Statement by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer to the UN Human Rights Council, 17 March 2015, Agenda Item 4, “Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention”
Today the whole world is watching as millions of Israelis, Jews and Arabs, go to the polls to elect 120 members of parliament and a prime minister. Twenty-four parties are running, including left and right, secular and religious, and a joint Arab list that is predicted this time to win more than ten percent of the seats.
The whole world is watching, to see the results.
But my question today, Mr. President, is whether members of this United Nations Human Rights Council is watching — not the results, but the process.
Now, in this session the Council is planning to condemn Israel for violating human rights in at least four resolutions, which is four times more condemnation than is being directed against Syria, Iran, and North Korea.
Perhaps the Council members who will condemn Israel as the world worst violator, will watch Israeli democracy in action and learn something.
Perhaps China, where the Communist Party is always in power, and which keeps Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo in jail, might watch Israel today and learn something.
Perhaps Russia, where President Putin always wins, and which marks the first anniversary of its take-over and occupation of Crimea, might watch Israel today and learn something.
Perhaps Cuba, where a Castro is always president, might watch Israeli democracy today, and learn something.
Perhaps Venezuela, which placed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez in jail…
CUBA INTERRUPTS: It is incredible to hear the only non-governmental organization, which we might describe as a governmental organization— because it is funded by the Israeli government.
It is the only NGO in this dialogue which is defending Israel. It is unbelievable and it is a lack of respect to the international ethics, and to the work of this body.
It is the only NGO that defends Israel, the Occupying Power, which for decades has killed and tortured people. Therefore, we call for this intervention to be eliminated and for this representative to be prohibited from addressing this forum.
PRESIDENT: Yes, I ask the speaker to keep to appropriate language. You have the floor.
UN WATCH: Cuba’s expertise on NGOs is in question, given that they directed 400 false NGOs to subvert the UPR process.
CUBA: The only procedural issue here is that we are asking this gentleman, to study, to read about this. Cuba was supported by the international community when it was assessed twice by the UPR. Cuba was not condemned. The one that needs to be condemned is the person who is speaking and the government of Israel, for illegally occupying an entire nation and for killing and torturing hundreds and thousands of people.
PRESIDENT: I think your point of order is not entirely procedural but touches upon substance, so I would remind you that the speaker is addressing human rights issues relevant to the agenda item under consideration and he has the floor to finalize.
UN WATCH: Perhaps the State of Palestine, whose President Abbas has not enjoyed the experience of an election in more than ten years, might watch Israeli democracy today and learn something.
And perhaps Syria, whose president we are told wins massive numbers of votes from the people he is killing, might watch Israeli democracy and learn something, instead of drafting a resolution in this session that will condemn Israel.
Thank you, Mr. President.