Tuesday, July 17, 2012

UN's OCHA pretends to be "neutral"

From a UN briefing yesterday:


Asked about a letter sent to the Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Spokesperson said OCHA’s role with regard to the humanitarian situation and concerns in the occupied Palestinian territory -- as the UN coordinating body for humanitarian affairs -- focuses mainly on advocacy, both on behalf of people in need of, or dependent on, humanitarian assistance, and with both Palestinians and Israelis.

These include, for example, families made homeless by evictions or demolitions, such as in Area C of the West Bank, and people whose lives and livelihoods are affected by the impact of the Gaza blockade restrictions.

Nesirky said that this advocacy includes providing an independent assessment of the situation on the ground and making this available publicly through fact-based reports, which are routinely shared with and used by national and international partners.
However, he noted that OCHA does not implement programmes or directly provide relief items, but that OCHA strives to ensure its neutrality and impartiality in all aspects of its work.

Note how both their examples of "neutrality" ignore any humanitarian concerns of Israelis.

But showing that OCHA is anything but neutral is even easier. In December, they published their "Humanitarian Atlas" (large download) and the very beginning shows that they are anything but even-handed:

Palestinian civilians living in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continue to bear the brunt of ongoing conflict and Israeli occupation. A lack of respect for international humanitarian and human rights law has resulted in a protection crisis with serious and negative humanitarian consequences.

OCHA mentions in this report that in 2011, three Palestinians had been killed by Israeli settlers (without mentioning any context on what they might have been doing at the time.)

Yet it doesn't mention that in 2011, 8 Israelis in the West Bank were killed by Palestinians (the Fogel family, the Palmer father and son and Ben Yosef Livnat) nor that four other Israelis were killed from Grad rockets and anti-tank missiles fired from Gaza (Moshe Ami, Eliyahu Naim, Yossi Shoshan, Daniel Viflic).

How impartial can a report be when it only mentions people from one side being killed? Or does "neutral" mean it doesn't take sides between Fatah and Hamas?

The "humanitarian" UN must not consider Jews who are killed by Palestinian Arab terror "human."

(h/t Gidon Shaviv, Israel Research Fellow)

UPDATE: Ian in the comments reminds us:

OCHA's Khulood Badawi tweeted a fake photo of a child supposedly killed by the IDF.
UN Media Official Responsible for False Photo Tweet
Also OCHA and Ms Badawi produced (with end credit) a Palestinian propaganda film by Pink Floyd cover band member Roger Waters.
Walled Horizons English- Narrated by Roger Waters