SWC Urges Germany – Stop UNRWA Funding

January 10, 2024

The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls upon Germany and other donor countries to stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The SWC has been a severe critique of UNRWA for many years. Recent findings in Gaza have confirmed the worst claims about UNRWA. The SWC call for the creation of a new entity free from corruption and penetration by terrorists and terror supporters and the end of bestowing refugee status to Palestinians from generation to generation.

Key Issues Identified:

1. Discovery of Weapons with UNRWA Markings and terrorists’ use of UNRWA facilities:   

a. The IDF has found a plethora of rockets, mortars, and explosives hidden in UNRWA boxes and the use of UNRWA facilities to store ammunition and launch missiles against Israel..   

2. UNRWA's Involvement in extremist propaganda:   

a. A Telegram group consisting of over 3,000 UNRWA teachers in Gaza showed support for the Hamas-led massacre on October 7, a mass murder of 1,200 Israelis including massrape of Israeli women, praising attackers as "heroes”.   

b. UNRWA teacher Abdallah Mehjez, urged civilians to serve as human shields for Hamas terrorists, and Waseem Ula, an administrator of the group, who posted content inciting violence against Israelis.   

3. UNRWA's anti-peace and reconciliation‘ Refugee’ Policy :   

a. To keep itself in business, UNRWA bestows refugee status from generation to generation, making no effort for permanent integration or resettlement of refugees, but for perpetuating the refugee status that endlessly fuels genocidal hatred against Israel.   

b. Abject failure to prevent staff affiliation with terror groups and to ensure that educational materials are free from incitement, despite claims of adherence to UN values and UNESCO standards.   

c. UNRWA relies on the educational material of the Palestinian Authority calling for Jew-hatred the destruction of Israel.  

“I have personally urged US Secretary of State Blinken not to see UNRWA as part of the answer to the Gaza debacle but a key component of the problem," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action. "The Simon Wiesenthal Center will press Germany and other donor countries to defund UNRWA immediately and help create of a new entity free of corruption, terrorism, and anti-Semitism to help Palestinians in need."

"In the latest visit of Rabbi Abraham Cooper to Berlin we pressed the point of defunding UNRWA in our meetings with the Members of Bundestag Michael Roth and Armin Laschet. The day after Israel completes the destruction of Hamas, addressing the problems in education created and amplified by UNRWA problem are crucial," added Daniel Schuster, Senior Representative Europe of 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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