Hillel Neuer
International human rights lawyer, writer & activist
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UN condemns Israel 6 times, declares ‘Year of Palestine’

The General Assembly condemned Israel in 6 resolutions, called for Golan residents to be handed over to murderous Assad regime

Resolutions absurdly call for Golan residents to be handed over to murderous Assad regime; Ban Ki-moon disowns interpreter’s hot mic critique of UN bias

The UN General Assembly yesterday condemned Israel in six resolutions, the most significant of which declares 2014 a “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

The new year is now liable to bring escalated politicization within UN agencies worldwide, doing nothing to help Palestinians or Israelis on the ground, while inflicting yet further damage to the world body’s effectiveness and credibility.

The one-sided resolutions were adopted in tandem with the UN’s observance Monday of its annual “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

Regrettably, that highly politicized event was praised by British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant as equivalent in importance to the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Yesterday’s six resolutions endorsed the UN’s infrastructure of anti-Israel demonization, which includes an entire UN staff division dedicated to promoting an anti-Israel narrative with conferences held around the world.

The UN’s drumbeat of excessive, disproportionate and one-sided condemnations of Israel causes polarization, threatens to push the parties further apart, and is counterproductive to the already fragile peace process.

The UN General Assembly’s lopsided adoption, by the end of this year, of an expected 21 resolutions on Israel, and only four on the rest of the world combined, eclipses the plight of millions of truly needy human rights victims in places like China, Russia, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, whose critical issues are being treated with indifference, if not contempt—indeed the UN just elected each of those tyrannies to its 47-nation Human Rights Council.

Consider the absurdity and hypocrisy in just two of today’s resolutions:

  • Golan Resolution: This is the second UNGA resolution this month devoted to the supposedly urgent situation of human rights in the Golan Heights, whose residents in fact enjoy normal lives, versus only one resolution on neighboring Syria which, according to the UN itself, has murdered more than 100,000 of its own people. At a time when Israeli hospitals are treating Syrian refugees fleeing mass slaughter, it is irrational for the UN to condemn Israel—and to do so 20 times more than Syria. And for the UN to demand today that Israel hand residents of the Golan over to Assad’s murderous rule is both immoral and absurd.
  • Palestinian Resolutions: It’s far from clear why the UN’s only resolutions for self-determination are devoted to the Palestinians, when Israel has already acknowledged that right, and after the UN already recognized a ‘State of Palestine’ last year. Meanwhile, the UN has failed to adopt any resolution supporting self-determination for oppressed peoples such as the Tibetans, whose basic rights as a minority, let alone as a nation, are brutally and systematically trampled by China.


In his message to yesterday’s UN ceremony for Palestinians, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized Israel only. He failed to condemn the recent spate of Palestinian terror attacks, including those that took the lives of 19-year-old Eden Atias and 20-year-old Tomer Hazan.

In a related development, Ban has categorically rejected the now-famous UN interpreter’s criticism of anti-Israel bias, caught on an open microphone.

Ban’s spokesperson responded to a reporter’s question seeking the UN chief’s views on the gaffe — the video of which Prime Minister Netanyahu played to his cabinet meeting last week — by saying on November 19th that “the Secretary-General respects the right of the Member States as they move forward on their resolutions” which, he insisted, “need to be upheld by all countries.”

Given that Ban Ki-moon has himself criticized the singling out of Israel by UN bodies such as the Human Rights Council, I am disappointed that he is rejecting and refusing to acknowledge the simple truth of the UN interpreter’s candid and entirely correct observations.

After all, if the secretary-general could voice disappointment at the Human Rights Council’s “decision to single out Israel as the only specific regional item on its agenda, given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world,” why can’t he endorse the virtually identical sentiment expressed by the interpreter at this year’s absurd amount of General Assembly resolutions singling out Israel?

About the Author
Hillel Neuer is executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights organization in Geneva, Switzerland. An international lawyer, Neuer has been described by the Tribune de Genève as a human rights activist who is “feared and dreaded” by the world’s dictatorships. Israel's Ma’ariv newspaper ranked Neuer as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Jewish People in the World.” Hillel Neuer is a renowned speaker who has published widely, testified before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress, and appeared on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. On September 14, 2016, the City of Chicago adopted a resolution declaring “Hillel Neuer Day” in recognition of his work as “one of the world’s foremost human rights advocates.” In June 2018, McGill University awarded Neuer with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, citing his work as “an innovator” in “creating global platforms for courageous dissidents and champions of human rights from around the world,” and for being “a passionate advocate for human rights, fighting tirelessly against discrimination, torture, and injustice."