While the US government has gone about blaming Israel for the upsurge in the violence in Israel, and has gone so far as to accuse Israelis of terrorism, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has quietly suspended AT LEAST 22 UN EMPLOYEES working inside Israel for their role in directly inciting murder. Suspension is not a big deal, per se. But in terms of response it marks one of the few times in the history of the United Nations that anti-Semites and terrorists haven’t been rewarded.
The UN agency involved is the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees. While its notional mission is:
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) provides humanitarian assistance, human development, protection, and advocacy for some 5 million registered Palestinian refugees living in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Approximately 98% of UNRWA’s funding comes from voluntary contributions made by UN member-states and generous donations from private organizations and individuals.
Over the past weeks, a non-profit advocacy group called UN Watch has been compiling information on the activities of UNRWA employees who are actively inciting violence and terrorism inside Israel. Both reports have to be read to be believed (here | here). A few tidbits:
You have a media personality who is the public face of UNRWA extolling violence:
You have this anti-Semitic claptrap from a UN funded school principal.
And the UNRWA’s official page:
At first, the UN does what it does best: deny blame and accuse others of misconduct:
The UN has finally, sort of, acted:
Already, working closely with Facebook’s legal team, UNRWA has brought about the removal of more than 90 imposter or unauthorized Facebook pages. In some cases, it has determined the alleged ‘UNRWA staff’ are not in fact UNRWA employees or are no longer UNRWA employees. However, and very regrettably, in a number of cases so far, the Agency has found staff Facebook postings to be in violation of its social media rules. These postings have been removed and the staff have been subject to both remedial and disciplinary action, including suspension and loss of pay. The remaining allegations are under assessment.
The UNRWA has been heavily involved in promoting terrorism inside of Israel for years. For instance:
Yesterday three young Israeli soldiers, all in their early twenties, were killed by an explosion in one of Hamas’s many booby-trapped tunnels. This is just one example of the terrible price Israelis are paying as part of their efforts to keep their families safe from Islamist terrorism. But there is more to yesterday’s tragedy.
The booby-trapped tunnel in question had its opening situated in a small health clinic run by UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. That fact alone should be shocking enough. But it comes just days after a cache of rockets was discovered at one of UNRWA’s schools. Worse still, this was the third such discovery since Israel’s operation Protective Edge began. The UN’s personnel in Gaza can no longer plead negligence; anyone considering the facts must inevitably conclude that UNRWA is actively collaborating with Hamas.
As Evelyn Gordon noted, in the case of the first stockpile of rockets, the United Nations staff simply handed the rockets over to the “Gaza authorities”—read: Hamas. In the case of the second stockpile we were told that the rockets “went missing.” They had vanished as mysteriously as they had appeared, and supposedly the UNRWA staff knew nothing about what had happened in either case. Of course the UN’s secretary-general Ban Ki-moon expressed his deepest concerns. But who knows where any of these rockets ended up? For all we know they could have already been fired at civilians in Israel by now.
UNRWA has given Hamas free rein to store munitions in the schools it runs. Small wonder when you see the Facebook postings by UNRWA school staff. Indeed, what makes this latest incident so significant is that it is obvious that pro-terrorism and anti-Semitic opinions are so much a norm within the UNRWA that employees felt completely comfortable in expressing those views to the public with their professional affiliation attached.
While the UN’s too-little-too-late action is welcomed the larger issue is the degree to which this rogue agency operates with US funding. Earlier we had a blockquote that said 98% of the UNRWA budget comes from UN member nations. Where does that 98% of their budget come from:
Why are we funding these terrorist sympathizers, you ask. How does it make sense for us to say we are working for peace in the Middle East while at the same time we are funding the very people who are preventing peace from even being an option? Good questions.
A year ago [mc_name name=’Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000435′ ] introduced a resolution calling for the UNRWA to be defunded. Absolutely nothing has happened to move this bill forward. This is just another example of the manifest failures of our political leadership.