Winkin', Blinken, and Nod
This week’s column on the ongoing fight between civilization and barbarity focuses on the role of the United Nations and its various agencies in keeping jihadism alive and well; the outrageous efforts by the incompetent Anthony Blinken to hamstring Israel’s justified defense, and the little-known or publicized support by Arab leaders for Israel’s eradication of Hamas.
Every one of the United Nation’s agencies involved in the Middle East has placed it on the side of the most barbarous enemies of civilization. The worst is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Disgusted by the agency’s role, Germany has frozen its substantial contributions to UNRWA (Germany is UNRWA’s second largest donor at $202 million last year), and the United States should do no less. (In 2018, President Trump cut funds to UNRWA; the Biden Administration rushed to restore them.)
UNRWA was formed in 1948. There was already in existence the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which had successfully resettled refugees. UNRWA, in contrast, has hired radical Islamists and used the schools, hospitals, and programs it manages to propagandize generations into serving as Islamist foot soldiers and martyrs. Zach Lewis is right:
Its benefits fund terrorism and are a pillar of the festering sore that is the “right of return” to all of Israel and the restoration of a mythical Palestine that never existed. Although UNRWA claims to aid over 5 million refugees, these people (and registered deceased and non-existent people) are not refugees by any definition. Refugee status is not maintained when people are resettled, let alone to offspring of those displaced. UNRWA was wrong in conception and disastrous in execution. It’s 1.5 billion annual budget (funded by the US, other countries, and NGOs) is sponsoring terrorism, totalitarianism, anti-Western hate and virulent antisemitism. Their facilities, personnel and budget are co-opted by criminals. They sometimes ignore, and often aid and participate in terrorism and crime. It’s time to end the farce that is UNRWA. It is long past time to #DefundUNRWA.
Cut their funding and boot them out of Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.
Israel has informed the U.N. that it will not renew the visa of Lynn Hastings, a resident U.N. functionary for humanitarian coordination, who criticized Israel’s actions in Gaza while never drawing attention to the Hamas acts which prompted them, putting all blame on Israel for the humanitarian crisis.
In the latest conflict, one UNRWA teacher stuffed a child hostage in his attic, starved him, and deprived him of medicines. UNRWA relief supplies were found in Hamas tunnels. Attached to an abandoned backpack in Gaza were two identification tags, one describing the owner as a member of Hamas, the other the same owner as an UNRWA employee. Disturbed that it is suddenly receiving the attention and opprobrium it has long deserved, UNRWA tweeted: ”Spreading unsubstantiated claims about @UNRWA must stop immediately.” David Burge responded: “Or we’ll hold your children hostage in an attic and starve them.“ In response to the terror attacks of October 7, UNRWA teachers, principals, and administrators reacted this way: ”Reality surpasses our wildest dreams,” ”welcome to the great October,” and more. The massacres were justified as “restoring rights’ and “redressing Palestinian ‘grievances’.”
Lebanese-Iraqi Hussain Abdul-Hussain nails it:
UNRWA’s very existence is political and unjustified. All the world’s refugees get one UN agency, UNHCR, and Palestinians get their own agency UNRWA. Also, UN refugee mission is to resettle refugees, like UNHCR does, not maintain Palestinian refugee status and make it hereditary, even when these Palestinian refugees have long been settled.
The entire U.N. organization is as odious and dishonest as UNRWA. It took over 50 days for UN Women to say anything about the numerous rapes, mutilations, kidnappings, and murders of Israeli women by Hamas (and the Gazan civilians who followed the fighters into Israel and added to the rampage). Shamed into posting even the smallest, very tardy condemnation of the Hamas depredations against Israeli women, they then retracted even that and replaced it with another that omitted condemnation of Hamas. The delayed response was weak, calling for protection of “Israeli and Palestinian women.” Nothing at all has yet been heard from another of the UN’s many agencies -- the UN Against Violence in Conflict. In traditional Islam, women war captives may, consistent with Sharia law, be kept as sex slaves, and the suspicious refusal of Hamas to return a number of young women reasonably suggests they are being so used, if not yet murdered. In fact, one bound Israeli woman with a cut Achilles heel to prevent escape and bloody pants was videoed by Hamas as she was roughly handled and paraded through Gaza. She is one of the women hostages not returned.
Indeed, besides creating more terrorists and keeping them well-supplied through UNRWA, ignoring its mission to protect women from violence, the U.N. actively propagandizes for terrorism. In its latest outrage, a five-year-old Israeli child, Ido Avigal, who was murdered in 2021 in Sderot by Hamas rockets, appears in an exhibition sponsored by the U.N. in Geneva described as a Palestinian child killed by Israel in Gaza.
In every way I can think of, the U.N. winks at, supports, and encourages terrorists in the Middle East.
The entire organization is corrupt and has outlived and abandoned its purpose in Creation, and we should get out of it. It is a confederacy of dunces, thieves, and dictatorial monsters.
Having played a role in the negotiation of the cease-fire and its extension, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said little, if anything, about Hamas’s repeated violations of the terms of the agreement. Families were to be released together. They were not. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was supposed to be given access to the hostages to oversee their existence and conditions. It was not. Indeed, the ICRC repeatedly refused to provide an elderly hostage with needed medicines given to them by her daughter. Upon her release, she is in very poor health.
Hamas has tortured hostages and their families. They said one young girl was dead and then said she wasn’t. She returned home in a severely traumatized state, whispering because, for almost two months, she had been forbidden to speak. She was fearful, obviously poorly fed, and covered in head lice and bug bites. Another young hostage who saw his father murdered was forced to watch over and over videos Hamas took of the onslaught in Israel with a gun held to his head, forbidden to cry. A father was filmed by Hamas crying as they told him his family – a baby, a toddler, and his wife -- were dead. (Whether they are or not, no one knows.)
Nevertheless, Blinken, who played a significant role in the disastrous flight from Afghanistan, decided this week that he should tell Israel how to proceed. Israel has done more to preserve the lives of civilians than any military force in history. Blinken, however, decided to publicly warn the Israelis that they must preserve such lives and tried at the same time -- inconsistently -- to tell them they were running out of “credit” and had to speed things up. I read it as a message that they should return to their former ways and leave before the job was done. Unfortunately for Blinken, Hamas followed that bluster by refusing to release even a list of future returnees and -- doubtless resupplied by fuel sent to Gaza as a humanitarian gesture -- fired rockets on Israeli civilian centers. His efforts to return to the status quo -- Islamists attack, get hit back, the media, the Democrats, and the outright Islamist supporters force an end to the conflict so it can happen again and again -- blew up. Mewlings about placing the Palestinian Authority in charge of postwar Gaza are nuts, too. We still do not know the fate of the Americans held hostage, and Blinken seems to care as much about them as he does about Americans and our allies he left behind in Afghanistan when, equally deluded, he thought he could negotiate with the Taliban.
What gets little coverage in the media is that many Arab countries share Israel’s belief that there can be no peace or prosperity for all in the Middle East unless Hamas is eradicated. The Saudis, UAE, Egypt, and Jordan want Israel to eliminate Hamas, even if the UN and the State Department might not. Indeed, the reliably very left-wing Israeli publication Haaretz reported this week that in behind-the-scenes talks with Israeli officials, almost every Arab leader told Israel that it should not end the war with Hamas until Hamas is totally destroyed. They obviously see Hamas as proxies for Iran and Qatar, who are their domestic enemies, even if Blinken thinks they are our allies. The House voted 307-119 this week to force the administration to permanently freeze $6 billion in funds it had opened up to Iran. While 118 Democrats opposed this, all but one Republican voted for the bill.