Israel and hypocrisy – the new UNRWA?

I recently came across a wonderful book: “Not In My Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy”, written by Chas Newkey-Burden and Julie Burchill, and published by Virgin Books.

The section on Israel was written by Burden and can be found at: http://www.oyvagoy.com/israel. The author asks a challenging question.

The anti-Israel brigade would have us believe that the motivation for this vitriolic hatred of Israel is a genuine, compassionate concern for the fate of the Palestinian people. But do they really care about the Palestinians, or is their compassion somewhat selective, to put it politely? In reality, are they only interested in Palestinian suffering for as long as it gives them an opportunity to bash Israel?

As Burden notes: When Palestinian women are stabbed to death in “honour killings” across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, no anti-Israel Westerners lose a single moment’s sleep on their behalf.

So what?

Well, yesterday, I read about a new and challenging extension of this hypocrisy.

UNRWA was set up 60 years ago to help Palestinians and their social problems. It has a standing annual budget of over US$400m, which is regularly topped up for special campaigns. European taxpayers are particularly generous donors. Even since Israel left Gaza in 2005, UNRWA has still to resettle even one refugee outside the camps.

Israel and her supporters have been consistently critical of UNRWA and its increasingly political role. The Lindsay Report is the best documented comment to that effect.

In return, UNRWA through John Ging, its chief rep in Gaza, has never pulled its punches. The most notable occasion was during the January war in Gaza, when UNRWA claimed that Israel has deliberately shelled a school killing 42 civilians. UNRWA is proud of its record of supporting schools, funding school books, founding clinics and far more on behalf of Palestinians. It openly accepts that Hamas is its partner in Gaza, and works with this proscribed organisation.

And yet: Well, we all know that the 42 turned into 12, and 9 of those were Hamas operatives. Christopher Gunness, an UNRWA spokesperson, had to censure Hamas for stealing aid during the war. Ging has just called on the Western and Arab communities to deliver on its aid pledges to Gaza.

And now for the hypocrisy. For all the bending over backwards to help the Palestinians, often deliberately cooperating in tandem with militias, Ging has been censured by Hamas.

In effect, on 16th April, the Hamas paper “Felesteen” called on Ging to resign, as he opposes the “resistance”. His crime is his efforts to work within UN ethical standards. In other words, the man whose job is to funnel millions of Western money into Hamas projects is now seen as a traitor, because he is calling for transparency and opposing some of the violent methods.  

Fortunately for Hamas, Obama is currently trying to see it included in a new Fatah government. European politicians are also queuing up to visit its leaders, as they refuse to even consider recognising Israel. Phew, no hypocrisy here, either.

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2 Comments on “Israel and hypocrisy – the new UNRWA?”


  1. Hi, good post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for writing. I’ll definitely be coming back to your posts.


  2. The UNRWA role was to help the Palestinians manage their misery away from their home, to let them forget about their stolen homeland, to prevent them from fighting back to their homes and villages !!! It was clear for the UNRWA that its role was created to last, was created to manage the misery of those refugees, to keep them away in the Diaspora… and accordingly its “benevolent” aids were to be dedicated to create a permanent infrastructure for the refugees to stay into the misery they were expelled to, for the refugees to start a new life leaving their land and homes for the Zionist colonizers!!
    @
    http://samibedouin.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/29/


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