Hillel Neuer appeared on ABC News with Stephanie Ramos to discuss UN Watch’s upcoming congressional testimony on how UNRWA employees participated and celebrated in the October 7 attacks by Hamas.
ABC News: Today we could learn more about allegations of war crimes against at least a dozen employees from the UN Relief and Works Agency. This comes after a report from Israel alleged the workers were complicit in the October 7th attacks in Israel. The UN has not denied the claims but they say they have fired those employees. The Executive Director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, is expected to testify before Congress today and he joins me now to talk more about this. Hillel, thank you so much for joining us. Last night, you told us you’re presenting new evidence of what you call the poison of hate that has infected thousands within UNRWA. What exactly does this evidence show?
Hillel Neuer: Well, we’ve exposed a telegram chat group of 3000 UNRWA teachers in Gaza, who on the one hand, were exchanging information on technical things that teachers need to know about — their work schedules, salary payments, and the like — at the same time interspersed with that were numerous messages, photos, videos, on October 7, celebrating the massacre. Things like these holy martyrs, these “Shaheeds,” who are carrying out these attacks are “heroes,” they are “princesses,” “how can we educate our children like them?” Was one question the other answered, “Well, they were breastfed on jihad.” So these are the exchanges on this UNRWA telegram chat group with photos and videos of the attacks. We’re talking about 1000s of teachers in this group, and not one of them ever objected and said, “This is wrong.” Whoever spoke on this issue was cheering terrorist attacks. These are UN teachers.
ABC News: This is absolutely incredible. Hillel if this evidence is proven to be true, what does justice look like?
Hillel Neuer: The problem is that UNRWA is unwilling and unable to perform any kind of serious, independent, genuine inquiry. We’ve been submitting information and the case that I will bring today before Congress is nine years of reports, it’s on our website, unwatch.org/TheCaseAgainstUNRWA. We have documented hundreds of UNRWA teachers, school principals, and other employees in Gaza and elsewhere, who systematically celebrate jihadi terrorism, praise Adolf Hitler, and call for the murder of Jews. We brought it before UNRWA, and their response was not to take it seriously but on the contrary, to attack us their spokesman for many years, Chris Gunness wrote on Twitter, “Don’t listen to UN Watch, journalists don’t listen to them, pay no attention to them.” They tried to make this go away and in the end, the evidence reported yesterday in the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers, UNRWA teachers, social workers, and others, were actually involved, as you said, in the terrorist attacks of October 7, which involved murder, rape, torture, mutilation of Israeli civilians.
ABC News: Hillel you have this meeting coming up, what are you hoping comes from this meeting with Congress?
Hillel Neuer: Look, since we made our revelations and the files came out about UNRWA workers involved in the violence, we’re talking about an estimated 1200 UNRWA employees in Gaza, who are actual Hamas or Islamic Jihad operatives in the political or military organization, and it is clear that more than a dozen states pulled about a billion dollars of funding so far in the past weekend, they froze the funding. Our concern is that this is theatrical and performative, and they will want to reinstate it quickly and say the inquiry was done, and they’ve made changes. Look, the truth is that the very purpose of UNRWA is to tell Palestinians that the War of 1948 is not over, keep fighting, your home is not in Gaza, your home is in Tel Aviv or Haifa, and so forth and the reality is, we need to abolish UNRWA. There are other agencies that can do the work. The Palestinians need to govern themselves. UNRWA’s financing of health and education only meant that Hamas was able to use their taxes to build hundreds of miles of terror tunnels and to buy rockets and weapons which they used to carry out the massacre of October 7.
ABC News: Hillel, best of luck to you in that meeting, we will be watching.