SWC Calls for Permanent Closure of UNRWA and for Humanitarian Aid to Palestinians to be Funneled Through Channels Free of Violent Incitement

February 5, 2024

Los Angeles - The Simon Wiesenthal Center called for the permanent closure of the United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) and for all future humanitarian aid to Palestinians to be funneled through channels free of violent incitement.

“If the cycle of terrorism and brainwashing of more generations of Palestinian children to embrace terrorism and violent Jew-hatred is ever to be broken, now is the time. UNRWA cannot be a part of Gaza’s future because it has played such a central role in teaching Palestinian children to deny the legitimacy of their Jewish neighbors through an educational system that has been teaching for decades the so-called right of return to the territory of what is sovereign Israeli territory. UNRWA has actively provided educational, ideological, and most recently; logistical support for Hamas. UNRWA has also bestowed an artificial generation-to-generation refugee status for millions of Palestinians.  All of this must end,” stated Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda.
“There are multiple UN Agencies and other NGOs that can deal with the social, medical, and educational needs of the Palestinian people. Donor nations should redirect their UNRWA funding to vetted agencies that are free of terrorist control, anti-Semitic indoctrination, and endemic corruption. Failure to take such actions condemns Palestinians and Israelis to endless cycles of terrorism and war. Now is the time for the global community to close UNRWA for good,” Cooper continued, adding, “UNRWA is not just a ‘good institution gone bad.’ As extensively documented by organizations such as UN Watch and multiple media sources, UNRWA’s schools have long taught Palestinian children to hate and even glorify violence against Israelis.  It is long overdue that the international community acknowledge UNRWA’s denial of the history of the Jewish people in its homeland and its refusal to teach its students to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state.”
Rabbi Cooper went on to say that UNRWA’s very mission of encouraging Palestinians born in Gaza to “return to Israel” at a future date effectively means that a UN agency is promoting the destruction of a fellow UN-member state while keeping millions of Palestinians as permanent refugees.  
The Simon Wiesenthal Center supports humanitarian aid to the civilians of Gaza through channels that do not engage in violence or promote hatred of Israelis as has been repeatedly done by UNRWA for more than 20 years.

For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at malkin@wiesenthal.com or Erik Simon at esimon@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

About the Simon Wiesenthal Center:
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).


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