN Watch analyzed critical statements she made at her own initiation about democratic and non-democratic countries.

When it came to critical statements against democratic countries, Israel topped the list, with Bachelet issuing 14 comments against the Jewish state during her time in office, followed by 10 statements against the United States and three against Poland. In the Israel statements, she used strong language eight times and praised it in only one, whereas when speaking of the US she used strong language against it four times and praised it five times.

When it came to non-democratic countries, Bachelet was the most critical of Myanmar, against which she initiated statements 17 times, followed by 15 statements against Sudan, 14 against Syria, 12 against Nicaragua, Libya and Iran and 11 against Russia.

UN Watch noted that she refrained from talking against Russian action in Ukraine until it invaded earlier this year.

“Bachelet was swift in condemning Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine. Since February 2022, she has initiated eight criticisms of Putin’s government, seven on the war itself and one on Russia’s arrests of anti-war protesters inside Russia. Five of these were strong,” UN Watch said.

Cited in Haaretz, “The Tragedy of Queer Palestinians, Now on Stage,” September 22, 2022:

According to a report the Geneva-based nonprofit UN Watch submitted to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in July, LGBTQ individuals living under PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip suffer from widespread persecution and social exclusion.

Quoted in the Toronto Star, “When the royal train stopped at Orillia,” September 15, 2022:

Wrote lawyer Hiller C. Neuer, a Canadian who heads the Geneva based UN Watch organization: “Growing up in Canada, I saw the face of Queen Elizabeth II every day. She was on every coin, depicted as a Roman god, and every dollar bill. When you bought a bus ticket, a pack of hockey cards, or lunch, you saw the Queen. She seemed timeless. It’s hard to believe she’s gone.”

UN Watch

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