UN agency fuels Hamas terrorism

No single organization associated with the United Nations does more to undermine peace than UNRWA.

Palestinians receive food supplies at an UNRWA school, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Jan. 28, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Palestinians receive food supplies at an UNRWA school, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Jan. 28, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

The United Nations has a decades-long track record of bashing Israel and using the Jewish state as the scapegoat for the world’s problems. Recent headlines:

  • U.N. Palestinian employees were among the terrorists during the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks;
  • The United States, Japan and Italy and 13 other countries suspended financial aid to UNRWA;
  • A U.N. court is investigating Israel for genocide rather than the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists.

No single organization associated with the United Nations does more to undermine peace than the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The most recent charges against UNRWA employees include participation in the Oct. 7 atrocities against Israel—involvement in a kibbutz massacre, transporting ammunition, kidnapping Israelis and imprisoning hostages. About 10% of UNRWA workers in Gaza have ties to terrorist groups. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed the “highly credible” evidence of UNRWA staff involvement.

UN Watch recently revealed how UNRWA teachers in a 3,000-member staff chat group cheered (“Oh, how much I hate the Jews”) and celebrated the Hamas Oct. 7 massacre while at the same time demanding payment of their salaries. The human-rights organization UN Watch has been at the forefront of exposing U.N. malfeasance. It previously criticized UNRWA for failing to fire its antisemitic employees guilty of incitement in social-media posts.

The United States and more than a dozen other countries responded to proof Israel provided of UNRWA involvement by halting funds to the organization. America was the largest donor to UNRWA in 2022, providing $344 million, nearly double Germany’s $202 million contribution. After denying any wrongdoing by its employees, UNRWA’s leader fired staff members and announced an immediate investigation. The agency employs 9,443 personnel for 294,086 students at 284 schools in Gaza alone. UNRWA is the only U.N. agency dedicated to one group of people, and it is the largest U.N. agency.

Using funding from America and many European nations, the U.N. agency has a record of employing teachers who incite violence against Jews and using Palestinian Authority textbooks that glorify terrorism. The United Nations often ignores the involvement of its staff in these activities. U.N. leaders claimed that they didn’t know there were any Hamas terror tunnels near its facilities or, in the past, weapons stored by Hamas at U.N. schools. On Oct. 20, UNRWA wrote to The Wall Street Journal complaining that it was falsely portrayed in an editorial as employing Hamas terrorists.

A recent NGO Monitor report documents the enablers of Hamas, including the United Nations, for “diverting aid money to Hamas to fund its terrorist activities, providing propaganda and disinformation support to Hamas in its efforts to tarnish and discredit Israel, and indoctrinating Gazan schoolchildren to hate Jews.” Another report from November documented the encouragement of terrorism in textbooks used by UNRWA schools.

Prominent Israeli political activist and educator Einat Wilf explained that “UNRWA has two deep roles: ensure there is a permanent question mark on Israel’s very existence, creating generations of Palestinians who believe that one day Israel will not exist; and remove any need for Hamas to be responsible for the people of Gaza, allowing it to focus on building tunnels and butchering Israelis. This is what UNRWA does.”

Another Blood Libel Targets Jews

The U.N. International Court of Justice recently ruled on the latest blood libel against Jews: malicious allegations of genocide in Gaza. South Africa initiated the case before the International Court of Justice (World Court). The ICJ’s interim ruling called on Israel to prevent genocide in Gaza and rejected calls for an immediate, unilateral ceasefire.

An order to stop Israel’s war against Hamas would have indicated that the judges believed the false claims against Israel. The full case will take years to litigate. Israel stands on trial even though Hamas terrorists are devoted to committing genocide—against all Jews. The Times of Israel founder described how “Hamas came for everyone it could kill on Oct. 7. Today, the ICJ encouraged it.”

Uganda Judge Julia Sebutinde
Uganda judge Julia Sebutinde. Credit: International Court of Justice.

Only two judges—Ugandan Julia Sebutinde and Israeli Aharon Barak—offered a dissenting opinion. Barak is a Holocaust survivor with firsthand experience of an actual genocide; he was smuggled out of a Nazi ghetto in Lithuania in a sack.

The Ugandan judge views the dispute as political, not legal: “Unfortunately, the scale of suffering and death experienced in Gaza is exacerbated not by genocidal intent, but rather by several factors, including the tactics of the Hamas organization itself, which often entails its forces embedding amongst the civilian population and installations, rendering them vulnerable to legitimate military attack.”

