UNRWA teacher's Facebok post
UNRWA teacher's Facebok postElder of Ziyon

The smartest two moves President Trump made, recent weeks have convinced, were to stop funding UNRWA and to revoke US membership of other UN organs.

The dumbest two moves Biden made were to reverse Trump’s moves.

About UNRWA we know, but not all. More than its entanglement with Hamas and other groups committed to exterminating the Jews, UNRWA dovetails perfectly with the UN Human Rights Council, UNESCO, the ICJ and, indeed, the UN itself. The whole bang shoot is terminally ill from the desire to want Jews dead.

Philippe Lazzarini as head of the UNWRA snake, promised to open an investigation into a dozen employees who dipped bloody hands in the October 7 pogrom. Fulfilling his promise will involve snr. Philippe doing some agile psycho gymnastics. The snake head must rip off its blindfold, pick an insider to investigate its belly, announce the verdict, then snap the blindfold back over two double crossing eyes.

Señor Lazzarini is at one with the UN Secretary General who, for his part, was “horrified” that UNRWA people had aided and abetted Hamas to commit atrocities. The horror felt by Antonio Guterres can be likened to a runaway robber horrified at being caught. Pleading with nations to continue funding UNRWA, Antonio spoke like Shylock in the Merchant of Venice:

“What should I say to you? You spurned me. You called me dog, and for these courtesies I will”forgive and again let you give UNRWA “much moneys”

There is something that begs to be noticed about the conscientious culture of our times. Any activity containing the word ‘Human’ or ‘Humanitarian’ sanctifies it, so exempting the activity from being held accountable. UNRWA did not have the “few bad apples” arrested for murder. No. It laid them off – for all we know with a slap on blood red and brown wrists, followed by a redundancy package. As for “Humanitarian Assistance” it is like the casualty count of the Hamas-run Health Ministry: combatants get the lion’s share and senores Philippe and Antonio don’t bat an eye.

“Twelve bad apples...” Balderdash. The Wall Street Journal reports on intelligence dossiers estimating that some 10 per cent on the payroll (numbering 30,000) have links with ‘Islamist militant groups’. And this number excludes family links within Hamas. UNRWA, as a writer for even leftist Haaretz put it, is ‘riddled with Hamas’.

But the problems of the Hamas affiliate go deeper than a clash of interests. How about we set up an ad hoc court in The Hague to get a better sense of the beast. Let a few UNRWA heads from the past be sworn in. Let them ‘spill the beans.’

With the court’s permission I call to the witness box, past Commissioner-General, Mr Ralph Garroway.

Court: Mr Garroway, sir, tell the court why the United Nations needs this UNRWA at all.

Mr Garroway:

TestimonyThe UN needs UNRWA to maintain the Palestinians’ refugee status of 70 years. UN members and UN organs do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as a weapon against Israel.

Court: Thank you Mr Garroway. To make sure we understand you: the mandate of UNWRA requires it not to solve the refugee problem because that would stop all the suffering. No. Instead UNWRA is tasked with keeping the refugees miserably angry, in perpetuity.

Mr Garroway: That is correct your Honour.

Court: My learned jurists! Mark what we just learnt. Were it not for UNRWA the Palestinian people would be living normal settled lives. Thank you Mr Galloway, sir.

With the court’s permission I now call Mr John Blandford Jr. Mr Blandford Jr. was UNRWA’s very first person in charge.

Mr Blandford, please tell the court what makes this UN organ so special.

Mr Blandford:

Testimony UNRWA began as a temporary agency to help Palestinian Arab refugees from the 1948 War of Independence. In my November 1951 report I wrote that I expected Arab governments to assume responsibility for relief operations by July 1952. The international community assumed that the refugees would be resettled as soon as possible because, as I put it, "Sustained relief operations inevitably contain the germ of human deterioration." Those expectations were naïve.

The UN already had an agency for helping refugees: the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) Why run a duplicate? The UNRWA website explains why all the refugees in the world fall under one UN agency but the Palestinians – they are lucky. The Palestinian Arabs have their own baby sitter. "UNRWA” says the website,

is mandated to provide the Palestine refugees with humanitarian assistance. By contrast the UNHCR has the mandate to seek permanent solutions for all other refugees.”

There you have it. UNWRA was set up not to help settle Palestinian Arab refugees but to make their lives as permanent ‘refugees’ bearable. When I started in 1950, there were about 750,000 Palestine Arab refugees. Today, more than 6 million receive UNRWA services including schools, relief and health services.

Court: Thank you Mr Blandford, sir. Could you tell the court where precisely UNRWA's responsibility begins and where it ends?

Mr. Blandford: Testimony

UNRWA is limited to providing services and administering installations. It does not police Palestinian refugees. That is the responsibility of the host authorities.

Court: Let my learned justices take note: the host authority in Gaza is Hamas. Hamas does the policing in Gaza. What would you say – scope aplenty for cozy co-operation and chumminess between UNRWA the service provider and Hamas the policeman.

Before I call another head of UNRWA, it may assist this court if I read aloud two written depositions.

The first was made by AP reporter, Nicole Winfield.

“The girls’ school run by UNWRA in Jenin was plastered with posters haling suicide bombers. Down the road the UNWRA compound had graffiti on the outer wall, with enticements to kill Jews. Such wall art would be unthinkable on a U.N. building anywhere else in the world.”

The second deposition was made by a member of the UNWRA Teachers Union

“Who teaches in UNRWA schools, and what is taught, is controlled by this union. In the Gaza strip the union has over 7,000 members. For two decades Hamas has dominated the UNRWA Teachers’ Union. In 2006 and again in 2011 Hamas-affiliated candidates won all 11 seats, guaranteeing Hamas control of UNRWA schools in Gaza.”

