The Rosett Report

ElBaradei of the IAEA Bullies the Media Over Gaza

With Iran building nuclear bombs, you might suppose the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency would have enough to occupy his energies. But no — Mohamed ElBaradei is busy shilling for Gaza, which is controlled by the Iranian-backed terrorist group, Hamas. This is very disturbing stuff. Connect the dots:

Recently the BBC decided not to broadcast a fund-raising appeal for Gaza from a British charity umbrella group, the Disasters Emergency Committee. This offended ElBaradei, who not only canceled interviews with the BBC, but used the IAEA’s press office as a megaphone for airing his opinions. According to an IAEA spokeswoman, ElBaradei “believes this decision violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people irrespective of who is right or wrong.”

So ElBaradei, the Egyptian Director-General of the IAEA, is using his office — the office of a public institution with a $386 million budget this year, funded in significant part by U.S. taxpayers — to criticize and bully the BBC because it did not air a fund-raiser for an enclave run by Iranian-backed terrorists who have been launching rockets into Israel — and whose charter includes the explicit aim of eradicating Israel.

And this same ElBaradei is runnning the IAEA entrusted to serve as global watchdog for such ventures as Iran’s UN-sanctioned (and sanctions-busting) effort to produce nuclear bombs. That would be the same Iran whose president, presumably with the approval of Supreme Leader Ali Khameini, has threatened to wipe Israel off the map.

Anyone see a problem with here with conflicts of interest and abuse of the public trust on the part of His Excellency the director-general of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei?

It’s sinister news of the first order that ElBaradei could not resist using his office and global stage to get involved in matters way beyond his brief. A host of UN relief agencies and private charities are already busy raising money and funneling resources into Gaza. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon went there earlier this month, and has been issuing statements about it for weeks. The UN has just launched a $613 million fund-raising appeal for Gaza. The UN has an entire specialized agency, the UN Relief and Works Agency, devoted exclusively to Palestinians. UNRWA is headquartered in Gaza, and its interests are deeply entwined with those of Hamas — which uses the UNRWA-supported civilian infrastructure of Gaza as a base for its attacks on Israel. During the recent battle in which Israel tried to shut down Hamas’s rocket-launching terror campaign, UNRWA officials have been a main feature of the UN briefing room.

If ElBaradei is strictly concerned about “the vulnerable,” it would seem appropriate to apply himself more diligently to the job of ensuring that nuclear bombs do not get built by terrorist-sponsoring states — such as Iran or Syria. Recall that in 2007 it was an Israeli air strike, not the IAEA, that alerted the world to Syria’s clandestine nuclear reactor built with North Korean help on the Euphrates. Since then, as the Wall Street Journal reported last November, ElBaradei’s contribution on the Syrian front has been to urge the approval of a $350,000 feasibility study for a new Syrian reactor. (Syria is, of course, home to Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who during the recent battle in Gaza was busy meeting at the Iranian embassy in Damascus with Iran’s Ali Larijani, nuclear negotiator and head of the Iranian parliament).

Having tipped his hand, aired his biases and abused his official post with his boycott and bullying of the BBC for its decision not to air an appeal he personally favored, ElBaradei really ought to do the honorable thing and resign. Don’t hold your breath. He’s not due to retire until the end of this year. Not soon enough.