Hillel Neuer accuses U.N. of bias against Israel
Feb. 5, 2012
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Hillel Neuer, executive director of United Nations Watch, traveled across an ocean to deliver a passionate lecture at the Congregation Beth Sholom on Saturday evening.
Neuer's lecture, titled "Israel at the U.N.: A Nation that Dwells Alone?" focused on how the U.N. Human Rights Council, in his estimation, unjustly targets Israel in its condemnations.
Being a watchdog of the U.N. is what Neuer does for a living. The U.N. Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, whose mission is to monitor the performance of the United Nations.
The Montreal native has written extensively on international law, human rights and politics. Prior to joining U.N. Watch, he taught international human rights at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and practiced commercial and civil rights litigation at an international law firm.
Additionally, he has appeared on CNN, Fox News, BBC and Al Jazeera. Several videos of his speeches also have gone viral on YouTube.
Although Neuer's lecture was mostly critical of the U.N., especially in its treatment of Israel, he does not believe that the organization is useless.
"I didn't come here tonight to tell you all that the U.N. is bad," he said. "They have some indispensible functions."
But when it comes to certain areas, he said, the organization is flawed.
"In its early years, the Human Rights Council did good things," he said. "But later, it became hijacked." He added that "when it comes to issues of human rights and Israel, there is a problem."
Neuer talked about the U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3379, which declared "Zionism is racism" in 1975.
"The spirit of 'Zionism is racism' continues to live on in many of the U.N. bodies," Neuer said.
He believes that many of the problems of the U.N. Human Rights Council lie in its leadership and membership.
Some of its member nations include China, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. Neuer described each of these nations as having massive denials of human rights.
"From Eleanor Roosevelt to Muammar Gaddafi: It's the rise and fall of the Human Rights commission," he said of the range of individuals who have led the council.
Neuer accused other members of the U.N. Human Rights Council, such as its hunger expert, Jean Ziegler, of being biased toward Israel.
Neuer said that when Ziegler investigated what countries are experiencing widespread hunger, he jumped at Israel despite the fact that many nations have much higher starvation rates.
"When Ziegler said that 'Israel is starving Palestinians,' he was applauded," Neuer said.
He also noted that half of the council's emergency sessions that are held regarding war crimes and human rights violations are against Israel. He believes that this is unfair in light of widespread human rights violations in other countries.
"It is an organized assault on the legitimacy of Israel," he said. "In many of the U.N. bodies, Israel stands alone."
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