Okay, I couldn’t resist the pun. But for those who didn’t get it, guess which notorious and wildly corrupt international organization largely funded by US dollars has been using said dollars to make and distribute swag in Gaza saying “Today Gaza, Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem”! (Hint: despite what is no doubt your initial assumption, it is not the cast of “The Real World Khan Younis”).

Give up? It’s the United Nations!

That’s right, you heard right, thanks to the generous outlay of the United Nations Development Program, interested parties can get their hands on the wildly popular bumper stickers, T-shirts, mugs and banners. The slogan and campaign are the brainchild of the Palestinian Authority (apparently they had never heard of CafePress), who after a brief and unconvincing period of restraint decided to claim responsibility for Israeli disengagement with all the subtlety, diplomacy and skill of a 14 year old losing his virginity.

The U.N. support of the Palestinian Authority’s propaganda operation in the midst of the Israeli evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip has provoked outrage from Israeli and Jewish leaders, who are blaming Turtle Bay for propagating an inflammatory message that they say encourages Palestinian Arab violence.

“The intifada worked. That’s contextually what this message is saying,” the director of U.N. affairs for the Washington-based Jewish organization B’nai Brith, Amy Goldstein, said.

The Arabic slogan, which refers to disputed territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, has become ubiquitous in Gaza, where Israeli soldiers this week are evacuating 21 settlements. It’s served as the central message of a Palestinian Arab effort to spin the withdrawal as a victory.

A special representative of the United Nations Development Program in the Gaza Strip, Timothy Rothermel, told Fox News that his office provided financial support for the production of materials that make up the Palestinian Authority’s propaganda campaign, timed to coincide with the Gaza pullout. The Palestinian Authority’s withdrawal committee developed and produced the posters and other items using U.N. money, Mr. Rothermel said.

In addition to the slogan “Today Gaza and Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem,” many of the materials displayed the logo of the United Nations Development Program, which operates in 166 countries and spends about half a billion dollars a year.

Rothermel, his words muffled as his tongue repeatedly caressed the bottoms of Mahmoud Abbas’s cheap wingtips, added:

“[The message is] consistent with the relevant U.N. resolutions and Security Council resolutions about the status of Palestine.”

Of course, Timothy Rothermel is only a “Special Representative,” which makes him a relative underling in the UN hierarchy and slightly below krill in the hierarchy of general worth. The big guns at the UN have (here’s a surprise) denied responsibility:

UNDP officials at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, however, denied that money from the program went directly to the propaganda campaign.

A UNDP spokesman, William Orme, said his office gave money to the Palestinian Withdrawal Committee to “help the Palestinian Authority communicate to the populace about the withdrawal and its economic and social impact.”

The money was funneled to the committee through a subagency called Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People. U.N. officials were not told about the propaganda campaign or about the slogan, he said.

Mr. Orme, who said his office was investigating the details of the letter, refused to say whether the United Nations stands behind the slogan printed on the propaganda materials.

He said: “We are emphatically neutral …We do not lend ourselves to political messaging in favor of any particular faction or ideology.”

Orme continued: “I mean, we’re the fuckin’ UN! We have billions of dollars coursing through our mighty accounts! How do you expect we, who are so occupied with being emphatically neutral, to keep track of who we give our money to and what they use it for? Our job is not to regulate the flow of money to worthy programs and organizations that perform beneficial work, it is to prop up dictatorships and terrorist banana republics so they can serve on our Human Rights Council!”

Fortunately for Mr. Orme, I am certain his goal of “communicating to the populace about the withdrawal and its social and economic impact” has been achieved. Whereas before it was only a sneaking suspicion, the Palestinians are now utterly convinced that the world will basically throw money at them indefinitely for anything they want. The UNDP is currently in the process of approving several Palestinian requests for aid, ranging from a Hamas request for “international funds for the pursuit of peaceful research in the Palestinian national science of the propulsion, stabilization and range increase of celebratory fireworks, especially the heat-seeking kind” and a request from PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei for “beer and hookers.”

Aren’t you glad that we are all under the watchful eye of such a transparent, benevolent and effective global organization? I know I am.

(hat tip: Randy)

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michael

20 Comments

  • Ok, I have to say I don’t see a lot to get angry with the UN about here. Seriously, what really happened?
    The UNDP gave money to the PA who funneled it into a propoganda operation. The PA F’d up, big surprise there, according to Al-Jazeera they are spending 10 million US to celebrate the withdrawal, what’s adding mismanaging some UN funds to the list? I just don’t think you can stick this one on the UN except to say that the UNDP on the ground in Palestine should have been more careful to see the money was used for what it’s supposed to be used for.
    It’s more frustrating to me that the PA isn’t taking care of the needs of the Palestinian people, but instead going on a propoganda spree.

