donderdag 20 januari 2011

De partijdigheid van UNRWA - een neutrale organisatie?


Uit het onderstaande bericht uit het Palestijnse Ma'an nieuws, blijkt duidelijk hoezeer de mensen van UNRWA als bondgenoten en sympathisanten van de Palestijnen worden gezien - niet door Israel, maar door de Palestijnen zelf.
 
"Ging has proved through his continuous work in the Gaza Strip, and during times of crisis, that he is an authentic defender of Palestinian rights, and endeavored to improve their living conditions," Abu Hasna said.
"John Ging worked day and night to help the poor people of Gaza. He abandoned his private life, and even his days off for that. He never spared any effort to defend Palestinian refugees and their rights."

John Ging zelf zegt: 
 
"We can't be satisfied with just providing humanitarian assistance," Ging told Ma'an in December. Justice, he says, "has to be the top priority: the restoration of Palestinians' fundamental human rights, all of them."

Er lijkt weinig verschil in de positie van Ging en die van de Palestijnen, en dat is misschien ook niet zo verwonderlijk, want UNRWA heeft tienduizenden Palestijnen in dienst, vooral (nakomelingen van) vluchtelingen, dus zij domineren de organisatie. Een paar jaar geleden bleek dat ook een aantal Hamas leden voor UNRWA werken. Toch wordt UNRWA in het westen als neutrale organisatie gezien die humanitaire hulp geeft aan de vluchtelingen. Dat zij een zo duidelijk politiek standpunt inneemt en dat ook uitdraagt, wordt genegeerd. In Nederlandse media mogen UNRWA medewerkers als zogenaamde objectieve deskundigen hun verhaal doen, wat er steevast op neerkomt hoe wreed en inhumaan Israel is en hoe zielig de Palestijnen, en de media nemen de cijfers van UNRWA wat betreft doden bij Israelische legeroperaties klakkeloos over, ook al blijken die soms niet te kloppen. De UNRWA houdt bovendien het irreële en onrechtvaardige 'recht op terugkeer' van de vluchtelingen in stand. Dit zal, mits uitgevoerd, een einde maken aan een VN lidstaat en de zelfbeschikking van het meest vervolgde volk.
 
De UNRWA zou er door de VS en EU toe moeten worden gedwongen permanente huisvesting voor de vluchtelingen te regelen en ook eisen te stellen aan de PA en de Arabische staten, in plaats van alleen kritiek op Israel te uiten. Daarvoor zal de gehele organisatie op de schop moeten.
 
Zie over de vluchtelingen ook op Israel Palestina Info: vluchtelingen, Israel en de VN
 
RP
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Top UNRWA officials resign
 
 
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) – The directors of the UN's Palestine refugee operations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank resigned Monday morning, an UNRWA spokesman said.

Adnan Abu Hasna said Barbara Shenstone, the West Bank director, and John Ging, based in the Gaza Strip, were stepping down.

"Ging has proved through his continuous work in the Gaza Strip, and during times of crisis, that he is an authentic defender of Palestinian rights, and endeavored to improve their living conditions," Abu Hasna said.

"The people of Gaza know what Ging has done for them before and after the war."

Ging is to join the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in New York and Shenstone is to return to her native Canada, UNRWA commissioner-general Filippo Grandi said in a brief statement.

"Barbara and John have made exceptional contributions to UNRWA's work under the most difficult circumstances: their commitment to ensuring the quality of UNRWA services has been extraordinary," he said.

Neither Shenstone nor Ging could immediately be reached for comment. UNRWA officials in Ramallah said the international agency would release a statement explaining why the two officials resigned.

A former Irish army captain, Ging was on the ground during Israel's Cast Lead operation and oversaw a huge network of services for the three-quarters of Gazans exiled from the land that became Israel in 1948.

While the UN agency's secular programming has irked Islamists and sparked more than one assassination attempt -- UNRWA recently increased Ging's security, according to press reports -- he is popular in Gaza. This is in part due to his insistence that relief not be the only answer to the Palestinian question.

"We can't be satisfied with just providing humanitarian assistance," Ging told Ma'an in December. Justice, he says, "has to be the top priority: the restoration of Palestinians' fundamental human rights, all of them."

Abu Hasna, the Gaza spokesman, said UNRWA's operations developed "unprecedentedly" under Ging's leadership since he began in February 2006, especially in the fields of education and health.

"John Ging worked day and night to help the poor people of Gaza. He abandoned his private life, and even his days off for that. He never spared any effort to defend Palestinian refugees and their rights."

Absent from the UNRWA official's remarks was praise for Shenstone, whose refusal to negotiate with the UNRWA workers union prolonged a strike that shut down services across the West Bank.

She had described the workers' demands as "absurd," refusing to discuss paying UNRWA employees for "wages they didn't receive the last time they went on strike ... we're not willing to do that."

In a November editorial, Ma'an's chief editor called on Shenstone to resign over her handling of the crisis.

"While Shenstone has all the credentials of a good leader, she lacks wise management skills. This became apparent as we watched her react to the workers on strike," Nasser Laham wrote.
 
 

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