Despite Guarantees Watchdog Says UNRWA Teachers Continue Glorifying Murder of ‘Jewish Apes and Pigs’ on Facebook
Despite warnings and dismissals, UN employees have continued to encourage Palestinian knife attacks against Jews, according to a new report released by Geneva-based UN Watch on Monday.
This is the latest among a string of similar reports issued by the watchdog organization this year, revealing the ongoing practice of incitement to violence on the social media pages of educators employed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
The Facebook posts and Twitter feeds in question are filled with antisemitic memes and pro-Palestinian terrorism cartoons – all lauding the murder of Jews, some using terms like “Jewish apes and pigs.”
The purpose of monitoring this behavior, according to UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, is twofold: to call UNRWA to task for not firing any employee who engages in it; and to draw attention from UNRWA’s largest donors – the United States and the European Union – to where their annual $1 billion is going.
Previous UN Watch exposure elicited guarantees by UNRWA that it would not support such “neutrality violations” of its mandate, and promises to “take appropriate action, including disciplinary action, where violations by UNRWA staff members are established.”
Nevertheless, though complaints to the relief organization often lead to the removal of particular posts or pages, new ones keep cropping up.
“UNRWA’s reported temporary suspensions of offenders are clearly not working,” said Neuer in a statement. “Giving a slap on the wrist sends the message that it’s business as usual. Instead, those who incite to racism or murder should be fired, under a zero tolerance policy.”
Monday’s report, which UN Watch submitted to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl, EU foreign affairs commissioner Federica Mogherini and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, focuses on 10 new cases of blatant antisemitism on the Facebook pages of UNRWA teachers.
These include an UNRWA English teacher saying it’s important to know that “the Zionists and the Jews are sons of monkeys and pigs,” and another teacher posting photo of a Palestinian ripping through an Israeli flag with a blood-soaked knife.
“UNRWA’s strategy of impunity, denial and deflection only enables more incitement and violence,” said Neuer. “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, a recurring theme that suggests a pathology of racism and violence within UNRWA, one that must be rooted out — and not buried, as UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness has attempted to do by calling for boycotts of newspapers or of NGOs that dare to report these incidents of hate.”