Jan. 18, 2018
- There is substantial evidence regarding UNRWA staff ties to Hamas and other unsavoury groups; reams of highly credible information (much of which has been reported by NGOs and the media) alleging that donations to UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority have been used to support incitement to violence against Israelis. There was and is ample evidence of UNRWA staff using social media to spread anti-Semitism and incite terror attacks. Quite sensibly, Ottawa was concerned that Canada’s newfound generosity toward UNRWA might raise uncomfortable questions.
- In the past two years, UN Watch has documented instances on Facebook of more than 60 teachers self-identifying as employees of UNRWA’s educational program who openly incite hatred against Jews and Israelis (many cases documented following Canada’s funding). As you can imagine, such conduct and views flagrantly violate the foundational requirement that all UN employees be neutral and not advocate political programs.
- Furthermore, there is ample evidence regarding entrenched incitement in Palestinian school curricula used by UNRWA, in which Israel and its citizens are demonized and delegitimized. Some textbooks exalt terrorists as “martyrs.” Often, maps of Israel in textbooks get erased and replaced with Palestine. Obviously this entrenched institutional conduct clearly does not promote peaceful co-existence, which is a founding principle of UNRWA.
- I am certain you are familiar with the UN Charter, in particular Article 101(3), which requires that all UN staff uphold the highest standards of integrity, a quality that includes fairness and impartiality. This “neutrality” standard is reiterated in staff regulations for UNRWA and UN staff and is publicized on the UNRWA website. Yet, the evidence is blindingly clear that UNRWA has not lived up to this standard.