UNRWA: United Nations Relief and Works Agency. By far and away the greatest obstacle to peace in the world today.
UNRWA is the special “refugee agency” set up to deal ONLY with Palestinians because the UN’s main refugee agency, UNHCR, actually does useful stuff like, you know, turning refugees into citizens of other places.
As we reported, one of the 3 Arabs killed during a massive violent riot happened to work for the UNHCR. This is not surprising: UNHCR is one of the largest “employers” of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. It’s just a massive make work program and vehicle for the Palestinian Authority to suck funds out of anyone fool enough to help them.
So the following, particularly pointed, statement from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is rather welcome.
While omitting to mention any context or reason for the Israeli operation, it was quick to cite “credible reports” in determining that its employee had been shot “…on his way to work, and was not involved in any violent activity.”
Israel regrets the fatalities that resulted from yesterday’s military operation to arrest a Palestinian terrorist suspect. A formal investigation has been launched by the IDF, as part of a standard procedure in any case involving civilian casualties.
Without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation, we were disappointed (but not surprised) at UNRWA’s press statement from yesterday. While omitting to mention any context or reason for the Israeli operation, it was quick to cite “credible reports” in determining that its employee had been shot “…on his way to work, and was not involved in any violent activity.” Quite aside from the fact that UNRWA did not even bother to approach any official Israeli sources for comment, its statement was rushed to the press while the violent riots were still raging on in Qalandiya. Hence, it begs the question of how it was possible for the Agency to collect forensic evidence, cross reference personal eye-witness reports and reach peremptory conclusions – all of that in the space of just a few hours.
It is regrettable that UNRWA has consistently failed to display similar zeal and enthusiasm when asked to investigate its own cases of alleged wrongdoing. Earlier this month, for example, the Agency was forced to admit that it had negligently allowed a third party to use some of its installations in order to organize ‘summer camps’ where anti-Semitism and incitement to violence were preached to Palestinian youth. Needless to say, UNRWA’s half-hearted admission was released only after “a lengthy and detailed investigation”, as opposed to the rushed superficial procedure it adopted yesterday.
We therefore call upon UNRWA to return to its original humanitarian agenda of assisting Palestinian refugees, while refraining from any one-sided political advocacy activities. Only thus can it hope to be taken seriously – both by Israel and the international donor community.
Update: if you don’t know much about UNRWA, here’s a video by Pierre Rehov to tell you more. (h/t Facebook comments)