NGO Report Highlights UN Relief Staff Inciting to ‘Murderous Antisemitism’
A Geneva-based NGO called on the top international funders of the U.N. Palestinian refugee relief agency to fire that agency’s employees who are “inciting murderous antisemitism” on social media platforms, amid the profusion of terrorist attacks against, and among, Israelis since the beginning of October.
The group, UN Watch, compiled a list of nine employees for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency who had since the outbreak of violence posted banners, video, memes and cartoons glorifying stabbings, rock-throwing and flashing knives as an act of political protest.
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, released a statement, saying: “The UN and top funders of UNRWA such as the United States government must act immediately to terminate employees who are inciting murderous anti-Semitism and fueling the deadly pandemic of Palestinian attacks against Israeli Jews that have claimed innocent men, women and children, aged 13 to 78.” Seven Israelis have been killed in these attacks since the outbreak of violence this month.
One Facebook page presented by the group showed that an UNRWA employee highlighted an image with the text: “Stab Zionist dogs.” The image showed a man in the Palestinian black and white kafiyyeh holding a knife in the colors of the Palestinian flag.
Another was a cartoon with the same type of figure playing a knife as a violin with an elongated key. “A masked Palestinian is shown playing music on a violin made of a giant knife — the kind used for stabbing,” the report said.
“The picture was deleted after it was first exposed by the blogger Elder of Ziyon, though UNRWA has never condemned the incitement or announced any punitive action,” UN Watch said, referring to a popular pro-Israel blogger who regularly highlights apparent UNRWA employees on social media who also post images inciting to violence against Israelis and Jews. Other images and pages included in UN Watch’s report were also already offline.
UNRWA employs tens of thousands of people, from educators to teachers and medical professionals and it functions across the region, in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon. The pages profiled by UN Watch listed jobs including UNRWA teachers, social workers and one project manager.
“UNRWA’s strategy of impunity, denial and deflection only enables more incitement and violence. It’s time to put an end to the pattern and practice of UNRWA school principals, teachers and staff members posting antisemitic and terror-inciting images, indicating a pathology of racism and violence within UNRWA that must be rooted out — and not buried, as UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness has attempted to do by calling for boycotts of newspapers or NGOs that dare to report these incidents of hate,” said Neuer.
In addition to firing employees who incite to violence, UN Watch called for an investigation of “the culture of impunity for perpetrators of racism and incitement that pervades UNRWA.”
UN Watch, like the Israeli government, has accused many U.N. organizations of acting with a double standard for or even “obsessing” about Israel, often citing the fact that the U.N. Human Rights Council, in its nine years of history, has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than the rest of the world’s countries combined.