  • Elon: It seems to me that the UN is careful about what it’s money is used for. The propaganda campaign, as Mr Rothermel aptly put explained, is not an aberration of the organisation’s purposes. So i’d say there’s alot to be angry with the UN over: It’s a two faced; neutral in principal and biased in practise. Is there anything more repugnant than such cowardice: The UN is clearly biased; if only they’d comeout with it already, the neautrality talk is getting old!!
    10 million US to celebrate the withdrawal?!! The PLO really has its priorities in order!!

  • No one ever said they had their priorities straight………either the Palestinians OR the UN. What function does the UN actually serve anyway? They are totally corrupt, biased and a waste of space….. How does one go about ending the whole UN thing?

  • Yup Elon and TM we told you so. You are surprised the the PA is for destoying Israel? You are surprised the ‘world’ is against Israel?

    Some of us stop being surprised after the 100th time.
    Others like you are pretty slow and are forever surprised…

  • Um Joe, where have I ever said the PA doesn’t want to destroy Israel? Of course they do. Nobody here is surprised and all the celebrations were anticipated. Let them celebrate. Big deal.

  • I see so you KNOW that they want to destroy Israel and I presume KNOW that they will bomb and kill in the future.

    But you still say that the ‘peace process’ can work.

    You support innocent Jews having to give up their homes to murderers who you KNOW wnat to destroy Israel.

    You think it is ‘immoral’ to want to remove those who you KNOW want to destroy Israel from Israel.

    Ahh now I understand…
    …why speaking to you is a waste of time…
    you clearly have lost most of your marbles…

  • Joe- I’ve never been on to stick up for the PA, especially under Arafat.

    Judi- I don’t know where you are getting your info, but propoganda campaigns against member states are indeed aberrations of the UN and furthermore the UNDP’s mission.

    Fine, you can be upset in general, in terms of Israel i would agree it does not have the most wonderful record except that the UN basically guaranteed Israel’s the right to exist. From the constant GA and SC resolutions to calling Zionism racism, it’s fair to say that they aren’t hiding their bias..as far as i know the PA or PLO have never received a resolution condemning their behavior. On the other hand, let’s be real…Israel has violated International law, period and they are a UN member state, Palestine is not…it’s not even a state, so naturally the UN isn’t able to hold it to quite the same standard. However, i still think that in the situation the article is talking about the UNDP is not particularily to blame, but they SHOULD be the first ones to get all up in the PAs lunch about this.

    In closing, the UN isn’t perfect. Far from it. But let’s not be too myopic about this either…the UN’s goal in this world is not to lead to the destruction of Israel…it does many things in many places outside of the Isreal and furthermore outside of the Middle East, some good things.

  • Elon: Where am i getting my info? Why, right here. An aberration is indefensible, but Timothy Rothermel says that the message is justifiable under UN policy. The logical conclusion is that, either, campaigns against some member states are excusable, or that the UN doesn’t have its policies straight.
    The UN basically guaranteed Israel’s the right to exist, as they should have anyway! It’s no special achievement to do what one should; it warrants no accolades.
    Israel has violated International law! Is it consistent with international law for states or groups to commit acts of terror? If it is, why then is al queda roundly condemed?
    I deny not that Israel has at times violated International law; that makes it member of a motley club.But i digress. The palestinians are not held to the same standard as Israel; but are they held to any standard at all? Is any country held to the same standard as Israel? Am not advocating that the UN be scrapped, if only, because i can’t think of a better alternative; and not for a lack of trying either! But the UN is imperfect, to put it charitably, and it’s not enough to simply acknowledge that!

  • Let’s leave aside the question of the UN’s position in this. I just want to know: what is so outrageous about the Palestinians aspiring for Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem? That’s still smaller than the boundaries that Israel would be left with, isn’t it? And wouldn’t any less be an invitation to permanent intifada? Yes, I know – it’s all a ruse, they’ll drive Israel into the sea… But in the long run, I don’t see how Israel could afford not to call them on such a reasonable bluff. They’ll get what they want, along with some kind of compensation for the “right of return.” After that, additional grievances will seem petty and any violent Arab incursion will be met by justified force. Why is such a position seen by so many as an insane concession?

  • Joe,

    How about a reasoned response, instead of inflammatory snottiness? My question was not rhetorical.

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