GENEVA, September 25, 2019 – UN Watch released a new report today exposing 10 recent examples of terrorist incitement and antisemitism on UNRWA staff Facebook pages. This includes Facebook posts endorsing and glorifying murderous terrorists like Hamas bomb-maker Abdullah Barghouti, responsible for killing 67 Israelis and injuring hundreds more during the Second Intifada, condoning knife and car ramming attacks, and portraying Adolf Hitler as a humanitarian.
This new study follows several earlier reports published by UN Watch from 2015 to 2017 exposing 90 UNRWA staff Facebook pages containing jihadi incitement and antisemitism (see, e.g., here, here, here, here and here).
“Despite our prior identification of UNRWA teachers who endorse Hitler and call for killing Jews,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based watchdog organization, “I am not aware of a single UNRWA teacher who has been fired as a result. When racist and antisemitic statements by teachers in other countries were exposed, the offending teacher was immediately fired. Why is it that an ostensibly neutral UN agency that supposedly teaches tolerance continues to employ terrorist-supporting and antisemitic staff?”
The report was released ahead of the upcoming General Assembly vote on whether to renew UNRWA’s mandate. Although UNRWA was intended to be a temporary agency when it was established by General Assembly resolution 302(IV), its mandate has been continuously renewed every three years.
Unlike, the UNHCR—the UN refugee agency that deals with the rest of the world’s refugees—UNRWA is not mandated to find a permanent solution for the so-called Palestinian refugees. This leads to the anomaly where 2.2 million Palestinians in Jordan, most of whom have Jordanian citizenship according to UNRWA are still classified by UNRWA as refugees.
As Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis acknowledged last year, UNRWA “has become part of the problem.”
“When UNRWA claims it conducts mandatory neutrality training, and then we find a Facebook post by an UNRWA Deputy Director with a picture of a child wearing a PFLP headband holding a rifle along with text calling to ‘teach your children to pull out their guns and rifles’ because ‘what has been taken by force can only be won back by force,’ I have to question whether UNRWA is really taking this issue seriously,” said Neuer.
“Even more troubling is all of the incitement and antisemitism that we don’t find on Facebook because of privacy settings or other reasons, but which is being conveyed to children in the classroom. We call on top donors like the EU, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Canada to demand accountability from UNRWA on this issue, just as they have done on corruption,” he added.
More: What’s Wrong With UNRWA