The already-beleaguered division of the UN suffered another blow in the wake of a scandal. Tasked with taking care of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA was defunded by the Trump administration last year after he described the organization as a tool for perpetuating conflict.
Countries are Lining Up to Stop Payouts
On Friday, Belgium became the third nation to suspend funding to the United Nations Works and Relief Association (UNRWA) in the wake of a scandal that included allegations of serious ethical misconduct of senior administration.
The Israeli embassy to Belgium tweeted about the suspension on Friday, quoting from Belgian Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo who stated these intentions in an interview with Belgian news magazine Knack.
“We will take a critical look at the report,” said De Croo said in the interview. “It is not because you stand up for a good cause that you can do whatever you want…If the claims are correct, then that is totally unacceptable.”
Belgium has already paid its fixed contribution of 6.25 million euros ($5.9 million) to UNRWA but is now withholding 5.35 euros ($5.9 million) it had pledged to contribute.
The Netherlands and Switzerland have also suspended payments pending the results of the investigation into a scandal that arose after a UNRWA ethics office report was leaked to the media last week. The report accused top management officials of “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives.”
UNRWA’s commissioner-general, Pierre Krähenbühl, a Swiss national, was accused of “claiming daily allowances despite being away from UNWRA headquarters in Jerusalem.” One senior official named in the report for “inappropriate behavior” has left the organization while another accused of bullying and of manipulating the system to find a well-paid job for her spouse has resigned for what the agency called “personal reasons.”
The U.S. contributed $2.9 billion to UNRWA in the last decade, which amounted to 28% of all contributions to the organization, but halted all donations to UNRWA in 2018 after President Trump accused the organization of perpetuating the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel.
Long History of Perpetuating Conflict
With approximately 30,000 employees, UNRWA has been accused of hiring known militants, perpetuating Palestinian dependency, demonizing Israel, funneling money from Western governments to line the pockets of the Palestinian Authority, and purchasing arms for terrorists. Textbooks used by UNRWA schools have been found to promote anti-Semitism and violence. Israeli intelligence has also revealed UNRWA facilities being used by Hamas as a cover for terrorist activities.
UNRWA is the only UN organization that serves refugees from a specific country of origin. The organization alleges to serve 5.4 million Palestinian refugees, allocating more than four times per capita to Palestinians than for refugees from any other country of origin. Refugees from other countries are served by the UNHCR which defines a refugee as a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. The UNHCR has a specific mandate to aid its refugees to eliminate their refugee status by local integration in the current country. UNRWA grants perpetual refugee status to descendants of Palestinians. In point of fact, there are currently less than 15,000 Palestinians who would be defined as refugees by the UNCR.
Fall of the Tower of Babble Predicted 15 Years Ago
The recent UNRWA shake-up was predicted almost 15 years ago by former United Nations ambassador Dore Gold in his book “Tower of Babble”. Gold described the UN’s shocking failures to keep international peace, its corruption, its rampant anti-Americanism, and its emboldening of terrorist organizations. Dore revealed how the UN let oil-for-food money go to fund terrorist organizations.
A review of Gold’s book in the Middle East Quarterly noted the similarities between the UN and the Biblical Tower of Babel, “where the language barrier prevented proper communication.”
“Here, too, chaos is the name of the game; everyone is on a different page in a different language…Over the years, the U.N. has shown particular indulgence for mass murder as we witnessed in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Bosnia but as horrendous as these acts were, the U.N. has taken a special liking to the Palestinian cause and has become a de facto front group for Yasir Arafat and his legacy of terrorism.”
In his book, Gold recommends that democratic countries bypass the UN.
It is interesting to note that the Sanhedrin is currently working to replace the United Nations with an Organization of 70 Nations.