HILLEL Neuer, lawyer, writer and perennial warrior against widespread bias against Israel at the UN, is determined not to let an anti-Israel agenda rule.
“Reality at the UN is depressing, but I believe there is a way to fight back and make a difference,” he stated.
Canadian-born Neuer – executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO holding the UN to its charter – will be in Australia next month for Magen David Adom (MDA), headlining its gala dinner which marks 90 years of emergency response operations in the Holy Land.
During his trip, he will also deliver the Australasian Union of Jewish Students’ (AUJS) Sir Zelman Cowen Oration and address a private Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council lunch at Arnold Bloch Leibler.
Neuer is upbeat, telling The AJN, “Writing to members of Parliament, lobbying one’s foreign minister, and spreading the truth online can get results.”
He recounted a rally by his organisation against the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) outside its Geneva headquarters, and attended by MPs from across Europe.
“An online petition was signed by thousands, including many in Australia. When the voting took place later that week, several countries responded by voting to support Israel in different resolutions – including Britain, Denmark, Japan and Brazil,” he noted.
In the latest UNHRC session in September, UN Watch “were gratified to see the Netherlands call out Agenda Item 7 – which singles out Israel at every UNHRC meeting – for its ‘unacceptable and disproportionate singling out of Israel'”.
“Look, we need to be honest: too often we will still lose the votes. But it is then that the act of explaining who stands behind the biased resolutions – educating public opinion – becomes essential.”
UN Watch presents its case to international news media with daily releases countering the anti-Israel message of UNHRC and others, and advocating for Israel on social media.
An online database is under preparation by UN Watch to analyse hundreds of UN resolutions, nations’ voting records, and the impact of dictatorships that are council members.
“The UNHRC is expected very soon to publish a blacklist of companies that do business with Israelis living in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, and anywhere else over the Green Line. It’s the beginning of anti-Israeli BDS – boycott, divestment, and sanctions – centred at the United Nations.”
Neuer has been fascinated by law and politics since childhood, joining rallies for Soviet Jewry. At McGill University in Montreal, he studied law with acclaimed Canadian jurist and human-rights defender Irwin Cotler.
Looking forward to meeting Australia’s Jewish community, he said, “I will assure them that UN Watch will continue to be ‘your voice at the United Nations’.”
Hillel Neuer will address ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’, MDA Australia’s 90th anniversary dinner on Monday, February 3. (Sold-out event).
He will deliver the AUJS Sir Zelman Cowen Oration on the evening of Tuesday, February 4.
For information on attending the oration, contact AUJS on (03) 9272 5623 or email@example.com.