UNRWA Accusations: (Im)Perfect Timing


A damaging internal report has cast a dark shadow over the ethical behavior of top officials of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). As disclosed by Al Jazeera and AFP, the report cites "credible and corroborated reports" that members of an "inner circle" at the top of UNRWA, including Swiss Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, have engaged in “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives.” The report was sent to UN Secretary-General António Guterres in December.

As one would expect, reactions have been immediate. The Swiss Foreign Ministry has announced that it has “decided to temporarily stop payments to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).” Already in 2018, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis publicly criticized the role of UNRWA, saying it would be impossible to make peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority because “For as long as Palestinians live in refugee camps, they want to return to their homeland,” he said. “For a long time the UNRWA was the solution to this problem, but today it has become part of the problem. It supplies the ammunition to continue the conflict. By supporting the UNRWA, we keep the conflict alive. It’s a perverse logic,” Cassis stated.
The Jewish News Syndicate trumpeted over the scandal: “Revelations of rampant wrongdoing in the corridors of the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) couldn’t have shamed a more worthy organization. Though normally it’s not nice to gloat over the misfortunes of others, the schadenfreude elicited by the news of inappropriate behavior going on behind the walls of this particularly vile organization was warranted.” An Israeli journalist, Ruthie Blum, tried to put another nail in the agency’s coffin: “Nothing short of shutting down UNRWA will be satisfactory since its very existence is a criminal scam….In the meantime, let us take some comfort in the agency’s well-earned public humiliation.”
“UNRWA is currently running on fumes,” charged U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt at the UN Security Council in late May. “It is time to face the reality that the UNRWA model has failed,” he said. “Palestinians in refugee camps were not given the opportunity to build any future; they were misled and used as political pawns,” he added. The United States ended all funding for UNRWA in 2018. "The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation," the State Department said at the time.
The schism between humanitarianism and politics is not as wide as most believe. Organizations like UNRWA walk a very thin line between assisting all in need and taking sides in conflicts. In response to the current story, UNRWA responded that it “is probably among the most scrutinized U.N. agencies in view of the nature of the conflict and complex and politicized environment it is working in.”
 UNRWA was created in 1949 to deal with Palestinians who were displaced during the 1948 war at the creation of the state of Israel. It was established by General Assembly resolution 302 (IV), with the initial mandate to provide “direct relief and works programmes” to Palestine refugees, in order to “prevent conditions of starvation and distress… and to further conditions of peace and stability”. Today, it provides education, health care and social services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Since 2018, with the U.S. withdrawal, it has been in a financial crisis.
While the ethics report deals only with the internal workings of the organization, there is no question that one cannot separate the political from the ethical here. Why are questions being raised now about ethical issues within UNRWA? With continuing tensions between Palestinian authorities and Israel and the Trump administration peace plan still incubating, the report is a cold shower for any hopes of ameliorating the lives of millions of displaced Palestinians. Generations of Palestinians have been stuck in camps, with UNRWA doing all that’s been possible to alleviate their suffering.
Is the report part of a larger strategy? By publicly criticizing UNRWA now, is it hoped that Palestinians will be forced to sign an agreement that will have no promise for the right to return? When the U.S. stopped funding UNRWA, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority suggested it was “using humanitarian aid to blackmail and pressure the Palestinian leadership to submit to the empty plan known as ‘the deal of the century.” Are the latest revelations part of that strategy?
Any serious abuses within UNRWA should be scrutinized and punished. That should go without saying. And organizations like UNRWA, given the sensitivity of their activities, should be especially careful about their actions. That also should go without saying. But the timing of the current revelations certainly come at an opportune moment for those who want to pressure the Palestinians into a peace deal. And what about all the refugees who depend on UNRWA for basic services? Are they once again being forgotten as they have been for 70 years?


Lien permanent 9 commentaires


  • Bon, très bien. Alors vous êtes pour quelle solution ? Que les NU continuent de subventionner ces "réfugiés" et leur nombreuse descendance à rien foutre jusqu'à la fin des temps ? Avec nos impôts, une fois de plus, bien sûr. Si ces Palestiniens mettaient autant d'énergie à vouloir voler qu'ils en mettent à vouloir occire tout ce qui est juif, il y a longtemps que des ailes leur auraient pousser...
    Allez travailler, les "victimes". Cela vous fera le plus grand bien...

