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 subject 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.
Curiously, the following statement 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:
UNRWA takes all allegations of violations of UN principles as well as its neutrality and established social media policies very seriously. UNRWA condemns and will not tolerate anti-Semitism or racism in any form. Every allegation brought to our attention has either been or is being assessed, and where there are prima facie facts to support the allegation, in accordance with due process. Some allegations have been found to be authentic, others not.
Already, working closely with Facebook’s legal team, UNRWA has brought about the removal of more than 90 imposter or unauthorized Facebook pages. In some cases, it has determined the alleged ‘UNRWA staff’ are not in fact UNRWA employees or are no longer UNRWA employees.
However, and very regrettably, in a number of cases so far, the Agency has found staff Facebook postings to be in violation of its social media rules. These postings have been removed and the staff have been subject to both remedial and disciplinary action, including suspension and loss of pay. The remaining allegations are under assessment.
In light of the above, UN Watch is now 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 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?”