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the UN’s israel obsession

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In the Weekly Standard, David Tell writes about the U.N.’s Israel obsession.

No fewer than four separate administrative units within the U.N.—two of them directly supervised by Kofi Annan’s governing secretariat—do nothing but spend millions of dollars annually on the production and worldwide distribution of propaganda questioning Israel’s right to exist. The “Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories,” for example, “investigates” Israel’s continued “practice” of “occupying” not just the territory taken in the 1967 war, but also the land within its internationally recognized, pre-1967 borders.

And then there is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, an operation originally established in December 1949 to assist those Palestinian refugees created by the Arab world’s botched attempt at a second Final Solution. UNRWA, as it happens, is centrally relevant to its parent organization’s latest outburst of naked Israelophobia. Because UNRWA wholly funds and largely administers the West Bank refugee camp in Jenin where the Israeli army is purported—by various Palestinian militants and local U.N. officials—to have just perpetrated a “massacre” of “unarmed civilians.” It is to the site of this alleged “atrocity” that Kofi Annan now intends to dispatch a commission of inquiry chaired by Yasser Arafat’s favorite European diplomat, former president Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, and seconded by Cornelio Sommaruga, retired chief of the International Red Cross, a man who once likened the Star of David to a swastika.

In a sane world, the United Nations itself would be investigated. Because the “refugee camps” (and why, after 53 years and untold billions of dollars, are there still camps at all?) were turned into terrorist training schools and weapons factories while under UN management.

It bears mentioning, though one rarely hears it mentioned, that the UNRWA camp at Jenin has been for years what the Palestinians call a’simat al-istashidin, the “suiciders’ capital,” from which dozens of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Al Aksa, and Tanzim terrorist attacks have been launched, killing hundreds of Israelis.

UNRWA funds and staffs the schools of Jenin, where, from fall through spring each year, children are taught that all of “Palestine,” from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, belongs to them. During summer vacation, those very same schools host training camps in which those very same students are instructed in the arts of kidnapping and rock-throwing and bomb-manufacturing and martyrdom. UNRWA rents the buses that regularly take residents of Jenin on tours of the Israeli countryside—where “their” property, “stolen” by the Jews, is carefully pointed out. UNRWA allows its food warehouses in Jenin to do double duty as munitions dumps. UNRWA pretends not to know that explosives and counterfeit currency factories are housed in the public shelters it has constructed in Jenin. UNRWA cannot understand how it might be that its own administrative offices in Jenin are festooned with graffiti celebrating some of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations. Or how some of the world’s most notorious terrorists might have found their way onto the agency’s payroll—to the point where the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, extreme even in the context of Palestinian extremism, now openly controls the UNRWA workers’ union.

This same United Nations, the blood of Israeli civilians still wet on its hands, now dares to question the morality of a modest, defensive, and long-overdue Israeli reprisal?

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