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UNRWA’s Employees Praise Terrorism and Spread Anti-Semitism on America’s Dime

Sept. 11 2015

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has a long history of slandering Israel and abetting terrorism while doing little to help ordinary Palestinians. Elliott Abrams comments on the most recent revelations:

In a new report, UN Watch has found a dozen UNRWA employees spewing anti-Semitic hatred and celebrating violence and terrorism in Internet postings. On Facebook pages where they identify themselves as UNRWA officials, these UN employees laud killing and kidnapping of Jews and Israelis and post vicious anti-Semitic cartoons and drawings.

This is our tax money at work: the United States is by far the largest contributor to UNRWA, at over $400 million. . . . So now what happens? Does UNRWA discipline or fire these individuals? Does Ban Ki-Moon step in? Nope, not so far. The only reaction has been—you probably guessed it—attacks on UN Watch by UNRWA’s spokesman. Not a word about these postings or the employees.

The next step should be action by the State Department and by Samantha Power, our UN ambassador, demanding that the UN wake up. . . . Either such conduct is tolerated or it is not. Either UNRWA reacts with disciplinary moves against these individuals, or it attacks UN Watch. If the latter, . . . the United States should suspend payments to UNRWA. We should not be financing the spreading of hatred by UN employees. It ought to be simple.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Samantha Power, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, UNRWA

How Lebanon—and Hizballah—Conned and Humiliated Rex Tillerson

Feb. 21 2018

Last Thursday, the American secretary of state arrived in Beirut to express Washington’s continued support for the country’s government, which is now entirely aligned with Hizballah. His visit came shortly after Israel’s showdown with Hizballah’s Iranian protectors in Syria and amid repeated warnings from Jerusalem about the terrorist organization’s growing threat to Israeli security. To Tony Badran, Tillerson’s pronouncements regarding Lebanon have demonstrated the incoherence of the Trump administration’s policy:

[In Beirut], Tillerson was made to sit alone in a room with no American flag in sight and wait—as photographers took pictures and video—before Hizballah’s chief allies in Lebanon’s government, President Michel Aoun and his son-in-law the foreign minister, finally came out to greet him. Images of the U.S. secretary of state fidgeting in front of an empty chair were then broadcast across the Middle East to symbolize American impotence at a fateful moment for the region. . . .

Prior to heading to Beirut, Tillerson gave an interview to the American Arabic-language station al-Hurra, in which he emphasized that Hizballah was a terrorist organization, and that the United States expected cooperation from the “Lebanon government to deal very clearly and firmly with those activities undertaken by Lebanese Hizballah that are unacceptable to the rest of the world.” . . . But then, while in Jordan, Tillerson undermined any potential hints of firmness by reading from an entirely different script—one that encapsulates the confused nonsense that is U.S. Lebanon policy. Hizballah is “influenced by Iran,” Tillerson said. But, he added, “We also have to acknowledge the reality that they also are part of the political process in Lebanon”—which apparently makes being “influenced by Iran” and being a terrorist group OK. . . .

The reality on the ground in Lebanon, [however], is [that] Hizballah is not only a part of the Lebanese government, it controls it—along with all of the country’s illustrious “institutions,” including the Lebanese Armed Forces. . . .

[Meanwhile], Israel’s tactical Syria-focused approach to the growing threat on its borders has kept the peace so far, but it has come at a cost. For one thing, it does not address the broader strategic factor of Iran’s growing position in Syria, and it leaves Iran’s other regional headquarters in Lebanon untouched. Also, it sets a pace that is more suitable to Iran’s interests. The Iranians can absorb tactical strikes so long as they are able to consolidate their strategic position in Syria and Lebanon. Not only have the Iranians been able to fly a drone into Israel but also their allies and assets have made gains on the ground near the northern Golan and in Mount Hermon. As Iran’s position strengthens, and as Israel’s military and political hand weakens, the Israelis will soon be left with little choice other than to launch a devastating war.

To avoid that outcome, the United States needs to adjust its policy—and fast. Rather than leaving Israel to navigate around the Russians and go after Iran’s assets in Syria and Lebanon on its own, it should endorse Israel’s red lines regarding Iran in Syria, and amplify its campaign against Iranian assets. In addition, it should revise its Lebanon policy and end its investment in the Hizballah-controlled order there.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Politics & Current Affairs, Rex Tillerson, U.S. Foreign policy