Secretary-General Ant—nio Guterres addresses during the Opening of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations. 25 February 2019. UN Photo by Violaine Martin

UN Watch written statements at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council

The following written submissions by United Nations Watch have been published by the UN as official documents of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council:

A/HRC/46/NGO/125: Evoking Antisemitic Tropes by Accusing Israel of “Racist”COVID-19 Vaccinations

Excerpt: Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International and two United Nations (UN) experts1 have slandered Israel by alleging that its world-leading COVID-19 vaccine drive is
“racist” towards the Palestinians who live under de facto Hamas rule in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (“PA”) in the West Bank.

Blaming the Jews for the plague or for poisoning the wells was a medieval rallying cry to massacre Jews. Those who falsely accuse the Jewish state of distributing vaccines based on
race are evoking the same antisemitic tropes, only in modern form.

The accusations misrepresent both facts and the law. The truth is that everyone in the Israeli health system, including two million Israeli Arabs and hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs who live in eastern Jerusalem, qualify for the vaccine. Those who are not part of the Israeli health system, whether they are Arabs living under PA rule or Jews in Israel who are tourists, do not qualify. Race has nothing to do with it.

A/HRC/467/NGO/95: Palestinian Authority and Hamas violations of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Excerpt: The State of Palestine will be reviewed by the Committee Against Torture at its July 2021 session. United Nations Watch has documented numerous egregious violations of the
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by the Palestinian Authority (“PA”) and Hamas, including the following:

Torture of political opponents

The PA and Hamas systematically repress dissent, including through arbitrary arrest and torture. In October 2018, Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) published a report exposing 86
cases of arbitrary arrests and torture of peaceful dissenters by both the PA and Hamas. Torture included beatings, solitary confinement, feet whipping, threats and taunts, and
forcing detainees into various painful positions for extended periods.

A/HRC/46/NGO/42: Palestinian Child Soldiers

Excerpt: United Nations Watch is deeply concerned by Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas recruitment and use of Palestinian child soldiers in violation of international law, including
inter alia the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict,
which the Palestinians joined in 2014, and the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which they joined in 2015.

The CRC obligates states “to ensure the protection and care of children affected by armed conflict” and provides for a minimum age of recruitment of 15 (Article 38). The Optional
Protocol encourages states to increase the minimum recruitment age to 18 and adds that children under 18 should not take direct part in hostilities or be compulsorily recruited into
the armed forces (Articles 1 and 2). Similarly, non-State armed groups should not recruit or use in hostilities children under age 18 (Article 4). Under the ICC Statute, “conscripting and
enlisting children” into armed forces constitutes a war crime (Article 8).

Both the PA and Hamas routinely indoctrinate Palestinian children to aspire to martyrdom through armed confrontations with Israel. According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW),
“the PA operates a systematic and institutionalized policy and program to recruit child soldiers/terrorists.”

A/HRC/46/NGO/136: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Staff Incitement of Antisemitism and Terrorism Violates United Nations Principles

Excerpt: United Nations Watch is concerned by failure of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to adequately address and remedy the problem of incitement to antisemitism and terrorism among its staff. Between September 2015 and September 2019, UN Watch published six separate reports, which were widely publicized in the media, exposing a total of 100 UNRWA staff and school Facebook pages containing antisemitism and terrorist incitement. UN Watch submitted its April 2017 report directly to UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, but never received any response. Regrettably, although UNRWA received our reports and is well-aware of the issues, it has not addressed the problem…

In August 2019, when the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reviewed the State of Palestine, it criticized the existence of hate speech in “school curricula and textbooks” — which are those used by UNRWA — which it said “fuels hatred and may incite violence, particularly hate speech against Israelis, which at times also fuels antisemitism.” UNRWA disavowed this criticism, claiming it was directed at the Palestinian government, not at UNRWA, because the agency’s textbooks come from the Palestinian Authority.

However, this assertion is belied by UNRWA’s new complementary materials distributed to students during the coronavirus pandemic. The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) recently exposed these materials as rife with problematic content, including incitement to violence and hatred and support for terrorism.

UN Watch