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December 25, 2015 3:58 pm

Watchdog Calls for Disciplinary Action Against UNRWA After Spokesman Demands BBC Use Words ‘Israeli Occupation’ in Report on Christmas

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UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, pictured, demanded BBC use the words "Israeli occupation" in its news coverage of Christmas in Bethlehem. Photo: Twitter

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, pictured, demanded that the BBC use the words “Israeli occupation” in its news coverage of Christmas in Bethlehem. Photo: Twitter

Geneva-based watchdog UN Watch, which monitors the United Nations, on Friday called for disciplinary action against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and its spokesperson after the latter demanded the BBC use the words “Israeli Occupation” in its news coverage of Christmas in Bethlehem.

The group called on U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power to “take remedial measures against UNRWA and its spokesman Chris Gunness for engaging in partisan advocacy—breaching its neutrality promise under the 2015 UNRWA-U.S. Framework for Cooperation.”

The watchdog said Ambassador Power should also condemn UNRWA for violating UN resolutions that require the agency to provide humanitarian services in line with the principles of “neutrality and impartiality.”

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness made the demand on Thursday on Twitter, claiming an “amazing lack of context” in the BBC report, and alleging that it “needs correction.”

UN Watch blasted spokesman Gunness, saying he “notably did not ask BBC to mention murder, persecution and ethnic cleansing of Christians in Palestinian areas and throughout the Middle East, as documented before the UN in compelling testimony by Father Gabriel Naddaf, who noted that ‘Israel is the only Mideast country not persecuting Christians.'”

The watchdog said its statement was part of a sustained effort to hold UNRWA accountable for its anti-Israel advocacy. In October, the group released a report documenting at least 10 different UN staffers who used social media to incite racial hatred, antisemitism, and Palestinian stabbing and shooting attacks against Israeli Jews. That same month UNRWA admitted that “in a number of cases” its employees were subjected to disciplinary action, and several were suspended.

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  • Sherlock Holmes

    There are 24 Arab states among the 50+ Muslim states. The EU’s 28 states have accepted Arab refugees for many years. Beginning in 1948 850,000 Jews were pushed out of Arab countries and about 700,000 Arabs left Israel for a range of reasons. The 850,000 Jews were able to make new lives in microscopic Israel and several European countries. More than 60 years later the Arab refugees are still living in rfugee camps in fellow Arab countries. The UN should have relocated the 700,000 Arabs within two or three years.The UN are the villains in this tale wasting billions in aid from the USA and the EU.

  • Frank Kay

    The UN is a laugh (pitiful)they are far from being neutral, It is a shame on a well intended organisation in the PAST, now full of BIAS / hatred members who have no fear or shame for their actions against the State of Israel. Apart from that the do not have a real purpose in world peace, They should be disbanded and their members be evicted from the USA.

  • skaai

    How come people like Gunness get to the position he is in ?

  • Ron

    UNWRA is a terrorist organization that has been under the control of the PLO since 1965.

    Te only permanent refugee resettlement organizaton in the world is illegal and corrupt. The “Palestinians” should have been sent back to the counties of origin, like Jordan. They have no claim on the land of Israel.

  • G M Ben-Nathan

    Isn’t Gunness just pious
    To want BBC bias
    Whilst Muslims bare teeth
    At Christian belief

    Gunness seeks to appease
    To put Israel on its knees
    He knows whom to blame
    But refuses to name.

    His mantra is ailing
    His policies failing
    Is Palestine in crisis ?
    By any other name, I S I S !

  • steven L

    The US congress could do the American Tax payers a favor: stop financing UNRWA. It is a source of TERRORISM Made in UN.
    The UNRWA was created, supported and financed by the West as an antidote to the creation of Israel.

  • Dave

    Chris Gunnes of UNRWA is a known hater who should be barred from entering Israel altogether. His organization is a tool of the most extreme Islamists in the Palestinian camp, advocating for stabbing and attacks against Jewish settlers or any Jewish resident of Israel. We need a Donald with guts to put an end to UNRWA’s criminal activities

  • Ed kohl

    “The watchdog said Ambassador Power should also condemn UNRWA for violating UN resolutions ……..” Where is the US government that is so quick to condemn israel, support the Arabs at every opportunity and the UN in spite of their ignoring the the daily stabbing S and rocket attacks?

  • Ivana Talya Tufakov

    Perhaps the best course of action against UNRWA would be to effectively throw them out of Judea, Samaria and Gaza by denying them access to Israel. Neither UNWRA nor Arabs are going to like us no matter what we do, so I say SCROOM BOTH!

    And as far as the UN itself, the US of A has been burning its money there. American taxpayers are just being taken for a ride, and it looks like the ride is headed over a cliff….

  • nelson marans

    UNRWA no longer serves any useful purpose, as far as the Palestinian Arabs and certainly Israel. After decades of supplying moneys to terrorist groups, most funds obtained from the U. S., it is time for that organization to be no longer supported by U. S. taxpayer dollars.

  • Only people of extreme ill will and/or terminal stupidity (just as dangerous) could still be doubting that UNRWA is just another Jew-hatred spreading, terrorism-facilitator, as is the UN.

  • Mickey Oberman

    I will repeat it for the umpteenth time.


  • Chris Rettenmoser

    UNRWA is a bunch of rabid Jew haters.