ZOA Praised House & Senate Stopping Aid to UNRWA, Commission of Inquiry Against Israel & UN Funding Now Screened for Anti-Israel Bias
Press Release
March 25, 2024

ZOA Proud of Its Role In These Important Achievements

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly praises the House and Senate for agreeing to continue the ban on American taxpayer funding of UNRWA according to the text of the appropriations bills signed into law on Saturday. The legislation to fund the State and Defense Departments will include a ban on contributions to UNRWA, the UN agency founded in 1949 to help Arab refugees from Israel’s War of Independence, which has now morphed into a corrupt institution that is controlled directly by Hamas terrorists. The legislation will ban the U.S. aid through March of 2025. In addition, funding for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry (COI) against Israel will be prohibited for FY 2024. Finally, the bill requires conditions on all funds to the United Nations, to prevent anti-Israel bias, enforce transparency, and require vetting of recipients for connections to terrorism.

ZOA has worked closely with both Senators and Representatives to achieve this long-term cut off of funds to UNRWA. Israel presented evidence as a result of intelligence gained during the Gaza war that 12 terrorists on October 7th were employees of UNRWA, plus about 10 % of all UNRWA employees have links to terrorist groups. The Biden administration has correctly ended U. S. taxpayer funding for the organization, but that measure was reversible by the President at any time. Now that the Appropriations Act has been signed into law, UNRWA will not receive any U.S. funds until a new authorization is passed in the next fiscal year.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein reacted to the news:

“UNRWA has for years run schools and training camps where Hamas members and other terrorists teach Arab students to hate and violently attack Jews. The October 7th atrocities were a natural result of this corrupt organization’s indoctrination of young Arabs to hate, kill and rape Jews. The schools run by UNRWA were doubly evil, teaching false history to the children so they could grow up to be terrorists, and also as we now know being storehouses for weapons to attack Israel as well as safe places from which to launch missiles. ZOA is also pleased to see no United States contributions for the biased COI which outrageously focused only on imagined human rights abuses by Israel. ZOA was the only major Jewish Organization to call for funding cuts to the UN to address the COI, and we feel vindicated that this is the result instead of another report by the Secretary of State which would have simply documented the atrocious UN proceedings while allowing it to continue at full funding.

“The actual involvement of UNRWA employees in the terrorist activities of Islamic Jihad and Hamas has proved what ZOA has been saying for a long time – terrorism is an integral part of the UNRWA paradigm. ZOA urges the international community to end UNRWA completely and fold in the small number of Arab refugees into the functions of other UN organizations that are not tainted by connections to terrorism. It should not be forgotten that Fatah, the biggest faction in the Palestinian Authority, is also heavily interconnected with UNRWA and involved in terrorism as well. UNRWA must be ended, and all terrorists groups involved in the atrocities must be eradicated.”

ZOA Director of Government Relations Dan Pollak said:

“This excellent outcome is the direct result of the efforts of Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee State & Foreign Operations subcommittee and Rep. Kate Granger, Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee. Several Senators also contributed to this outcome. ZOA is proud of the role we played, even before October 7th, in educating members of congress on the actual facts involving UNRWA. In this regard, Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) held hearings on the pathology of UNRWA. Numerous GOP senators also pushed for this result, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR). On the democratic side of the aisle, special notice should be given to Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) who were outspoken on this issue. The appropriations committees did their job on this, but other challenges remain when it comes to the UN in particular. These funding restrictions should establish a new way of holding international organizations accountable for Israel-hating activities.”

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