Watchdog group asks UNRWA to reveal names of staffers suspended for incitement

October 28, 2021 by JNS
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A watchdog group called on the U.N. agency that supports Palestinian refugees to reveal which employees were recently suspended for allegedly inciting anti-Semitism and violence.

View of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 26, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) reportedly suspended at least six of its employees after a report by UN Watch named 113 of its educators and other staffers who have publicly promoted anti-Semitism and violence on social media. In his letter on Tuesday, UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer asked UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini to identify which of the named employees were suspended.

Neuer accused Lazzarini of “refusing to engage with the extensive research and documentation of United Nations Watch, which demonstrates UNRWA’s failure to apply its purported ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards teachers who incite racism and violence, while at the same time seeking to kill the messenger by maliciously defaming United Nations Watch for providing a minimal form of oversight that UNRWA itself has failed to exercise.”

Neuer also said that UNRWA “owes basic transparency and accountability to its donors before they transfer vast sums of taxpayer dollars,” a reference to the U.N. agency’s international donors conference slated for mid-November, where UNRWA will seek $800 million for its education, health and social services.

“UN Watch calls on the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Sweden, Italy, France, Canada, Australia and other donor states to demand that UNRWA clarify whether it continues to employ any of the more than 100 teachers and employees who glorify Hitler, incite anti-Semitism and promote terrorism against Israelis,” he continued. “When UNRWA repeatedly places teachers who glorify Hitler in front of a classroom of young Palestinian students, that is child abuse.”



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