Hillel Neuer
International human rights lawyer, writer & activist

UNRWA to BBC: “Use the Words ‘Israeli Occupation’ in Coverage of Christmas in Bethlehem”


I urge U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power to condemn the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for breaching its neutrality promise under the 2015 UNRWA-U.S. Framework for Cooperation after spokesman Chris Gunness today urged the BBC to politicize its news coverage of Christmas by using the words “Israeli occupation.”

Notably, Gunness did not ask BBC to use the words “murder, persecution and ethnic cleansing of Christians in Palestinian areas and throughout the Middle East,” as documented before the UN in compelling testimony by Father Gabriel Naddaf, who noted that “Israel is the only Mideast country not persecuting Christians.” Those words do not interest UNRWA or Gunness.

Ambassador Power should also condemn UNRWA for violating UN resolution 46/182 (1991), by which UNRWA is obliged to provide humanitarian services in accordance with the principles of “neutrality and impartiality.”

Gunness has also insisted that Palestinian knife attacks against Jews “all have a context.”

Father Naddaf at the UN:

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."