Blum Schadenfreude and the UNRWA scandal
King on July 30th, 2019
Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl collected money for business-class
trips with his mistress, whom he fast-tracked into a role he invented for her so
that she could accompany him around the world in style.
rampant wrongdoing in the corridors of the United Nations Relief Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) couldn’t have shamed a more worthy
organization. Though normally it’s not nice to gloat over the misfortunes of
others, the schadenfreude elicited by the news of inappropriate behavior going
on behind the walls of this particularly vile organization was warranted.
Oddly, the damning
internal UNRWA report dealing with the corrupt and abusive
behavior of senior staff was exposed on Monday by Al Jazeera and AFP—media
outlets that bemoaned the Trump administration’s cut in funding to the body
whose mandate is to “provide relief, human development and protection
services” to the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. You know, those
Arabs who were displaced in 1948 as a result of the Arab assault on the Jewish
state, otherwise known as Israel’s War of Independence.
Of course, only
members of the far-left continue to harbor and spread the illusion that UNRWA is
anything but what U.S. President Donald Trump called an “irredeemably flawed
operation,” whose sole purpose has been to perpetuate a manufactured
“Palestinian refugee crisis.”
As a side gig,
the U.N. body that placed Palestinians in a fraudulent
category all their own—one that enables them to remain
“refugees” for generations, rather than helping them resettle quickly—also
abets terrorists. It does this does technically, by allowing Fatah, Hamas and
Islamic Jihad to stockpile weapons in and under its schools, and ideologically,
textbooks and other methods that teach Palestinian children to
hate and aspire to kill Jews.
UNRWA always denies that it its entire existence is based on a false premise. It
is equally indignant about being accused of ties to terrorism. So, every time an
UNRWA schoolteacher is caught posting violent anti-Semitic comments and cartoons
on his or her Facebook page—a frequent occurrence over the years—the agency
claims that the phenomenon is an aberration and vows to root it out by
reprimanding or firing the perpetrators.
there’s one thing that can be learned from UNRWA educators, it’s how to get
away with murder from a high-horse perch.
Which brings us
to the activities that have been taking place not in the squalor of UNRWA
refugee camps, but rather in air-conditioned offices and hotels abroad.
According to Al
Jazeera and AFP, the explosive report, which was sent in December to U.N.
Secretary-General António Guterres, accuses UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre
Krähenbühl and other agency officials of engaging in “sexual misconduct,
nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for
personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their
allegations are under investigation by the United Nations.
two-faced form, UNRWA says that it can’t respond to any questions about its
conduct as long as the probe is underway. Luckily for Krähenbühl and his
cronies, the United Nations—itself a money-guzzling, anti-Israel hornet’s
nest—has been taking its sweet time to complete the task. Undoubtedly, the end
result will be a few rolling heads and a return to business as usual. Well,
almost. Thanks to Trump, UNRWA is strapped for cash, after all.
Which is one of
the reasons that Krähenbühl got caught at his game.
private fundraising campaign outside of U.N. purview, the UNRWA chief apparently
went around crying poor and collecting money for business-class trips with his
mistress, whom he fast-tracked into a role he invented for her in 2015—that of
his “senior adviser”—so that she could accompany him around the world in
style. And all behind his wife’s back.
This makes his
“Open Letter to Palestine Refugees and UNRWA,” published in September
2018—a mere three months before Guterres received the report on UNRWA’s
ethical violations—especially jaw-dropping.
In the letter,
in part: “ … The responsibility for the protracted nature of the
Palestine refugee-hood, the growing number of refugees and the growth in needs,
lies squarely with the parties and in the international community’s lack of
will or utter inability to bring about a negotiated and peaceful resolution of
the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The attempt to make UNRWA somehow
responsible for perpetuating the crisis is disingenuous at best. … Our
commitment to accountability, strict and sound financial discipline, to setting
priorities and acting decisively when the Agency’s neutrality is challenged,
are matters of public record. In 2018, UNRWA introduced stringent management
measures as its own necessary contribution to overcoming the financial
of shutting down UNRWA will be satisfactory since its very existence is a
criminal scam. But the likelihood of its closure in the near future is slim to
meantime, let us take some comfort in the agency’s well-earned public
Blum is an Israel-based journalist and author of “To Hell in a Handbasket:
Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.’ ”