Congress Must Investigate the UN Role in Gaza

Congressional committees have a lot on their plate these days with the IRS, Benghazi, the VA fiasco, etc., but recent events dictate they must add one more -- the role of the United Nations in Gaza.

The United States provides more financial support to the UN than any other country. As Claudia Rosett wrote in Forbes in 2011 ("Magic for U. S. Money for the United Nations"): "The U.S. is by far the biggest donor to the U.N., bankrolling 22% of the U.N.’s core budget, and roughly one-quarter of its far larger and murkier system-wide spending (estimated at somewhere upward of $25 billion)."

In other words, the UN takes a bucket of your cash and mine at a time when many people in our country are suffering.  It therefore behooves Congress to make sure this money is being spent for good, or at the very least benign, purposes.

Unfortunately, evidence developing from the ongoing conflagration between Israel and Hamas appears to suggest the reverse.  The UN -- specifically the UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency), but other agencies as well -- may have  been actively supporting terrorism and terrorists in the Gaza Strip, even aiding with the storage of Hamas weaponry (missiles), whether deliberately or accidentally is unclear.

From the Jerusalem Post:

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman decreed in a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday that not only were rockets found in UNRWA schools in Gaza, but also that UNRWA then turned them over to Hamas, rather than to Israel.

UNRWA admitted itself on two different occasions since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge began 16 days ago that they discovered rockets in their facilities.

Liberman said Israel was very “troubled” by these developments. “UNRWA schools were established to educate children in Gaza, but instead they are providing a hiding place for rockets meant to kill children in Israel,” he said.

Just what were those missiles doing in the UN schools and why did Hamas suppose that would be a good place to store them? The UN denies their culpability and says this was the "first time" such a thing has happened. But is that true?

This is not a new story. Israelis have been claiming the UNRWA has been assisting terrorists for years.

From a report by the Center for Near East Policy Research (it's worth reading the whole thing) on the UN refugee camps:

Hints of the radicalism that pertained in the camps were provided by 1997, if not sooner, with reports such as that of the Washington Jewish Week. vii This included photographs of UNRWA schools decorated with Hamas and PFLP graffiti, and a map of “Palestine” that ran from the Jordan to the Mediterranean and was covered with pictures of machine guns. It is doubtful that anyone was paying attention back then.

Broad scale exposure came in the spring of 2002. In response to the terrorism emanating from UNRWA refugee camps in Judea and Samaria as part of the “Second Intifada,” Israel launched “Operation Defensive Shield.” At that time, the IDF went into the camps and laid bare the facts regarding the refugees’ connection to terrorism.

Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, was in Jenin in April 2002 as a consultant to the IDF and himself witnessed presence of shahid (martyr) posters on the walls in the homes of UNRWA workers. “It was clear,” he said “that UNRWA workers were doubling as Hamas operatives.'"

It's not a long leap from that to stowing missiles.