Hamas praised the “important” ruling for helping to “contribute to isolating Israel.” The Iran-backed terrorists ‘celebrated’ by launching more rockets at Israel.

A bipartisan group of 210 U.S. House politicians “expressed our disgust at this filing, which perpetrates false and dangerous allegations against the Jewish state. It exposes how far Israel’s enemies will go to demonize the Jewish state. These are grossly unfounded and defamatory charges.”

Historical Anti-Israel Prejudice

The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution in 1975 equating the national liberation movement of the Jewish people—Zionism—with racism; its roots were in anti-Israel Soviet propaganda. This raised concerns about the U.N.’s approach to Israel and its ability to maintain an impartial stance on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The resolution was not revoked until 1991, but the damage remains. Israel also is the only country that is a permanent agenda item at U.N. Human Rights Council meetings. In a typical year, the UNGA passes more resolutions against Israel than all other countries combined, ignoring serial human-rights abusers Iran, China, Russia—and Hamas.

Points to consider:

  1. The United Nations has a perverse obsession with Israel.

The Jewish state is consistently singled out in various U.N. forums, especially in resolutions passed by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. The disproportionate focus on Israel, often at the expense of addressing severe human-rights violations, reveals a deep-seated bias. The repeated emphasis on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with Israel as its only target, confirms its bias. Now, Israel is accusing the U.N.’s World Health Org. of “colluding” with Hamas by ignoring “terrorist use” of Gaza hospitals and another U.N. agency is requesting $1.2 billion in funds for NGOs that previously diverted aid and worked with Hamas.

  1. UNWRA is a failing agency that perpetuates conflicts.

The Palestinian U.N. group has been justly criticized for mismanagement, corruption and the perpetuation of the refugee crisis instead of actively working towards a resolution. The international community must critically assess and reform UNRWA to ensure transparency, efficiency and accountability. UNRWA makes violence against Israelis more likely and creates dependency that hinders long-term stability for the Palestinians. The agency should focus on sustainable development initiatives that empower Palestinian self-reliance economically and politically.

  1. Successful American model Bella Hadid is not a “refugee.”

UNRWA has a unique definition of refugees for Palestinians that actually deepens and prolongs the conflict: refugee status is granted to the descendants of the original refugees—forever. This means that the American-born Hadid, 27—named by Time magazine in 2023 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world—is considered a refugee. All other refugees are overseen by a different U.N. group. There is no U.N.-specific agency for the Sudanese, despite an actual genocide and ethnic cleansing that began in 2003, which has killed as many as 400,000 and affected more than 3 million.

  1. Hamas abuses donor contributions to the United Nations in Gaza.

Iran-backed Hamas regularly diverts international aid intended for humanitarian purposes to construct tunnels, manufacture rockets to attack innocent Israelis and exploit Palestinians. This blatant abuse not only compromises the integrity of the aid system but also fuels violence and regional instability. Donors expect their funding to alleviate suffering. Instead, their goodwill is exploited for destructive ends. The international community must confront this issue and ensure that aid reaches those in need rather than funding Hamas tunnels, building rockets and bombs and terrorists’ salaries.

  1. U.N. leaders and employees must be neutral, not pro-Hamas partisans.

It is crucial for U.N. leaders and employees to uphold neutrality rather than aligning with Iran-backed terrorists. Neutrality is fundamental to the credibility and effectiveness of the world body in addressing global challenges. When U.N. officials show bias, it compromises the organization’s ability to act as a neutral mediator and humanitarian provider. To maintain trust and fulfill its mission, the United Nations must ensure that its personnel adhere strictly to the principles of impartiality, refraining from endorsing or supporting any particular political or terrorist group. This commitment is essential for fostering peace, cooperation and the successful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  1. Accusing Israelis of genocide is a blatant lie.

The preventative actions taken by Israel prove the absurdity of this allegation. “Israel has implemented more measure to prevent civilian casualties in urban warfare than any other military in the history of war. This includes the U.S.,” stated the chairman of Urban Warfare Studies, U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces dropped 7 million flyers, sent 14 million texts and made 15 million phone calls to help Palestinian civilians avoid harm. It is Hamas that instructs Muslims to “fight Jews and kill them.”

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