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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How you pay for Hamas' lobbyists

The JPost reports on Wednesday that the Israeli government views UNRWA's delivery of a letter from a Hamas terrorist to Senator John Kerry as the final straw. The government went on the attack against UNRWA for providing 'political cover' (i.e. lobbying) on behalf of Hamas.
"Unfortunately, there is a pattern here," the senior Israeli official said.

"That no one finds it strange that UNRWA, whose mandate is humanitarian, is the vehicle through which Hamas passes messages on to the US, just shows where UNRWA is at."

Furthermore, the official said, UNRWA was lobbying around the world for governments to drop the international community's three preconditions to talking with Hamas - that it recognize Israel, disavow terrorism and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements.

It is not clear how this, or calls by UNRWA for an "independent international investigation" into alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza, fell within the organization's mandate, the official added.

UNRWA spokesman Sammy Mshasha denied the allegations, saying the Israeli official should first check his facts.

It was UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself, during his visit to Gaza, who called an investigation into IDF actions in Gaza, Mshasha said.

As to the overall charge that UNRWA was speaking to international governments on behalf of Hamas, Mshasha said, "We are not in the business of supporting one side over the other. We are in the business of supporting Palestinian refugees and helping them."

He denied UNRWA was lobbying on any party's behalf, saying the organization "is a specialized agency of the UN, mandated to aid and assist the Palestinian refugees in its five areas of operation."

Regarding the Hamas letter given to Kerry, Mshasha said it was dropped at the gate of UNRWA's office and had the seal of the Palestinian Authority.

"We just delivered it to the intended party. We did not open it. We are not in the business of opening other people's mail. We did not know the content," he said.
UNRWA's mandate is "to carry out direct relief and works programmes in collaboration with local governments." It should be obvious to all of you that lobbying the 'international community' to accept Hamas is not a 'direct relief and work programme in collaboration with local governments.' UNRWA has exceeded its mandate.

And who is paying for UNRWA's lobbying? According to UNRWA, the largest contributor to its budget is the European Union followed by the United States. 30% of UNRWA's budget comes from the United States.

UNRWA's mandate was renewed for another three years in June 2008, so if you're reading this in the US or the EU, you may be funding UNRWA for some time to come. But cheer up. Hopenchange is in the air in Washington. Soon, UNRWA may be able to go back to spending your money hiring terrorists insteading of lobbying your government to accept Hamas as a legitimate international actor.



At 9:29 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel can kick the UN out of the country and leave that cabal of anti-Semites.

There is no reason to belong to an organization that hates you and who wants to see you dead. Then again, I am sometimes the only person in the world who feels that its time for Israel to be truly alone among the nations!


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