“Once upon a time, the Middle East was full of Jews… Where are your Jews?”
Hillel Neuer and his team at UN Watch are doing important and life-saving work by attempting to hold the United Nations accountable for their anti-liberty rhetoric and their anti-Semitic behavior. Most recently, Neuer was given the opportunity to speak before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to discuss yet another report and vote to condemn Israel. The report was commissioned by several Arab states and used the work of a known Hamas partisan named Richard Falk, to smear the state of Israel as an “apartheid state.”
Our friend and colleague Jeff Dunetz wrote all about this over the weekend – to learn more about the Israel-hating Falk, click here.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, blasted the report in no uncertain terms calling it “biased” and “deeply offensive.” She urged the UN reject the report and stand with Israel against the hatred of the Islamist extremist world.
The United States is outraged by the report of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising. That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising. The United Nations Secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether. The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the UN system and around the world.
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While the UN chief Antonió Guterres has played down the report, saying “we just saw the report today, which as you say, was published by ESCWA. It was done so without any prior consultations with the Secretariat, and the report, as it stands, does not reflect the views of the Secretary‑General. I would add that there is… that the report… you know, in the publication itself, it says that the report and its findings and conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the UN.” However, they did not reject the findings outright until Ambassador Haley applied pressure on the situation, leading to the resignation of the Palestinian woman who submitted the report.
“When someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the UN,” said Haley in response to Guterres’ comments, “it is appropriate that the person resign. UN agencies must do a better job of eliminating false and biased work, and I applaud the Secretary-General’s decision to distance his good office from it.”
UN Watch’s Neuer praised both Guterres and Haley for their response to the dubious report, “Guterres deserves credit for doing the right thing, but there is no question that the initial moral voice here was that of U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley, and that it was U.S. leverage which prompted the UN to act.”
Just days later the Arab nations that commissioned the report were back at it, attempting to force the findings on to the UNHRC, in order to once again, condemn Israel.
Thankfully, Hillel Neuer was there to meet them and he delivered a scathing address that left the room in stunned silence. This is a speech that must be heard and shared because it asks the most important question of the world debate on Israel. Namely, ‘Arab world – where are your Jews?’
Silence. Utter silence as the truth of Neuer’s words ring in the ears of those in attendance. Jews across this planet have been hunted, persecuted, and killed. The Arab world used to be filled with Jews, but the Muslim majority has stamped them out. Yet, the same Muslim nations who have so persecuted the Jews and even “cleansed” them from their nations now seeks to shame Israel for defending itself against Palestinian terrorism? It’s disgusting. It’s shameful. It’s abhorrent. If the UN was truly a respectable and intellectually honest body, they would stop condemning Israel and start demanding more concessions from the Muslim world.
PLO: “Israel has used the worst kinds of abuse, ethnic cleansing and imposing a regime of apartheid.”
Qatar: “Israel continues to exercise apartheid in Palestine, which constitutes a crime against humanity.”
Sudan: “Violence and terrorism are being exercised against the Palestinian people.”
Syria: “Violations including building of apartheid walls… to legitimize theft of land and to Judaize Jerusalem.”
Bahrain: “The separation wall is an example of the apartheid policy practiced by Israel.”
Saudi Arabia: “Israel’s practices of discrimination and extremism…”
Today’s report does not consider Israelis to be deserving of human rights — consistent with the approach of this council, where today’s notorious agenda item against Israel completely ignores their human rights.
Over the weekend, President Abbas announced he was giving his highest medal to Rima Khalaf, who resigned from the Economic and Social Commission of Western Asia, a Beirut-based UN agency of 18 Arab states, after Secretary General Guterres rightly instructed her to remove an absurd report which accused Israel of “apartheid.”
Mr. President, why is Mr. Abbas celebrating a report written by the notorious Richard Falk, after his own Palestinian Mission here, tried in 2010, to remove Mr. Falk on the basis that he was “a partisan of Hamas,” as we know from WikiLeaks?
The accusation against Israel is absurd. Israel’s 1.5 million Arabs…
Israel’s 1.5 million Arabs, whatever challenges they face, enjoy full rights to vote and to be elected in the Knesset, they work as doctors and lawyers, they serve on the Supreme Court.
Now I’d like to ask the members of that commission, that commissioned that report, the Arab states from which we just heard. Egypt, Iraq, and the others:
How many Jews live in your countries? How many Jews live in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco?
Once upon a time, the Middle East was full of Jews.
Algeria had 140,000 Jews. Algeria, where are your Jews?
Egypt used to have 75,000 Jews. Where are your Jews?
Syria, you had tens of thousands of Jews. Where are your Jews?
Iraq, you had over 135,000 Jews. Where are your Jews?
Mr. President, where is the apartheid?
Why is there a U.N. commission on the Middle East that does not include Israel? From the 1960s and the ‘70s they refuse to include Israel. Where is the apartheid, Mr. President?
Mr. President, why are we meeting today on an agenda item singling out only one state, the Jewish state, for targeting.
Where is the apartheid, Mr. President?