OpinionIsrael at War

Saying no to UNICEF’s hypocrisy and hate 

The real evil consists of exploiting the suffering of all children—including Israeli victims of Hamas terror—for the propaganda of hate.

UNICEF first-aid kits used by Hamas in the terror group's Oct. 7 massacre. Credit: NGO Monitor.
UNICEF first-aid kits used by Hamas in the terror group's Oct. 7 massacre. Credit: NGO Monitor.
Gerald M. Steinberg
Gerald M. Steinberg is president of NGO Monitor and a professor of politics at Bar-Ilan University.

Every year on Halloween, as costumed children go from house to house collecting candies, their parents raise money for UNICEF—the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. But, at least in some places, UNICEF will not be getting donations.

The reason is that below its facade of altruism and idealism, this U.N. agency has played a central role in promoting vicious anti-Israel propaganda and erasing the brutality of Hamas terror. In many examples, UNICEF joins in exploiting children for terror and hate. The hypocrisy is blatant. 

Operating under the heading of UNICEF-Palestine, the organization has had a large presence in Gaza for many years, ostensibly supplying humanitarian aid. In reality, much of this aid, not only from UNICEF but from other U.N. sources, was stolen by Hamas and used to transform Gaza into a massive concrete-fortified underground terror complex.

Inside the network of tunnels below Gaza’s houses, schools and hospitals, Hamas used the stolen aid to manufacture an arsenal of 30,000 rockets aimed at Israelis. It was also used to prepare and coordinate the monstrous mass murder that took place on Oct. 7. Many of the more than 1,400 victims of the massacre were children. 

Like everyone else in Gaza, UNICEF’s staff was entirely aware of the stolen aid, the underground terror complex, the rockets and the daily incitement aimed at killing Israelis, but said nothing. And under their proclaimed mandate of “protecting children,” they remained silent every summer when thousands of Palestinian children went to summer camps where they were taught to hate Israelis and Jews, and to be good terrorists. These activities were proudly displayed by Hamas and its terror partners. And when Hamas mass murderers rampaged on Oct. 7, they remembered to carry their UNICEF first-aid kits.   

You will not find a single mention of any of this in the hundreds of social media posts from UNICEF, UNICEF-Palestine, or Catherine Russell, the organization’s executive director. Instead, year after year, their statements repeat the accusations aimed at demonizing Israel.

Whenever propaganda outlets (including some journalists and false-flag “human rights” non-governmental organizations, or NGOs) accuse Israel of the death of a Palestinian minor, the UNICEF cheerleaders immediately repeat the claims, without bothering to verify any of the details. In most cases, their innocent “children” are brainwashed 16- and 17-year-old terrorists, many of whom were involved in attacks that killed or injured Israeli children.

But UNICEF’s hypocrisy makes Israeli children invisible—they are simply erased, or at best, dismissed with a short ambiguous phrase about needing to “protect children on all sides.” 

In addition to this deadly silence, “UNICEF-Palestine” has been an active partner with a number of so-called NGOs that are linked to outlawed terror groups. Under the heading of Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP), one such group promotes a campaign of lies that portrays Israeli security forces and counterterror operations as “deliberate attacks on children.”

DCIP is part of a network of false human rights and humanitarian NGOs linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terror organization banned by many governments, including that of the United States. For many years, UNICEF has partnered with DCIP and repeated their deadly propaganda, knowing that they were linked to the PFLP (in part because I and my NGO Monitor colleagues provided the open-source evidence directly). 

In the three weeks since the genocidal brutality of the Hamas attack, UNICEF has taken a leading role in promoting the campaign to stop the Israeli response in Gaza so that Hamas can continue to poison the minds of Palestinian children, launch deadly rockets against millions of Israelis (including, of course, children) and prepare for the next massacre. After a few token mentions of the murders and hostages, Israelis were quickly forgotten.

Catherine Russell, the head of UNICEF, churns out a steady stream of propaganda posts like this: “Children are being killed. Children are suffering. It has to STOP. NOW.”

No words of condemnation for Hamas, and nothing about the hostages.  

For all these reasons and more, good people in the United States and Canada should not be giving to UNICEF on Halloween this year—not until everyone involved in this immoral, hypocritical behavior is replaced.

The real evil consists of exploiting the suffering of all children—including Israeli victims of Hamas terror—for the propaganda of hate, and it “has to STOP. NOW.” 

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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