Video: Hillel Neuer on Amnesty’s “Israel apartheid” — Sky News Australia interview

Sharri Markson, Sky News: Now, Hillel, I want to ask you about this Amnesty International report released that declares Israel an apartheid state. Why is there this fixation with Israel and a complete failure to call out other authoritarian regimes? 

Hillel Neuer, UN Watch: I think it’s an excellent question, and indeed, it was posed to two of the leaders of Amnesty: Agnès Callamard is the new Secretary General of Amnesty, she used to be at the Human Rights Council the past couple of years, and one of her senior officials, a gentleman named Philip Luther, the head of their Middle East advocacy. And they were both interviewed by the Times of Israel by Lazar Berman. And it was a rather lengthy interview.

And he asked them the question that you just posed now: Why, of all the countries in the world, did they choose Israel to accuse of this novel accusation of being an apartheid state?

They have a 200-page report where they purport to show a legal definition of an apartheid state and they try to make the case that Israel qualifies under this legal definition. They haven’t applied it — haven’t even tried to apply it — to China, which is herding one million Uyghur Muslims in camps, which is openly trying to destroy their culture and their language. 

You can go to Israel and you will hear the mosques, the call to prayer several times a day; at 4:00 AM in Jerusalem, you will hear the loud call to prayer of the mosques. You will walk in the streets of Jerusalem in Israel and you will see women with hijabs walking freely. You will see Arab doctors in hospitals and Arab pharmacists and lawyers and judges.

It’s not perfect; there’s things to criticize. But, the notion that the only democracy in the Middle East — which has a Supreme Court that overrules government decisions in favor of minorities, that has free and fair elections, that has freedom of the press, that has more rights and freedoms for Arabs than any other Arab country in the Middle East.

The notion that that should be singled for apartheid and not China, or how Turkey treats the Kurds, or how Syria treats its minorities, or Mauritania, where there’s slavery. They were asked this question and they couldn’t answer it. They couldn’t answer the question. It seems like some kind of obsession with Israel. 

And I’ll just note that the people who’ve embraced this report include the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are funded by Iran. They hailed this report. I went on the Hamas website; you can read it.

And Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour Party who was suspended for antisemitism, he embraced the report. I think that says a lot, Sharri. 

Sky News: It does; absolutely shocking. Look, just very quickly, we’re almost out of time, but I just want to ask you about some of the figures we’ve seen turn up to greet Xi Jinping at the Beijing Olympics. One of them, the World Health Organization director-general, Tedros. Of course, no comments from him about human rights abuses. No comments from him about getting any transparency or cooperation from China in terms of an investigation into the origins of COVID-19. Yet, he turns up for the opening of the Winter Olympics. Very quickly: What is the point of bodies like the WHO if they don’t represent us or help us have a healthier and safer world? 

Neuer: Look, I think you hit the nail on the head. The world, you would think, we’re facing a global pandemic which is infecting people around the world. We need a functioning, effective, credible World Health Organization. And sadly, Dr. Tedros — as you know because you covered this issue more than anyone — two years ago, when the pandemic began, he was praising China to the sky saying how wonderful Xi Jinping was.

I just tweeted out some screenshots of his tweets where he said “Xi Jinping, we just met at the end of January 2020, he’s doing an amazing job. He’s so transparent.” While Xi Jinping was covering up what was happening in Wuhan, while he was silencing people, summoning the Dr. Li Wenliang in the middle of the night because he dared to speak out.

So, sadly, certain international organizations seem to be in the pocket of the communist regime and Dr. Tedros has done a little better recently on challenging China a little bit. But, his decision to go to Beijing now, as well as António Guterres, the head of the United Nations, I think it’s very sad. It’s not the United Nations that we deserve. 

Sky News: 100%. Hillel Neuer, you always have such sensible comments and it’s a breath of fresh air. Thank you very much for joining me. 


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UN Watch