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

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

Iran’s Calculations and America’s Mistake

There is little doubt that if Hizballah had participated more intensively in Saturday’s attack, Israeli air defenses would have been pushed past their limits, and far more damage would have been done. Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack, trying to look at things from Tehran’s perspective, see this as an important sign of caution—but caution that shouldn’t be exaggerated:

Iran is well aware of the extent and capability of Israel’s air defenses. The scale of the strike was almost certainly designed to enable at least some of the attacking munitions to penetrate those defenses and cause some degree of damage. Their inability to do so was doubtless a disappointment to Tehran, but the Iranians can probably still console themselves that the attack was frightening for the Israeli people and alarming to their government. Iran probably hopes that it was unpleasant enough to give Israeli leaders pause the next time they consider an operation like the embassy strike.

Hizballah is Iran’s ace in the hole. With more than 150,000 rockets and missiles, the Lebanese militant group could overwhelm Israeli air defenses. . . . All of this reinforces the strategic assessment that Iran is not looking to escalate with Israel and is, in fact, working very hard to avoid escalation. . . . Still, Iran has crossed a Rubicon, although it may not recognize it. Iran had never struck Israel directly from its own territory before Saturday.

Byman and Pollack see here an important lesson for America:

What Saturday’s fireworks hopefully also illustrated is the danger of U.S. disengagement from the Middle East. . . . The latest round of violence shows why it is important for the United States to take the lead on pushing back on Iran and its proxies and bolstering U.S. allies.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy