Wednesday, January 14, 2009

United Nations Schools Okay With Hiring Terrorists

The AFP article started out by stringing together the usual phrases:
  • UN General Assembly
  • Send a strong message
  • International community
  • Immediate ceasefire
  • Withdrawal of Israeli forces
Not much new here, although it looks like Israel is winning. Otherwise, I suspect that time spend calling for a ceasefire and Israeli troop withdrawal would have been spent in condemning Israel.

Hamas Military Operations Center Under Hospital: They're Not Stupid

About midway down the article, we hear from Israel's United Nations ambassador. She said that Israel "has accumulated mounting evidence regarding Hamas' appalling use of civilians as human shields, and of its launching operations from civilian locations.

"Many weapons caches and have been found in mosques, schools, and homes; a military operations center has been located under Gaza's largest hospital; and terrorists routinely fire from inside the houses of civilians who are held as hostages, prevented by Hamas from leaving," which is a testament to the Machiavellian good sense that Hamas has, historically, demonstrated.

Iran, naturally enough, turned attention back on things being the fault of the Jews: specifically, that "the Jewish state should be held accountable 'for its crimes and for the damages it has incurred on the defenseless Palestinians.' " (AFP)

I have to give Hamas credit: they're very smart when it comes to marketing themselves. Putting a headquarters under a hospital, for example: It was reasonably good cover, but if they got lucky, all those dead bodies from the hospital would have been wonderful propaganda.

Terrorists, Schmerrorists: We're All Teachers and Social Workers

Remember that school that the Jews blew up?

The United Nations may have gotten a more impartial investigation than they'd counted on.

Turns out that United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the outfit that runs those Palestinian schools, has been hiring terrorists. And giving textbooks to the Palestinian children with hate speech and other "incendiary information." (FOXNews)

UNRWA says it doesn't employ terrorists now, though. That just might be true: all of them might have been killed in that Israeli attack.

UNRWA's say-so isn't good enough for everyone, though: including some members of congress. New Jersey's Representative Steve Rothman wants "greater transparency and accountability at UNRWA." I try to steer clear of politics in this blog, but stereotypes being what they are, I'd better point out that Representative Rothman is a Democrat.

United Nations Schools: Tolerance on Steroids

In a way, UNRWA has an admirable dedication to inclusiveness and non-discrimination. Back in 2004, a former UNRWA Commissioner-General, Peter Hansen, had this to say to the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

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

Sounds very noble. Awad Al-Qiq was headmaster and science instructor at an UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza. He also was a top Islamic Jihad rocket maker, until an Israeli air strike killed him last May.

Israel, obviously, is less tolerant and inclusive that UNRWA. Of course, they're the ones being killed by UNRWA employees.

There's more in that article, but I'm running out of time.

An UNRWA spokesperson says that they're very nice people, and make " 'special efforts in our schools to teach tolerance, human rights and peaceful conflict resolution.' "

Apparently, those 'special efforts' include "The Star Team," a book that profiled "martyrs." In this context, that's Palestinians who killed themselves in a suicide bombing, or got killed in an armed struggle with Jews. The book's back cover displayed the UNRWA emblem and a masked gunman on one knee, taking aim.

If that's an unpleasant thought, I'll offer three solutions:
  1. Don't believe what you've read about UNRWA
    • The news service that published the story is one of those upstarts
    • "The Star Team" was found by Israelis, so it must be a Zionist plot
  2. Celebrate UNRWA's dedication to multiculturalism and inclusiveness
    • UNRWA's so broad-minded, they won't "exclude people from one persuasion as against another" - even if that means hiring terrorists
  3. Consider the possibility that
    • Something is seriously wrong at UNRWA
    • Israel may have had a very good reason for bombing that "school"
    • Representative Steve Rothman may have a good idea
I realize that if flies in the face of conventional wisdom about the United Nations, but my choice is #3.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.