GENEVA, October 22, 2015 -The spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon quietly announced on the UN website that UNRWA employees have “in a number of cases” beeen subjected to disciplinary action, including suspension and loss of pay, following an investigation that verified evidence published by UN Watch — in one report last week, and another in September — of incitement to anti-Semitic violence committed by at least 22 UNRWA employees. UNRWA added that it “condemns and will not tolerate anti-Semitism or racism in any form.”
Curiously, UNRWA’s admission was made public only as a bracketed addition buried deep in a UN transcript, and not posted as a stand-alone statement by the UN, or indeed anywhere at all on the UNRWA website.
UN Watch welcomed the announcement, yet noted that “the UN statement hides more than it reveals,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based non-governmental monitoring group.
“We need to know, first, which of the UNRWA teachers identified in our reports were suspended, what were the findings, and whether the UN investigations found any additional incitement to anti-Semitic violence.”
“Second,” said Neuer, “In light of the above, UN Watch is demanding a full apology from UNRWA spokseman Chris Gunness for his McCarthyite tirade against what he called UN Watch’s ‘baseless allegations about antisemitism’.”
Gunness famously launched into a frenzied attack on UN Watch, issuing an “appeal to journalists” to ignore what he insisted was a “non-story”:
- “Appeal to journalists: please don’t turn UN Watch baseless allegations about anti-semitism into a ‘he said she said’ story. It is a non-story.”
- “UN Watch makes a fool of itself … Credibility dead in water. Will anyone believe them again”?
- “Interested to find out more about UN Watch’s political and financial affiliations since it establishment. Can anyone advise?”