As you read last newsletter, I’ve been rather occupied with the new member of our family. We also moved house. It’s been an interesting lockdown. I hope you have been keeping well!

Despite the business, I’ve kept an ear to the ground on Israel issues; mainly though our curated news feed. Some of the main stories are captured below in the briefing and selected recent news. However, there are two items that I wanted to elaborate a little on here.

The first is the ongoing Arab Palestinian terrorism. Two weeks ago Amit Ben-Ygal, a 21 year old Israeli soldier, was murdered by a Palestinian who threw a rock at him. And this week there have been at least two attempted attacks in Jerusalem. As is sadly usual, Hamas and other terror groups praised the “operations”.

The reason I raise ongoing attacks is because we know that many of them are incited by Arab Palestinian leaders. Even the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) expressed concern about the “the existence of hate speech in certain media outlets, especially those controlled by Hamas, social media, public officials’ statements and school curricula and textbooks, which fuels hatred and may incite violence”.

Which brings me to the second issue. Despite our report last year showing that:

  • UNRWA uses the same textbooks that the UN CERD said fuel hatred;
  • UNRWA employs staff who incite violence;
  • UNRWA perpetuates the Arab-Israeli conflict; and
  • UNRWA is inefficient and corrupt;

and despite UK MPs debating their support for UNRWA, New Zealand once again unquestioningly gave UNRWA another $1m this year. This was confirmed to us by MFAT this week. We are waiting for a response to an OIA request to see if any of the issues we raised were discussed or if Minister Peters was briefed about them. If not, there may be reason to bring a judicial review of New Zealand’s support for hate.

I was hoping to emerge from lockdown with better news, but we always knew it would be hard to shift decades of policy that is in the hands of people with some entrenched ideas.

So we will continue to expose the truth and educate. And we do so with your support. Thank you to everyone who has written in and to those who donate. Without you we wouldn’t be able to keep the site running.