  • Bizarre. Considérez le nombre de réfugiés palestiniens déclarés +5mio en 2019, que nos impôts doivent subventionner

    Chiffre bizarre, car si les contribuables internationaux se voient contraints de financer la survie d'arabos musulmans réfugiés en camps palestiniens,

    on se demande ce qui a accru leur nombre, sachant qu'en 1961, ils étaient moins d'1 mio.
    Passer à 5 millions de soit-disant réfugiés, c'est l'oeuvre de l'UNWRA?

    Qui force les étrangers à ce conflit dont la Suisse, en tant que pays démocratique, à payer pour la survie de quel système et de combien de terroristes?

  • Unrwa’s very existence is challenged by the current US administration trying to defund the organisation. Without the agency, refugees in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza would be thrust into abject poverty which, would inevitably lead to unrest in an already volatile region.
    However, the millions of Palestinian refugees and employees, many of whom are struggling to provide for their families, should not be collectively punished for the greed and selfishness of UNRWA's top management, many of whom are expatriates (including Swiss and US citizens).
    By politicizing the abuses of UNRWA's top management, Israel and the US are only trying to get rid of the last official body which safeguards the Palestinian right of return (UN Resolution 194) from all the powers that want to do away with it.

  • Embêtant ces chiffres:
    Si en 2019, il existe un décompte de 5 millions de réfugiés palestiniens
    ce que prétend cet organisme de l'ONU, pour exiger que nous contribuables finançons leurs besoins,

    je demande à savoir qui et en quel nombre en 2019 et selon l'UNRWA sont ces réfugiés arabes dans ces camps palestiniens, sachant qu'à l'origine ils étaient sous la barre du million.

    Non mais défois

  • EU Court of Auditors denounces waste of aid to the Palestinians!
    Posted on: 18 October 2013

    UNRWA has received:

    In 2016, $ 1.146 billion in humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians

    In 2017 from the donor States $ 1,121,228,375.

    Since 2000, the European Commission has provided more than 700 million € -

    It seems that the article published by JSSNews in June 2012, about the help
    from the Palestinian Authority has borne fruit. At the time we denounced a relative of Nicolas Sarkozy, who, on a mission to the Palestinian Authority, had donated 10 million euros to build a Franco-Palestinian Industrial Zone in Ramallah. The agent was paid. Several years later: the land is still fallow.

    Recent publications in the most important media of the West (except in France)
    talk about embezzlement organized by Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, International Aid.The British media, print and television, have taken New York Times news that aid to Palestinians is ineffective because the money donated by all Palestinians is used to enrich Palestinian leaders. they live in Ramallah, Dubai or Casablanca.

    The publication of these articles comes from a leak of a report that will soon be made public by the Court of Accounts of the European Union - an organization created in 1975 by the EU in order to monitor the income and expenditure of the Union.

    The Court's new 2013 report reveals that 2.7 billions of dollars in direct aid to Palestinians between 2008 and 2012 "seem to be lost. "

    In addition, EU investigators who visited Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria were unable to obtain information or talk to Palestinian officials about corruption. And with the publication of this information, the President Abbas denounced "Israel as" responsible for the difficult economic situation of the Palestinians. According to him, this is the "main reason" for the "Palestinian ordeal. «
    The 2013 budget deficit is projected to be $ 1.4 billion. As a result, the Palestinian Authority fears that it will not be able to pay the salaries of the country's 150,000 civil servants (terrorists imprisoned by Israel also receive salaries from
    officials, as revealed last year by the English press.

    The reality is that the Palestinian Authority received per capita 25 times more aid than Europeans after the Second World War. Most of this money comes from
    from UNRWA, an organization whose main donors are Western: United States, Great Britain, European Union, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Japan. Not a single Arab or Muslim country in the "serious" donors. "

    In particular, since the mid-1990s, the United States has provided more than $ 4 billion in bilateral aid to the Palestinians, who have received the largest amount of international aid per capita. Since 2008, the United States has donated an average of $ 600 million a year to Palestinians. In 2013 the United States will give
    $ 444 million. In addition, the United States has provided $ 4.15 billion to UNRWA since its establishment.

    All this help is given for humanitarian reasons, but also in the hope of ending Palestinian terrorism. So far: niet!

    Instead of dealing with the reality of Palestinian waste and the theft of financial resources, Israel's critics persist in their prejudices and prejudicial behavior.

    Instead of making peace with Israel the Palestinians have wasted their resources.

    By Michael Curtis - The Commentator -
    The author is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University. Curtis, the author of 30 books, is widely respected as an authority on the Middle East.

  • Comments by Michael Curtis!!! Pfft...A bit rich coming from someone who’s shamefully defended Israel’s most abhorrent policies, and wants to eliminate programs designed to alleviate the suffering of an entire People he and those he shills for hate. Completely avoidable suffering maliciously caused by those crimes in the last two unnecessary military operations in Gaza.
    Israel has faced virtually no violent resistance for years, yet its brutality and land theft have only increased, and its government - the most radical, segregationist, rejectionist in the state’s brief history - no longer even feigns an interest in peaceful coexistence.

    @Lou Z or alias Pat...
    If you wish to end UNRWA's mandate and favor the rule of law, so then you’d support the cancellation of all foreign taxpayer funding to Israel, the suspension of trade, expulsion of diplomats, and imposition of sanctions until Israel fulfills its legal obligations namely the implementation of UN Resolution 194 which affirms the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homelands and to receive just compensation. Right?

  • "all foreign taxpayer funding to Israel" who you talk about ?

    Lors d'un séjours à Amman, j'ai photographié les queues d'arabes qui faisaient la queue pour acheter à des membres de l'ONU des papiers (passeports) "palestiniens", j'étais assis en face d'un magasin (buraliste) ou ils distribuaient contre une somme de 500 us$ des documents permettant à ces arabes d'un peu partout d'obtenir des rentes à vies peur et leurs descendants, à l'époque avec 500 us$, ils recevaient 220 us$ par mois !

    Le garçon de café où je me trouvais m'a tout expliqué, plusieurs centaines par jours obtenaient des documents enregistrés à l'unrwa leur donnant droit à revendiquer une identité "palestinienne" !

    C'était en 1982 ! et il n'y pas seulement à Amman que ce genre de commerce enrichissait des employés de l'unrwa !

    Voilà d'où viennent 90% de ces rentiers à vie !

    Pour les autres réfugiés, les aides financières de l'ONU ne durent que quelques semaines, au mieux quelques mois !

  • Premièrement, dans la note il est indiqué que plus de 5 millions de "palestiniens" sont assistés grace aux contributeurs européens et américains, enfin, les américains semblent de moins en moins enclin à entretenir ce trafique. En réalité plus de 15 millions de personnes se revendiques comme étant "palestiniens" !

    En 1947 ils n'étaient pas 1,3 million, aujourd'hui ils sont en plus des 4 millions en "Palestine" :

    Jordan 3,240,000
    Israel 1,650,000
    Syria 630,000
    Chile 500,000 (largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East).
    Lebanon 402,582
    Saudi Arabia 280,245
    Egypt 270,245
    United States 255,000 (the largest concentrations in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles (History of Palestinians in Los Angeles)-San Diego).
    Honduras 250,000
    Guatemala est. 200,000
    Mexico 120,000
    Qatar 100,000
    Germany 80,000
    Kuwait 80,000
    El Salvador 70,000
    Brazil 59,000
    Iraq 57,000
    Yemen 55,000
    Canada 50,975
    Australia 45,000
    Libya 44,000
    Puerto Rico est. 30,000
    Greece est. 30,000
    United Kingdom 20,000
    Peru 19,000
    Denmark 15,000
    Colombia 12,000
    Japan est. 10,000
    Paraguay 10.000
    Netherlands 9,000
    Sweden 7,000
    Algeria 4,030
    Austria 4,010
    Norway 3,825

    Pour une population se disant en danger, ils se portent plutôt bien !

    Autre chose, comble de l'ironie, le terme "Palestine" est un terme hébreu qui signifie "envahisseur" !

  • Vous n'avez sans doute pas remarqué que la liste émise par l'ONU ne mentionne pas les habitants de Gaza ?

Écrire un commentaire

NB : Les commentaires de ce blog sont modérés.