Friday, August 28, 2015

  • Friday, August 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last night I emailed the other spokesperson for UNRWA, Sami Mshasha, who usually deals with Arabic media but who has responded to me in the past. I cc'd Chris Gunness as well:

Hello.

As you may know, I am a blogger who has been discovering a number of Facebook pages from UNRWA teachers, principals and other employees with highly offensive content, including anti-antisemitism, terror support and even support for Nazi imagery. I have tweeted many examples over the past day after Chris Gunness denied that any such pages exist, and claimed that all the ones found were from forged accounts.

This is clearly wrong, as I have found many pages that were from proud UNRWA members, showing events at their schools and teaching materials as well as the occasional hate message. The idea that multiple Facebook pages are elaborate forgeries is too far-fetched to even imagine.

Since Chris hasn't answered my emails for a couple of years, and he blocks me on Twitter, could you tell me what process I can use to formally complain about these Facebook pages when I find them, and what follow-up I can expect from UNRWA to ensure that there has been an appropriate and transparent response?

Also, in 2013, I discovered a Jordanian dean of students who favorably quoted Adolf Hitler. Gunness was quoted as saying that the matter will be investigated. What was the result of that investigation?

Attached are two relatively tame examples of the types of things I am finding, with the names of the UNRWA teachers who have been posting them. I have many, many more. I am most interested in learning more about how they will be investigated.

If UNRWA is truly serious about excising hate from its staff, I am seeing no evidence of it. Frankly, all the responses appear more like a cover-up.

I look forward to your response.

Thanks

Elder
The workday in their time zone is now over and there has been no response.

One hint why comes from a tweet by Chris Gunness this morning:



So it appears that when well-documented evidence of abuses by UNRWA teachers comes from someone anonymous, they will use that as an excuse to ignore it. Which is a direct contradiction to Gunness' claim on TV that UNRWA takes all such reports seriously.

It is time for you to do your part. You can email Gunness at c.gunness@unrwa.org, Mshasha at s.mshasha@unrwa.org, and cc: embassies or foreign offices that support UNRWA and favorite journalists. Ask them politely but specifically about the UNRWA teachers whose hate I've been uncovering, by name, without mentioning me.

Here's an example that I tweeted. Abu Mohammed al Madhoun is a teacher in Gaza; here's a photo of him addressing his New Gaza Prep (A) Boys School in front of the banner with his photo and UNRWA logo quite visible:


UNRWA cannot deny that he is an employee.

His Facebook page includes this caricature of a hook-nosed Jew being locked up by the proverbial Palestinian key:


This is a relatively minor example, but it is well documented and an indication of how he runs his school. And UNRWA says it will take expressions like this seriously. So demand that they do.

And let me know what the response is, if any.

All my UNRWA-tagged posts are here.

The top western donors to UNRWA are the US, EU, UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Belgium, Finland, Ireland and Spain, in that order.

UNRWA is on the defensive. This is the time to hold them to their own stated standards of neutrality and of taking hate seriously.

The goal is to shine light on what they are desperately trying to hide. Since your tax dollars almost certainly support UNRWA, you should demand accountability and transparency from the agency.




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