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UNRWA Suspends Employees for Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts

The United Nations has taken disciplinary action against at least 22 employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) who used social media to promote anti-Semitism, the watchdog organization UN Watch reported Thursday. The employees’ misconduct was initially exposed in reports published by the watchdog organization in September and October.

The spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon quietly announced on the UN website that UNRWA employees have, “in a number of cases,” [been] subject to disciplinary action, including suspension and loss of pay, following an investigation that verified evidence published by UN Watch — in one report last week, and another in September — of incitement to anti-Semitic violence committed by at least 22 UNRWA employees.

UN Watch noted that the disciplinary actions, which were communicated within a transcript of a press briefing and not a standalone announcement, were taken despite several vehement denials of misconduct by UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness.

In light of the above, UN Watch is now demanding a full apology from UNRWA spokseman Chris Gunness for his McCarthyite tirade against what he called UN Watch’s “baseless allegations about antisemitism.”

In the video embedded below, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, is seen evading questions about the investigations into the behavior of UNRWA employees.

Blogger “Elder of Ziyon,” working in parallel, uncovered many similar instances of UNRWA employees posting anti-Semitic material on their social media pages and inciting violence against Jews. In one instance, he found that a UNRWA employee changed his profile picture on Facebook into an image of the “Like” icon superimposed on a knife.

During the 2014 war in Gaza, Hamas weapons were uncovered at UNRWA facilities at least three times. Cooperation between UNRWA and Hamas previously prompted Claudia Rosett, a journalist in residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, to say the organization is “complicit” in terror. Similarly, former member of Knesset Dr. Einat Wilf wrote last year that UNRWA should be treated as “a hostile Palestinian organization that perpetuates the dream of the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.”

[Photo: Ramón Ivanovich Lopez / Flickr ]