The United Nations has a particular narrative about the Arab-Israeli Conflict which plays out in various fora.
The anti-Zionist organization has elevated the discussion of ‘settler attacks’ in an effort to paint the Zionists as not only illegal but dangerous, thereby clear obstacles to peace.
A UN press release by the poorly-named Human Rights Council noted the following in November 2021:
“Settler violence has always been an extremely disturbing feature of the Israeli occupation, but in 2021, we are witnessing the highest recorded levels of violence in recent years and more severe incidents…. This precipitous rise in settler violence is not simply the result of a few ‘bad apples’ among the settler population. The deep state support provided by Israel to the illegal settlement enterprise, including to the more than 140 settlement outposts established throughout the West Bank in defiance of even Israel’s own laws, has fueled this coercive environment and encouraged violence.“
Tor Wennesland, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, has adopted this line of reasoning. Wennesland gives a monthly report to the UN Security Council where he reports on his perception of Israel’s violations and treatment of Palestinians rather than on Middle East Peace.
Consider Wennesland’s comments in his March 22, 2022 report to the UN Security Council when he went detailed specific events of Israeli settler violence but glossed over Arab terrorism. Wennesland essentially blamed all attacks on the Israeli government, parroting the UN Human Rights Group talking points:
“The announcement of Tel Aviv’s [*note the dis of stating Israel’s government being in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem*] plans to expand settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is deeply disturbing. The continuation of settlement construction and the intention to double the number of Israelis living in the Jordan Valley and the Syrian Golan Heights by 2026 can be seen as the de facto annexation of most of the occupied Palestinian territory. Against that background, there has been a sharp increase in settler attacks, as well as the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli military against Palestinians resulting in civilian deaths and injuries.” The statement suggests that the Israeli government’s actions promoting further development in Area C and the Golan Heights encouraged “settler attacks.” All he offered about Hamas, the political-terrorist group that runs Gaza was that “Hamas also called for increased clashes with the Israeli forces throughout the occupied West Bank,” when in fact, Hamas calls for attacks against all Israeli Jews, including civilians.
After even more Arab attacks against Israelis over the following weeks, Wennesland continued to emphasize attacks by Israelis. In his April 25 report, he mentioned “settlers” five time to only twice for Hamas. He again reiterated that settler violence was principally because the Israeli government supports Jews living throughout Israel and its territories, but at least added a caveat about Arab terrorism: “Against the backdrop of continued settlement activities and ongoing pressure on Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, as well as heightened tensions, settler-related violence remained high, particularly following the terrorist attacks in Israel.“
To be clear – according to Wennesland’s own reports – the number of Arab attacks dwarves attacks by Israelis. The monthly total for Palestinian Arabs attacking Jews ranged from 80 to 108 for the first four months of 2022, but only between 28 and 66 for “settler” attacks. Overall, there were 381 attacks by Palestinians to 210 by Israelis, or 81% more.
Wennesland remains blind to Arab incitement including naming schools and squares after murderers, governmental stipends to Palestinians who attack Jews, as well as straight out calls for violence. His jaundiced reports are fed to the waiting biased audience at the UN, with recommendation of more monies for Palestinians and fewer homes for Jews:
“Reducing violence and halting settlement activity, while shoring up the Palestinian Authority’s fiscal stability and strengthening Palestinian institutions are crucial. Steps to improve economic conditions must be implemented in a way that lays the foundations for a return to a meaningful political process.“
On one side, there is ongoing incitement to violence by Palestinian leadership which encouraged nearly 100 attacks against Jews every month. On the other, is an Israeli government which encourages Jews to coexist among Arabs, where Israelis commit roughly half the number of attacks a month, mostly in response to waves of Arab terrorism. Yet while those facts are admitted (in passing) by the United Nations, it directs blame solely on Israel, as it pushes another fund-raising appeal for the Arab government supporting terrorism.
Fortunately, the work of groups like IMPACT-SE which showcase the incitement against Israel at UN agencies, has led the European Union to dramatically cut its funding to UNRWA. However, the US has not curtailed its funding despite being fully aware of the incitement (see USAID Samantha Power testimony to Appropriations Committee mark 1.05), despite comments to cut funding to bad governments.
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