Monday, October 27, 2014

Fox News Lies About UN IN Gaza

UN in Gaza spokesman gives it both barrels on Fox News,Oct. 27, 2014

A spokesman for the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees savaged a pro-Israeli writer and journalist who claimed his organisation had been sheltering weapons for Hamas militants. Chris Gunness, spokesperson for UNRWA, said he had gone through a film by David Bedein, director of the Centre for Near East Policy Research, in which the claims were made against UNRWA, “frame by frame”.

“This is joke journalism on a Noddy network and it astonishes me that Fox News can give credibility and airtime to a catalogue of falsehoods,” Mr Gunness said of claims that UNRWA had been complicit in Hamas storing rockets in its schools.

Mr Gunness, who became a familiar face to viewers during Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza earlier this year, said the only reason the world knew about Hamas weapons being stored in UNRWA schools was because UNRWA had discovered them, condemned Hamas and alerted the relevant authorities, including Israel. “We proactively condemned as a flagrant violation of our neutrality the hiding of these weapons in our schools,” he added.

You can watch the full exchange below:

Response from UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness:

Bedein’s imaginary UNRWA “Camp Jihad”
Posted: August 23, 2013 by Rex Brynen in factcheck, Gaza, UNRWA, West Bank PRNN.wordpress, Aug. 23, 2013

In the last couple of weeks a documentary alleging anti-Semitic indoctrination at UNRWA summer camps has received wide circulation and comment (such as here and here). The video was produced by David Bedein, who has a remarkable history of producing rather fraudulent accounts of alleged UNRWA misdeeds.
UNRWA has now conducted an investigation, and found the allegations of incitement in the video to be “baseless”.

UNRWA Rejects Allegations of Incitement as Baseless: Statement by UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness

22 August 2013East Jerusalem 
In recent days, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been attacked after an Israeli film-maker released a film, “Camp Jihad,” alleging that UNRWA promoted anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in its ‘summer camps’. These false accusations have been repeated in various media outlets.

UNRWA has conducted a lengthy and detailed investigation into the film and we categorically reject the allegations it contains. The film is grossly misleading and we regret the damage it has caused to UNRWA and the United Nations.

The film-maker concerned has a history of making baseless claims about UNRWA, all of which we have investigated and demonstrated to be patently false. It has long been the practice of the film-maker to show non-UNRWA activities and portray them as activities of UNRWA. He has done this again and we again reject his allegations. Our repeated rejection of his falsehoods is a matter of public record.

The main accusation in the film is that incitement is promoted during UNRWA ‘summer camps’. The ‘summer camp’ shown in the West Bank was not affiliated with or organized by UNRWA. The only UNRWA summer activities actually depicted are those shot in Gaza. However, our investigation of the film has revealed that absolutely nothing anti-Semitic or inflammatory was done or said in the scenes filmed in Gaza.

In addition, those interviewed in the film are presented with captions that identify them as UNRWA staff members. However, only one of those interviewed is an UNRWA staff member. The comment she makes does not violate UNRWA’s neutrality policy.

Some of the interviews filmed in the West Bank took place during the course of a third party’s activities inside what is indeed an UNRWA installation. However, UNRWA did not organize or manage these activities, and – here, too – none of the interviewees were UNRWA staff members. In addition, the interviews were organized by the film-maker and conducted with children, without parental consent, in an unethical, highly ‘leading’ manner, by a media organization he contracted.

We firmly condemn the anti-Semitic and inflammatory statements made during some of the interviews filmed in the West Bank, and we have suspended our relationship with the third-party organization, pending a review. However, we reject in no uncertain terms the allegations that UNRWA promotes incitement and the notion that UNRWA is responsible for the views expressed in the film.

UNRWA is committed to fostering human rights and tolerance, and teaches these values through the curriculum in its schools. UNRWA is one of the few organizations that has implemented human rights and conflict resolution training for millions of Palestine refugee children in the complex political environment of the Middle East for over 12 years.

also see article at Electronic Intifada which details David Bedein's ties to Zionist extremist Samuel Sokol who is a follower and admirer of Rabbi Meir Kahane and the Kach Party :

Video: UNRWA’s Chris Gunness demolishes anti-Palestinian activist on Fox
Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 10/26/2014

...Bedein co-wrote one of his films, For the Sake of the Nakba, with Samuel Sokol, “an apparent supporter of the violent racist group Kahane Chai (Kach), a designated foreign terrorist organization in the US, Canada, and most other Western countries.” 
...In 2009, Bedein and Sokol jointly authored a hit piece on the I’lam Media Center, a Nazareth-based nonprofit organization founded by Palestinian journalists in present-day Israel. 
In its response debunking what it called a catalog of “slander and misrepresentation,” I’lam published this image of Sokol in an army uniform, allowing a small child to handle his weapon. This is certainly ironic given the Bedein film’s allegation that it is Palestinians who violently indoctrinate their children. 
The armed and dangerous Sokol now revels in the title of “Jewish world” reporter for The Jerusalem Post, where he has continued to write Nakba denialist tracts. 
UNRWA has also thoroughly debunked the Bedein-Sokol co-production. 
Targeting refugee rights 
It is important to understand that the attacks on UNRWA by Bedein and others are not motivated by simple hatred of Palestinians or the UN, though such sentiments are evident in their constant denigration of both. 
Rather, they stem from a persistent theory among many anti-Palestinians that Palestinian refugees exist not because Israel expelled them from their homes and refuses to allow them to return, but because UNRWA itself keeps them in existence by providing health and education services to them in refugee camps. 
Dismantling UNRWA, the logic goes, would make the Palestinian refugees disappear along with their troublesome demand to return home, which in the view of Zionists negates Israel’s so-called “right to exist as a Jewish state.” 
Much of Bedein’s propaganda, therefore, is aimed at pressuring US lawmakers to cut the American contribution to UNRWA. 
Of course the logic that getting rid of UNRWA would eliminate Israel’s Palestinian refugee “problem” makes as much sense as believing that closing down all hospitals would eliminate disease. 
The “disease” here is not Palestinians, but the denial of their rights.
When confronted with facts and logic from Gunness, it is no surprise that Bedein flounders.

 And here's a bit more on Rabbi Meir Kahane who proclaims Arabs in Israel are a "cancer" and refers to Arabs as dogs and as dirty etc. while claiming to have respect for Arabs .

Rabbi Meir Kahane interviewed on 60 minutes

and so it goes,

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