Thursday, January 29, 2009


The first respondent to Melanie Phillips’ excellent report on the scandalous state of affairs within UNRWA - A SELECTIVE APPROACH TO THE FACTS tells a joke that goes something like this:

Q: How do you know when a Hamas spokesman (or their sympathisers) are lying?
A: When their lips are moving!

Somewhat extreme perhaps but when you consider the facts as presented by Phillips and the role played by UNRWA spokespersons, their general and routine condemnation of IDF actions and denials of Hamas involvement at UNRWA facilities during the Gaza War, the joke's not all that funny.

Phillips rips into John Ging, director of UNRWA in Gaza, and its spokesman Chris Gunness and it’s a whithering attack. Her concluding paragraphs are particularly damning of UNRWA and confirms the growing tide of belief among many that the time has come for this pair to be stood down while a proper and impartial investgation of UNRWA's activities in Gaza is carried out:-

Now a devastating report on UNRWA by its former general counsel, James Lindsay, has just been published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It concludes:

At the same time, UNWRA has gradually adopted a distinctive political viewpoint that favors the Palestinian and Arab narrative of events in the Middle East. In particular, it seems to favor the strain of Palestinian political thought espoused by those who are intent on a “return” to the land that is now Israel. UNRWA’s adoption of any political viewpoint is undesirable, but the one it has chosen to emphasize is especially regrettable. In addition to clashing with the objectives of the United States, this view has detracted from UNRWA’s humanitarian assistance, encouraged Palestinians who favor refighting long-lost wars, discouraged those who favor moving toward peace, and contributed to the scourge of conflicts that have been visited upon Palestinian refugees for decades.

Readers can make up their own minds whether one telephone call to UNRWA can really establish the truth of anything about Gaza at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one they shouldn't get away with.

"We're delivering the services of a state, until the state is established," John Ging, the head of Gaza operations for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, told The Associated Press this weekend.

At the same time, it must exist side-by-side with Hamas' government — and take care to maintain its neutrality, which some Israelis question.

In one classroom Saturday, when UNRWA schools reopened, a Palestinian teacher was filmed asking children about their trauma during the war. The unidentified teacher then told the children that Palestinians have to "wage war against them (Israelis) until they leave their land," and asked her students, aged about 8, how they should react.

Two children in the class suggested hurling stones or rockets back at Israel. "Okay," the teacher said, apparently summing up her class' position. "We throw rockets at them, we throw stones at them," she said.

Ging said such behavior is "completely unacceptable," and will be "dealt with in the most severest of fashions." He said the teacher would likely be removed once identified. Teachers have been fired from UNRWA in the past for incitement.

Sure thing.