(Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2019)— B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We are outraged by today’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) committee vote to move forward the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
UNRWA is a corrupt, politicized agency that uses its bloated budget, which is intended to provide humanitarian aid, to incite hatred.
UNRWA’s history of supporting incitement is long. The U.N. has confirmed that terrorist groups used UNRWA-run schools to store rockets and fire them at Israel during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. Textbooks in use at these schools contain anti-Semitic portrayals of Jews and perpetuate the lie that Jews have no historic ties to Israel. The agency has even employed members of the terrorist group Hamas.
This year, a leaked ethics report described a culture of corruption, nepotism, discrimination and misuse of funds at the agency. In 2018, the United States stopped supporting the agency because of the Palestinians’ failure to make progress on a peace plan. The Belgian, Dutch and Swiss governments suspended aid to UNRWA in response to corruption allegations.
We call on the rest of UNRWA’s donors to immediately cease their donations until the agency meaningfully addresses its corruption and incitement issues.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org