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News Brief


The executive director of a human rights watchdog group was arrested in a suburban Boston pizzeria.

Hillel Neuer, who has headed U.N. Watch since 2004, was handcuffed Friday after an hourlong standoff with police after workers at the Stone Hearth Pizza in Needham, Mass., thought they had spotted him with a gun, the Boston Herald reported. No gun was found. Neuer was charged with disorderly conduct and released the same day. News of a brutal murder in the area, with the killer uncaptured, had been spreading through Needham.

“He was an innocent victim of a profound mix-up,” Kenneth Bandler, national spokesman for the American Jewish Committee, told JTA.on Sunday.

U.N. Watch, a nongovernmental organization based in Geneva, is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee.

Bandler said Neuer, 37, was to have a court hearing on Monday. Neuer entered the pizzeria in distress, a pizza-shop worker told the Herald. The worker said Neuer was carrying several large bags and wanted a taxi to Newton, a neighboring town.

Neuer lives and works in Geneva. AJC employees in New York City told the Herald that he was on a speaking tour about his report on anti-Semitism in the United Nations. They said he met with a fund-raiser in Needham.

Bandler told JTA that Neuer spoke to AJC’s Boston chapter on Sunday, as scheduled.

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