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Hillel Neuer

Hillel Neuer of UN Watch on the PA bid for Unilateral Statehood and the Use of the International Criminal court to Target Israel

by Rhonda Spivak, November 11, 2012


Last year Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN WATCH was the guest speaker at the 2011 Annual Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s Luncheon on Wednesday Nov. 23, 2011 at the Fairmont Hotel [This year the guest speaker at the Jewish Foundation’s luncheon on November 22, 2012 is Dr. Lloyd Axworthy To purchase tickets got to or see related advertisement on this website at the right hand top corner of this page ].

When asked then about the bid by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to go to the General Asssembly and seek a unilateral declaration of Statehood, Neuer told the Winnipeg Jewish Review   that “when Palestinians continue firing rockets against Israeli civilian centres”, the UN if it backs a PA declaration of Statehood is sending “the Worst possible messages about State responsibilities.”

As Neuer said, “If the PA wants to be a state, where is their assumption of minimal responsibility?  The long-sought peace that the Palestinian and Israeli peoples so rightly deserve cannot be achieved by unilateral actions at the UN, but only by face-to-face talks. The UNESCO decision may be a victory for rhetorical point-scoring on the international stage, but it does nothing to help Palestinians resolve the real issues on the ground. It’s time for Abbas and the Palestinians to choose the path of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Jordan’s King Hussein and return to the negotiating table.”

Nueuer’s words a year ago are as applicable today as they were then.
As I write this today, November 11, 2012 the Hamas government of Gaza has pounded Southern Israel with over 100 rockets. PA President Abbas may say it’s not his fault because he no longer controls the Gaza strip, but that only begs the question how he can presume to ask for a state for the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza when he doesn’t rule Gaza and when there is no reasonable chance in the forseable future that he ever will.
Abbas knows that “in terms of solving the real issues on the ground” a UN declaration of statehood will accomplish nothing in terms of creating peace and ending the conflict. Au Contraire, it is a way for Palestinians to continue the conflict against Israel by other means.
The Palestinian’s real agenda in seeking this declaration of statehood at the General Assembly is to enable them to pursue Israel through applications to the International Criminal Court,
 “We will have political goals behind this decision — for which we will have an overwhelming majority — including that we we will become full members of international organizations, mainly the International Criminal Court, [ICC]” Nabil Shaath told the Times of Israel, indicating the Palestinians’ intentions to pursue perceived Israeli transgressions at The Hague.”
Neuer has written a piece on this subject last week on his website UN Watch noting that when the Americans considered buying into the idea of the ICC,  Human Rights Watch  promised them that the ICC wouldn’t be turned into a political weapon of Israel. [Neuer’s article, which is worth reading in full can be found at :]
As Neuer writes:
What is so interesting about all of this is that back in 2001, when Americans were debating whether or not to join and support the ICC, Ken Roth’s Human Rights Watch published “Myths and Facts About the International Criminal Court,” and assured the public that the ICC would never “be used to pursue politically motivated cases against Israel.” This concern was nothing but a “myth,” said Human Rights Watch.
“And one of the reasons it wouldn’t happen was because of these “Facts”: “Future actions on Israeli or Palestinian territory will be covered only if the ICC treaty is ratified by Israel or by a broadly recognized Palestinian state.”
“And as HRW’s Tom Malinowski assured us all in a Washington Post op-ed, “That will not happen until after a peace agreement, in which case the likelihood of Israeli military action against Palestinians greatly diminishes.”
“Fast forward 11 years. HRW’s Ken Roth is now lobbying for the Palestinian bid to become a U.N. state and ICC member before a peace agreement — and indeed while the PA (or PNA, per HRW) has refused to even sit at the negotiating table with Israel. What happened to their “that will not happen” promise?
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.