Biden administration: UNRWA has 'zero tolerance' for anti-Semitism

After renewing aid to UNRWA, Biden administration says it has zero tolerance for racism, discrimination, and anti-Semitism.

Elad Benari ,

Spacious UNRWA facilities, southern Gaza
Spacious UNRWA facilities, southern Gaza
Flash 90

Days after resuming US funding for the UN agency assisting “Palestinian refugees”, the Biden administration says it has the commitment of UNRWA to “zero tolerance” for anti-Semitism, racism or discrimination.

“UNWRA has made clear their rock-solid commitments to the United States on the issues of transparency, accountability, and neutrality in all its operations,” a senior US official said in an interview this weekend, according to JTA. “And what neutrality means in the context of the United Nations is zero tolerance for racism, discrimination, and anti-Semitism.”

The official said the resumption of aid was consistent with a Biden administration policy of favoring a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.

A UNRWA spokesman did not reply by late Monday afternoon to a JTA request seeking comment.

The Biden administration said last week it intends to resume aid to UNRWA as well as other aid to the Palestinian Authority which was suspended by the Trump administration, as part of Biden’s efforts to renew ties with the PA that have been frozen since 2017.

The US, which was previously UNRWA's largest contributor, cut a full $300 million in funding to the agency in 2018, when Donald Trump was President.

Created in 1949, UNRWA supplies aid to more than three million of the five million registered “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and territories assigned to the Palestinian Authority.

However, it is also notorious for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

In addition, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic content has been discovered in the textbooks used by UNRWA in schools it administers.