Geneva-based NGO, UN Watch, revealed on Thursday a report of at least 10 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) employees who incited antisemitism and advocated for violence against Jews
The report uncovered 20 new cases of virulent UNRWA staff incitement violating the agency’s rules which claim zero tolerance for racism, discrimination, or antisemitism.
The staff members are added to a list of more than 100 UNRWA educators previously exposed by the NGO.
the NGO's claim comes as the U.S. and other Western nations gathered on Thursday at the United Nations, to pledge funding for UNRWA which runs schools and social services for Palestinians.
UN Watch urged the countries to stop funding hundreds of UNRWA teachers and other employees who call to murder Jews.
The NGO submitted the findings to EU foreign affairs commissioner Joseph Borell, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, whose governments are among the top funders of UNRWA, and to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini.
Following the disclosure, UN Watch called on the agency’s major donors - including the U.S., Germany, the UK, and the European Union - to ensure that none of their combined $1.2 billion of donations to UNRWA will fund the inciting teachers. In addition, the NGO asked to hold the agency accountable to meet its own standards and commitments.
According to the report, West Bank computer teacher Nihaya Awad praised Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians during the May fighting in 2021, in a Facebook post. This was only two months after one of UNRWA’s directors, Gwyn Lewis, sent Ms. Awad a certificate of appreciation for her "fantastic efforts" as a “best performer” in UNRWA education. "We are proud that you are part of the UNRWA team," Lewis wrote.
In another case, the report names Lebanese teacher Elham Mansour who posted the following on Facebook just last month: "By Allah, anyone who can kill and slaughter any Zionist and Israeli criminal, and doesn’t do so, doesn’t deserve to live. Kill them and pursue them everywhere, they are the greatest enemy... All Israel deserves is death."
The Geneva-based NGO said that despite numerous requests and evidence presented, UNRWA failed to fire the teachers. "UNRWA should therefore be considered complicit in its staff's misconduct," UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said.
"Around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed. Yet UNRWA, despite proclaiming ‘zero tolerance’ for incitement, systematically employs preachers of anti-Jewish hate and terrorism," he said.
"We call on the governments funding UNRWA, as they gather at the United Nations to announce new pledges, to declare that they will stop funding an agency that teaches new generations of Palestinians to hate and murder Jews.”
UN Watch also argued that the problem is not the social media posts, but rather the unconscionable employment of teachers who preach antisemitism and terrorism.
"In the past UNRWA’s said denied or played down cases presented to them and opted to attack the UN Watch. Only when pressed by donors, did UNRWA launch investigations which led to a handful of temporary staff suspensions," Neuer said.