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John Bolton & TNR Agree: Defund UNRWA

3:06 PM, Aug 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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John Bolton, in a fundraising email, makes the case for defunding UNRWA--and more:

As the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, my eyes have long been open to the dangerous biases and political agendas in play at the U.N. It is at the core of my mission to share these facts with the American people, and why I am writing today.

The United Nations has lost its way, and now we MUST take action.

In the midst of the current Hamas-Israel hostilities, and well before, U.N. institutions and agencies have behaved so outrageously that they've inflicted severe damage to the United Nation's reputation and credibility.

The bottom line is that the United States can no longer excuse or ignore the egregious anti-Israel bias we've seen out of U.N. institutions, period. ...

Then there is the U.N. Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA). Three times in late July, UNRWA was forced to admit publicly that it "discovered" stockpiles of Hamas rockets stored in UNRWA's Gaza schools.

Why didn't UNRWA stop Hamas from stockpiling missiles in its schools, or at least immediately report this ploy to the U.N. Security Council?

Unfortunately, we know Obama will not act to disassociate the United States from this unacceptable international conduct regarding Gaza and Israel. That's why we're urging Congress to investigate IMMEDIATELY and take action.

The liberal New Republic writes: "Stop Giving Money to the U.N.'s Relief Agency for Palestinians."

When Hamas fires its last rocket and Israel drops its last bomb, the extent of Gaza’s devastation will become clear. An early estimate is that some $5 billion will be necessary to rebuild residences and infrastructure destroyed in the recent conflict. The first step is to take United Nations Relief and Works Agency out of the equation.

UNRWA, the U.N.’s 65-year-old, internationally funded welfare organization for Palestinians, should be commended for providing much needed shelter and aid to displaced Gazans during the crisis. But given several revelations during the current conflict between Hamas and Israel, UNRWA should have no role in any negotiated arrangement regarding Gaza’s reconstruction. 

On three occasions rockets were found in UNRWA schools, closed for the summer, and at least once they were returned to Hamas. On another occasion, the UNRWA accused Israel of targeting civilians sheltering in a school when in fact those deaths were caused by a Hamas rocket that fell short. And on another occasion it accused Israel of targeting a shelter and civilians when in reality terrorists outside the facility were hit and civilian bodies possibly planted at the scene.

UNRWA has condemned the rockets found in its schools, but it has not condemned Hamas’ firing rockets from in and around its facilities, or any other locations such as residential areas, hospital parking lots, and hotels. All these have now been documented, often reluctantly, by journalists who have left Gaza, who have also made it clear that they were subject to Hamas surveillance, harassment and intimidation. Instead, UNRWA and its spokesman Chris Gunness have tweeted accusations, voiced hollow defenses, and cried on television. 

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