Crying Need for UNRWA to Come Clean on Gaza
What's worse than a United Nations agency that provides massive welfare and support services to a Palestinian enclave run by terrorists?
Well, how about having that same agency run by a loquacious Swiss national who apparently believes that UN "neutrality" consists of blaming Israel for the local mayhem, while ignoring the terrorists?
That's pretty much the scene right now at UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Following the latest bout of war between Israel and the Hamas terrorists who rule Gaza, UNRWA's Swiss commissioner-general, Pierre Krahenbuhl, has been talking and tweeting about a "crying need for financial assistance to help the people of Gaza." Krahenbuhl has also been accusing Israel of war crimes, and calling for Israel to be immediately and thoroughly investigated and called to account (as I detailed in "The U.N.'s Grotesque Gaza Inquiry," the UN Human Rights Council is delighted to oblige). Krahenbuhl wants to address "underlying causes" -- by which he apparently means Israel's attempts to protect itself against Hamas rocket and mortar bombardments and miles of attack tunnels that were dug (right under UNRWA's nose) from Gaza into Israel.
It appears to have escaped Krahenbuhl's attention that Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005, and that this enclave so pervasively serviced by UNRWA is run by Palestinian terrorists -- variously trained and bankrolled by the likes of Iran and Qatar. The priorities of Hamas are not the well-being of women and children, or peace and prosperity, or anything of the kind. Hamas specializes in repressive rule (including summary executions), thrives on cultivating hate, and prefers pouring resources into making war on Israel (which Hamas aspires to obliterate), rather than cultivating Gaza as a productive entrepot on the Mediterranean.
UNRWA's Krahenbuhl runs an agency that is troubling enough for its policies of extending refugee status plus a cornucopia of welfare benefits to succeeding generations of Palestinians -- fostering a vast and chronically aggrieved population permanently on the dole. UNRWA has kept itself in business for 64 years by creating its own ever-expanding clientele -- now numbering more than 5 million "refugees." Does Krahenbuhl's brief also include inserting himself into the complex Middle East scene as an arbiter of policy, war and the complexities of seeking peace in the Middle East?
What's urgently needed from Krahenbuhl and his colleagues is not a continuing barrage of biased pronouncements, but a full and transparent explanation of how it happened that while Hamas was amassing weapons and building terrorist attack tunnels from Gaza, UNRWA was demanding more resources, including construction materials, for the enclave. Were UNRWA's top officials clueless? Were they complicit? And if Krahenbuhl wishes to level blame and discuss "underlying causes," when do we hear from him about the misery, brutality and terror inflicted on Gaza, and its neighbors, by Hamas?