Let my learned justices again take note: there is unlimited scope for cozy co-operation between UNRWA the educator and Hamas. Hamas, I hardly need remind this court, is the group which gang-raped and mutilated Jewish women, which executed parents in front of their kids, which burnt Jews to death, which decapitated baby Jews. Learned jurists, I want you to pause and let the following sink in. These monsters were educated at UNRWA schools. (A numbed quiet falls on the gallery.)

With the court’s permission, I would like to call one more UNWRA Commissioner- General from the past. From Mr Peter Hansen we shall hear about the culture of integrity that reigns inside the UN agency. Go ahead Mr Hansen, sir.

Mr. Peter Hansen: Testimony

After the IDF’s Jenin operation in 2002 I as the Commissioner General, appeared on CNN and described what I had seen (clears his throat and takes a shaky sip of water). These are the words I used on CNN: “Wholesale obliteration... A human catastrophe that has few parallels in recent history, Helicopters... strafing civilian residential areas, and bodies piling up in mass graves. I had witnessed everything with my own eyes.”

Thank you, sir. Please tell this court what happened after your graphic description on CNN concerning the atrocity by Israel.


“Well, a few days later the Palestinian Authority made a public announcement that the number of dead from the urban battle stood at fifty two – almost all combatants. The toll was later verified by the United Nations.

I then confessed that I had lied on CNN. In truth I had seen nothing with my own eyes; my descriptions were imaginary.”

Court: I see...And two years later, Mr Hansen, you were again in the news were you not? I believe it had to do with UNRWA employment practices. Tell the court about this if you will.

Mr. Hansern: “I was in the news. On 4 October 2004 I made a statement on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). I have here a copy of my statement.

Go ahead. Read the statement you made.

Witness reads

“I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll, and I don't see that as a crime... We do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another.”

Court: My learned jurists! Mark what we’ve heard. We know about the Hamas Charter which declares war on the Jews. Not on Israel, mind you. On the Jews. UNWRA had people who declared war on the Jews on its payroll. It paid their salaries, knowing they were members of Hamas.

Mark as well, the way Mr Hansen referred to Hamas as “people of a persuasion.” The persuasion, Mr Hansen, is to exterminate Jews, behind rocks and trees or wherever else they may hide. You paid people of that persuasion a monthly salary.

Thank you, Mr Hansen. You may step down.

Court continues: My learned jurists, the witness talked of the ‘persuasions’ of people he, as head of UNRWA, employs. I wish you to levitate. I am going to cross the boundary between UNRWA and a sister or brother organ of the UN. By that I refer to the Human Rights Council.

I have used, if you recall, the word, “dovetailing’. We are about to see a perfect case of ‘dovetailing’ which means a close fit or, if you like, a joining together.

Now, my fellow jurists, do not let a professor of International Law intimidate you. More especially don’t let him when he is John Dugard, the same professor who spearheaded South Africa’s genocide application at the ICJ in January of this year.

We may not blindly assume that a professor who forsakes varsity gown and corridors and decamps to ‘Palestine’ packs his scholarly habits. We may not assume that he will by force of habit as a law expert, act objectively, impartially and with integrity. Yes, Professor Dugard was appointed for those qualities.

But so was Dugard’s successor, Richard Falk the professor who apologised for caricaturing the Jew as a dog. So too, was the current professor for the Human Rights Council, Francesca Albanese. She too is supposed to act objectively, impartially and with integrity, and yet....Madame Francesca insists that international law denies Israel the right of self-defence. Law experts, my learned jurists...

To bring out certain co-operative facts about UN organs, I should like to read an extract from Professor Dugard’s report to the Human Right Council, as it is now called.

Extract from Professor John Dugard’s report to the UN, Sept 2003)

“As The Special Rapporteur I visited the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel from 22 to 29 June 2003. In the course of my mission I visited Gaza, Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Jericho and Jerusalem...While in Rafah I visited UNRWA schools. Teenage girls at a trauma counselling session attended by me spoke with tears and pain about their experiences of military occupation; of neighbours shot by the IDF and savaged by IDF sniffer dogs; of homes destroyed without proper notice; and of their desire to live normal lives like children in other countries. I was accompanied by the Commissioner- General of UNRWA, Peter Hansen.

My learned jurists! Recall the name and make the consequent connections. Peter Hansen, the confessed liar....UNRWA schools with ‘bomb the Jews’ posters on school walls...School girls taught by members of Hamas... Professor Dugard palley with Peter Hansen and with the criminal syndicate governing South Africa...The country which brought a charge of genocide before the ICJ...The ruling party in South Africa forms probably the most antisemitic and corrupt government to be found in the free world...

Dovetail...my learned jurists. Keep that word close. We must now attend to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Look for the dovetail in what he says.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Feb 1 2024, speaks to a delegation of ambassadors.

“UNRWA provided false information against Israel to the ICJ. Many of the charges, false and unfounded, that were levelled against us were brought by UNRWA officials. The ICJ listed UNRWA as one of the organizations that provided information, on which (the court) based its ruling. On the same day as the ICJ issued its order, Israel provided UNRWA with information that 12 of its staff members had participated in the October 7 attack. “UNRWA is totally infiltrated with Hamas.”

Dovetailing, learned jurists....

I rest my case.

Steve Apfel is a veteran authority on anti-Zionism and a prolific author living in South Africa. His works have appeared in many journals and sites. After “Hadrian’s Echo: The why’s and wherefores of Israel’s critics,” a new book, “Hitlers at Heart: anti-Zionism and its Believers” is with publishers. A selection of Steve’s works can be accessed at https://steveapfel.substack.com/ and https://enemiesofzion.wordpress.com/