|Outside an UNRWA school in Gaza: [Image Source]. Education is UNRWA's "largest area of activity, accounting for half of its regular budget and 70 per cent of its staff" [quote]... And most of its human cannon fodder.|
Among the many questions that should be raised in this context is whether the claim by AP that Hamas has been offering a military training program as “a weekly elective…in all Gaza high schools” means that UNRWA – which runs 245 schools for 225,000 students in Gaza – cooperates with Hamas in hosting or otherwise facilitating the military training of teenagers. UNWRA also has a program for donors to “adopt” a Gaza school, and recently, the German government donated 3 million Euros for the construction of two additional UNRWA schools in Gaza. No doubt these donations are well-meant, but they obviously also allow the Hamas-rulers of Gaza to avoid committing resources to the education of Gaza’s children while leaving them free to finance instead “jihad” training for teenagers...
Warped Mirror poses a crucial question. Restating it in our words, why do the many international organs that rush to condemn Israel for the harm that comes to Palestinian Arab teenagers in situations of conflict repeatedly gaze bashfully in another direction when the overt, publicized, boastful claims of Palestinian Arab leader tell us that their own society's children are mere expendable pawns in their efforts to inflict more and more terrorism on the other side (our side) in this ongoing war?
It's not hard to arrive at the answer - if you want to. The people who channel tax-payer funds into the hands of UNRWA and who provide money for the education of Palestinian Arab children living under the domination of the Islamists of Hamas know, or certainly should know, what's being done with the money they provide. They owe answers to the tax-payers whose money it is. They owe answers to the governments who tell them to do the channeling. Do they not care about the vast damage they do by looking the other way?
But even more than the donors, the management of UNRWA would certainly know. That's the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the body that Forbes Magazine called "one of the UN's oldest and most oddly configured agencies":
Set up in 1949 with a temporary, three-year mandate to provide aid and jobs for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA has survived for almost 60 years, expanding its scope, budget and influence by extending refugee status to descendants of its beneficiaries...
UNRWA employs more than 24,000 staffers. That's more than any other UN agency, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, which with some 6,300 staffers - about one-quarter the manpower of UNRWA - is responsible for all other refugees worldwide, totaling more than 11 million. At UNRWA, more than 99% of the staff are local Palestinians. They sit at the many local levers of the UNRWA distribution machinery, which under UNRWA policy takes on the coloration of and yields to the policies of host governments - as UNRWA officials explained to U.S. lawmakers who some years ago challenged the use of anti-Israeli textbooks in UNRWA schools. In today's terrorist-run Gaza, such an approach carries exactly the kind of deadly implications now playing out - while UNRWA and other UN officials call for an end to the violence. [more]
UNRWA's contact details are here. They include phone, fax and snail-mail details for the organization's head office in Gaza City as well as its branches in Amman, New York, Washington DC, Geneva, Brussels and Cairo.
Before you call, take a moment to learn who pays for its activity. If you assume UNRWA's budget is funded by those ultra-wealthy Arab oil potentates and the statelets they run, think again. We pointed out in a post almost a year ago that only one non-Western entity, the Islamic Development Bank, is in UNRWA's top twenty funders list - and that one comes in at nineteenth place with a contribution 3% the size of the hated Americans' and 3.5% of what Australia (Australia!) contributes. The numbers in the table we prepared below come from the UN itself.
It was we who created the table, but these are official donation numbers provided by UNRWA itself [source] covering all donations for the year 2010 and ranked by size of overall contribution.
The silence from Middle East "experts" in the media and in global politics - especially in the wake of the publicized plans by Ismail Haniyeh and his Hamas co-thugs to create a new high-school academy for terrorists - screams out for an explanation. And action.