GENEVA, September 1, 2015 – UN Watch released a new report today documenting 12 different Facebook accounts operated by UNRWA officials (see images below) that openly incite to antisemitism and terrorism, and urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl to terminate the responsible officials, condemn the offending posts, and establish a commission of inquiry, comprised of representatives of top donor states (see chart at right), to investigate the culture of impunity for perpetrators of racism and incitement that pervades UNRWA.
“The pattern and practice of UNRWA school principals, teachers and staff members posting antisemitic and terror-inciting images suggests a pathology of racism and violence within UNRWA that must be rooted out, not buried, as UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness has attempted to do by calling for boycotts of newspapers or NGOs that report these incidents of hate,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental Geneva watchdog organization.
“The UN must recognize that these disgusting posts, published on Facebook accounts run by people who identify themselves as UNRWA officials, constitute a gross violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits “incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,” said Neuer.
“Enough of the UNRWA strategy of impunity, denial and deflection. It’s time for the perpetrators to be held to account. They must be fired — immediately.”
UNRWA Officials Who Should be Fired For Posting Violent & Antisemitic Images
1. Ahmed Fathi Bader, identifying himself as a Deputy School Principal at UNRWA (screenshot), posted the photo above (screenshot) and praised the murder of “a group of collaborators with the Jews,” an incident strongly condemned by Amnesty International and other human rights groups, saying how much it “pleased” him.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Ahmed Fathi Bader for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.
2. Mohammed Abu Staita, who identifies himself on Facebook as working for UNRWA (captured here), posted the cartoon above (screenshot) on November 8, 2014, depicting a hook-nosed, black-clad, ultra-Orthodox Jew, with long Chasidic earlocks and a black hat stamped with a Star of David, cowering behind a tree, as the tree alerts an excited, gun-wielding Palestinian to the Jew’s presence.
(The Islamic legend depicted above features in Article 7 of the Hamas Charter: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews and kill them, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”)
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Mohammed Abu Staita for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.
3. Ramy Alshorbasy, who identifies himself as a teacher at UNRWA (captured here), last month posted the above anti-Semitic photo (screenshot), in which a cabal of cackling ultra-Orthodox Jews, crudely stereotyped with claws and earlocks, laugh at the fate of Palestinian babies.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Ramy Alshorbasy for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violent anti-Semitism and terrorism.
4. Abed Abuashraf, on the same Facebook account where he identifies himself as an UNRWA official (screenshot), advocates peeling Israel off the world map, to be violently replaced by a Palestinian state, in the two images (captured here and here) that he posted below, on July 10 and 13, 2014.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Abed Abuashraf for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.
5. Wael Sallouh, who identifies himself as working for UNRWA on his Facebook page (screenshot), posted the photo below (also here) on June 16, 2014, to celebrate the kidnapping, four days’ prior, of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas terrorists. The cartoon shows a Palestinian prisoner taunting a frightened and sniveling Israeli guard by holding up three fingers, the symbol used last year by Palestinians to celebrate the abduction of the Israeli boys, who were later found murdered.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Wael Sallouh for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.
6. Mohammed A. Elhafi, who identifies himself on Facebook (screenshot) as an employee at UNRWA, posted this photo (below and here) condoning violence, on December 31 2011, in which the word “Fatah” is written so as to incorporate a rifle. The Arabic caption underneath includes an exhortation to violence: “long live revolution”.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Mohammed A. Elhafi for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and breaches neutrality.
7. Nasreen Hammoud, who on her Facebook page (screenshot) says that she works for UNRWA, uploaded this cartoon (captured here and below), to Facebook on August 2, 2014. Israel, characterized by a man wearing a bib emblazoned with a Star of David, is seen feasting on a helpless Palestinian child with the aid of a U.S. Star-Spangled fork, and drinking his blood. Concern about this post has already been documented elsewhere, yet it remains active.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Nasreen Hammoud for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes anti-Semitism and breaches neutrality.
8. Fala Sala, identifying himself on Facebook (screenshot) as a teacher at UNRWA schools, posted the image below on May 15, 2014, in which Israel and the Palestinian territories are depicted as one State of Palestine. (Image also visible here.)
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Fala Sala for using the name of UNRWA on an account that breaches neutrality.
9. Mohamad Essa, who identifies himself as an UNRWA employee on his Facebook page (screenshot), posted the cartoon below (also captured here) on November 18, 2014, glorifying a gruesome terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue of the same day. Two Palestinian men entered the crowded synagogue of Kehilat Bnei Torah, killing four worshipers at the scene while a further victim, a Druze Israeli police officer, died of his wounds in hospital.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Mohamed Essa for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and anti-Semitism.
10. Yousef Matar, a Human Resources Assistant at UNRWA according to his Facebook (screenshot), posted a photo (below and also here) on July 10, 2014, expressing support for an attack in which a rocket was launched towards Israel from Gaza. In another post, he uploaded a picture (screenshot) condoning violence, reminding Palestinians of their “duty” of “resistance”.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Yousef Matar for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and terrorism.
11. Ahmed Dahdouh identifies himself on his Facebook page as an employee of UNRWA (screenshot). On April 24, 2012, he uploaded an image of a hooded figure hurling a rock (captured here), as shown below. The caption makes numerous mention of “revolution”.
Recommendation: UNRWA should fire Ahmed Dahdouh for using the name of UNRWA on an account that promotes violence and breaches neutrality.
UNRWA Institutional Pages
12. In the image below, the Facebook page of UNRWA Staff in Syria portrays Jews or Israelis as baby-killers, with a black figure marked by a Star of David shooting a baby in Gaza, under the headline “Stop Killing Babies.” UN Watch has captured the image here.
Though Chris Gunness’ strategy is to claim all such pages to be “impostors,” UNRWA has given tacit if not official approval: the page was founded in 2013, and is well-known with a following of 16,000 people; it lists the official UNRWA website of unrwa.org as its website; and an official UNRWA email address (firstname.lastname@example.org, belonging to UNRWA official Samer Mohy Al Deen).
Recommendation: UNRWA should terminate all of the staff associated with the “UNRWA Staff in Syria” account, for incitement to hatred and breach of neutrality.
UNRWA Spokesman Reacts to Evidence of Incitement to Antisemitism and Violence