Oct 23, 2021

Share this article

During a video presentation on Friday by Hillel Neuer, the Executive Director of UN Watch, to the United Nations Human Rights Council presenting antisemitic social media posts by UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) teachers, Nazhat Shameem Khan, UNHRC president, cut off the video.

Khan justified her actions, claiming the video contained “insulting and inflammatory remarks” that were “personal attacks” against the people cited. 

“I have noticed that in the course of this video, derogatory, insulting and inflammatory remarks have been made which in particular refer directly to specific individuals. This amounts to personal attacks against those individuals and it is not acceptable in this forum,” said Khan, adding that the video was “out of order.”

Neuer was not permitted to continue and, ironically, the floor was turned over to the UK-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) which has been accused of having ties with Hamas. 

Neuer tweeted a criticism of the censorship:

“UNHRC Chair Nazhat Khan is making up a rule that does not exist,” Neuer said. “I have every right to quote the racist Facebook posts of UNRWA teachers—funded with hundreds of millions by US, Germany, EU, Canada—and to name them.”

Neuer noted that the UNHRC itself already published this information.

Neuer’s presentation was based on a report prepared by UN Watch documenting over 100 UNRWA teachers promoting violence and antisemitism on social media. To collect data, Neuer cross-referenced Facebook users who self-identified as UNRWA workers and found that 113 of them promoted violence in violation of UNRWA policy. 

The UNHRC has been accused of having an anti-Israel bias. As of 2018, Israel was condemned in 78 resolutions by the Council since its creation in 2006, more than the rest of the world combined. As per UNHRC rules, alleged human rights abuses by Israel are a permanent feature of every council session as Agenda Item 7.