Ingrained antisemitism in the UN system

The UN refugee agency UNRWA has fuelled the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for decades despite repeated exposures of terror links, anti-Semitism and corruption. UNWRA, which according to the latest information has 450 military personnel from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in its organization, does not hesitate to collaborate with groups labeled as terrorists by UNRWA’s main donors.

The terrorist organization Islamic Jihad accustoms children to machine guns already in preschool. Photo: Israel Project

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said early in March that UNRWA has 450 military personnel from Hamas and Islamic Jihad on its payroll.
– Hamas exploits humanitarian organizations and uses them to commit crimes against humanity, said Hagari.
UNRWA, which is part of the UN system, does not in practice consider Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP to be terrorist groups, as the EU and the US do.
IMPACT-se, an organization that reviews school textbooks and curricula for compliance with UNESCO’s standards of peace and tolerance, revealed in November 2023 documented anti-Semitism, encouragement of martyrdom and violent jihad, and erasure of Israel in textbooks used by UNRWA schools.
A joint study by IMPACT-se and UN Watch – a Geneva-based organization which monitors the UN to check that it acts according to the norms of its own charter – found in March 2023 incitement to hatred, anti-Semitism and terrorism as well as “convincing evidence of UNRWA’s gross and systematic violation of neutrality in the hiring of teachers and use of curricula in UNRWA schools”.
– Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups have repeatedly used UNRWA school grounds for terror tunnels and ammunition depots, reported the research institute NGO Monitor recently, detailing how the terrorist group PFLP has an official union for UNRWA employees, “The Democratic Assembly of UNRWA Workers”.
A Telegram group of 3,000 UNRWA teachers celebrated Hamas’ brutal attack on October 7, and Israeli forces in Gaza have discovered weapons caches and tunnels in and under UNRWA buildings. When a freed Israeli hostage described how he was held in Gaza by an UNRWA teacher for almost 50 days, UNRWA dismissed the account as an “unsubstantiated allegation”.

UN’s political warfare against Israel

A primary conduit for UNRWA’s cooperation with NGOs is the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which admits to NGO Monitor that its involvement in intense political warfare against Israel is “unique compared to other OCHA offices globally.”
While other OCHA missions in other conflict hotspots around the world are tasked with carrying out humanitarian efforts to “save lives” where issues of food security, health, nutrition, education, sanitation and protection are in focus, OCHA via UNRWA collects allegations against Israel about “war crimes” and “human rights violations” to persuade international bodies and various governments to condemn Israel.
UNRWA collaborates in this mission with several terrorist-linked organizations such as Al-Haq, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and Al Mezan. Together with UNRWA, they map “serious violations” from the Israeli side.
All these NGOs have links to the terrorist group PFLP. On October 22, 2021, Israel’s Ministry of Defense declared Al-Haq a “terrorist organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” operating on behalf of the PFLP. On October 8 last year, Al-Haq signed a statement describing Hamas’ October 7 massacre as “Palestinian armed groups engaging in an operation in response to escalating Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.”
On October 12, Al-Haq’s lawyer Aseel Al-Bajeh tweeted: “We don’t need to talk about our right to resist, because it is not a right, but a way of being and surviving for Palestinians,” NGO Monitor writes.

Multiple PFLP connections

PCHR also has several connections to the terrorist organization PFLP. Founder Raji Sourani served a three-year prison sentence (1979-1982) for membership in the PFLP and was therefore denied a US entry visa in 2012.
In February 2014, the PFLP held a ceremony in Gaza where one of its profiles, Rabah Muhana, held a speech. During the ceremony, Sourani said of the PFLP that “I was in the ranks of the Popular Front… This organization has given us a lot… We do not apologize and do not regret our past, we are proud that we were once members of this organization and we fought in its ranks.”
The board and employees of Al Mezan also appear to have direct links to Hamas and the PFLP. Al Mezan officials and board members speak at PFLP events and have posted material on social media glorifying terrorist groups or using anti-Semitic rhetoric.
UNRWA also works with Islamic Relief, which is banned by Israel because of its alleged role in channeling money to Hamas. In January 2021, the US State Department also severed ties with IRW due to “anti-Semitism repeatedly displayed by IRW leadership.”

Facade for Hamas

Since 2006, Islamic Relief Palestine (IRPAL) has collaborated with the Al-Falah Society which, according to the Meir Amit Institute, is one of Hamas’s charities. Al-Falah is run by Ramadan Tanboura who, according to Haaretz newspaper, is a “well-known Hamas figure”.
IRPAL also collaborates with the Gaza Zakat Committee (GZC), also known as the Islamic Zakat Society (IZS). IZS has close cooperation with Hamas and is led by Hamas agitator Hazem Al-Sirraj.
UNICEF’s “working group” on “serious violations against children” is another UN project that most certainly involves both UNRWA and PFLP-linked NGOs, according to NGO Monitor.
They too work on “monitoring and documentation”, where UN agencies and non-governmental organizations in the working group use false allegations of abuse against Palestinian children in attempts to trigger sanctions against Israel. According to NGO Monitor’s reporting, UNICEF has been no longer transparent with who their partners are for several years.