'A Horror Movie Co-Produced by the U.S. Taxpayer': Experts Tell Congress U.N. Palestinian Agency Long Harbored Terrorism

Experts on United Nations operations in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel told Congress on Tuesday that the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has for years promoted the genocidal hatred of Jews, elevated violent jihadist ideology, and tolerated terrorist and terror-sympathizing employees.

UNRWA is the global organization’s specialized agency to handle “Palestinian” issues. It dominates the education system in Gaza, the territory controlled by the genocidal terror group Hamas, and employs tens of thousands of people there.  Despite years of evidence that UNRWA was using hateful textbooks to indoctrinate Palestinian children into jihadist terrorism and cooperating with Hamas, it subsists through funding from America and Europe.

Many of its funders – including the administration of leftist President Joe Biden, which resumed funding after predecessor Donald Trump had stopped it – halted that funding this weekend in response to the revelation of evidence compiled by the government of Israel that UNRWA employees participated in the unprecedented terrorist assault on October 7, executed by members of Hamas. The head of the agency, Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, appeared to accept the Israeli evidence as legitimate, announcing that he had “taken the decision to immediately terminate” those implicated in the October 7 attack.

On Tuesday, the Israeli government specified that it had identified ten Hamas members, two members of the Sunni terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and one “unaffiliated” person participating in the October 7 atrocities who worked for UNRWA.

The October 7 terrorist atrocities consisted of the invasion of Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, laying siege to residential communities and massacring entire families in door-to-door attacks. Israeli authorities have compiled evidence – much of it footage filmed and published online by the terrorists themselves – of the widespread use of gang-rape, torture, mutilation, desecration of corpses, and the particularly shocking abuse and murder of children, the elderly, and the disabled.

A Ray of Hope at Kibbutz Nir Oz, Scene of October 7 Hamas Massacre

Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News

At a hearing on Tuesday before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on Oversight & Accountability and Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Hillel Neuer, the executive director of the NGO UN Watch, presented evidence that UNRWA employees celebrated the gruesome violence on that day. UN Watch published a report on January 10 revealing the contents of a Telegram social media group uniting some 3,000 UNRWA-affiliated members, “replete with messages, photos and videos celebrating the Hamas massacre of October 7th.”

“It was created by Hani Jouda, who advocates for the rights of UNRWA staff,” Neuer told Congress. “On his blog, Jouda quotes antisemitic texts that portray Jews as having a superiority complex that ‘fills the being of every Jewish individual,’ and as being ‘cunning’ and ‘clever in evil.’”

Another administrator of the Telegram group, Israa Abdul Kareem Mezher, wrote on October 7, “May Allah keep their feet steady and guide their aim”; “pray for the Mujahidin”; “Allah protect them and bring them back safe.” Many others shared emojis supportive of the massacre or prayers for the mujihadeen, an Arabic-language term for jihadists.

“Our new report identifies more than 25 other UNRWA teachers in the chat group who celebrated Jihadi terrorism and the murder of Jews,” Neuer noted. The employees of the agency, he asserted, “regularly call to murder Jews, and create teaching materials that glorify terrorism, encourage martyrdom, demonize Israelis and incite antisemitism.”

Marcus Sheff, the CEO of the institute IMPACT-se, shared evidence his organization compiled of UNRWA teachers indoctrinating children in Gaza schools with violent antisemitic materials.

“Today’s Palestinian textbooks are producing the terrorists of tomorrow,” Sheff told Congress, sharing some examples:

For example, a grade twelve textbook warns students of “the danger” of the “People of the Book, especially the Jews,” who as a collective are described as treacherous, dangerous, hostile, and violent. A teacher’s guide on tenth grade geography and history instructs teachers to downgrade students who fail to connect the perpetration of massacres to Jewish religious thought.

A grade four math problem asks children to add the number of martyrs from the First and Second Intifadas, while grade seven physics is taught by asking students to calculate the velocity required to throw a rock at an Israeli soldier.

Sheff noted that the UNRWA “educates the majority of school children in the Gaza Strip, operating 183 Gazan schools, educating over 286,000 students” – therefore, “it is statically probable that the majority of the estimated 3,000 terrorists who committed acts of murder, rape, beheading, and abduction of Israelis on October 7 graduated from UNRWA’s education program and schools.”

Richard Goldberg, a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, emphasized that UNRWA would not be able to continue its operations without significant American funding.

“It’s a horror movie, decades in the making, co-produced by the U.S. taxpayer,” he told Congress.

Goldberg argued that UNRWA is “not a refugee agency,” as the people it serves are not properly refugees, and that other arms of the U.N. without such direct ties to terrorism would be more suited to provide humanitarian aid in Gaza. It also noted that, by providing what should be basic government services such as education and humanitarian aid, UNRWA allows Hamas – the elected governing entity of Gaza – to redirect funding to terrorism.

“Between 1950 and 2018, U.S. taxpayers contributed more than $6 billion to UNRWA. President Biden has contributed $1 billion since just 2021 alone,” Goldberg said. “According to the Associated Press, from 2014-2020, UN agencies spent nearly $4.5 billion in Gaza, including $600 million in 2020 alone.”

“More than 80 percent of that funding was channeled through UNRWA,” he contended. “With roughly 30 percent of UNRWA’s client population in Gaza, and $1 billion provided to UNRWA by the United States alone since 2021, we’ve added another $300 million to Hamas’s subsidized budget over the last three years,” he contended.

The four experts speaking to the House suggested at the very least greater oversight over UNRWA, if not complete defunding. The fourth guest, Professor Mara Rudman, discouraged cutting off UNRWA entirely, as “there is no substitute at this time” to provide for the destitute population of Gaza.

“Having two million famished, increasingly desperate people, long treated as expendable by de facto Hamas rulers, with no ability to move and limited ability to provide for themselves and their families, within walking distance of the portion of Israel’s nine million who live in southern Israel, threatens Israeli security and stability,” Rudman argued.

Rudman did call for the Biden administration to engage in “ongoing oversight” to ensure reforms in the agency.


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