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Joint Subcommittee Hearing 

U.S. House of Representatives 

Washington, DC 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024 

The Subcommi,ee on Oversight and Accountability and Subcommi,ee  on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations 

Subject: “UNRWA Exposed: Examining the Agency’s Mission and  Failures” 

Dear Distinguished Subcommi,ee Members, 

I would like to take this opportunity to submit a statement on behalf of  the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), a leading Jewish Global Human  Rights Activist Organization. As a pediatrician with over three decades  of clinical experience caring for children and young adults, the SWC’s  first Children’s Advocate, and proud ci8zen of the State of New Jersey,  as Chairman Chris Smith is aware, I was one of the first to have called  out UNRWA for child abuse due to their educa8on that encourages  young impressionable Pales8nian students to commit violent acts  against Jews and encourages them to become martyrs. UNRWA has  proven to be not only an Instrument of hate used by Hamas against Jews and Israel. It is also an instrument of hate against the civilized  global community! 

The 8me has come for all to realize that the United Na8ons Relief and  Works Agency’s (UNRWA’s) mandate to provide services to now 5.9  million Palestinian “refugees” descended from the original 700,000 

refugees of 1948 must come to an end. There is ample proof now that  the barbaric terrorists of Hamas have co-opted UNRWA so that they are one and the same. Our US tax dollars should not be used to fund  terrorist organizations that are the sworn enemy of the principles we  hold dear: respect for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, in  the West’s a,empt to assist the Palestinian people, that is exactly what we have been doing. If we want to help create the foundation for a  peaceful and hopeful future for Israeli and Palestinian children, UNRWA  must not be a part of that future.  

UNRWA cleverly perpetuates the conflict that began following Israel’s  War of Independence in 1948. It has done so successfully by uniquely  bestowing refugee status on Pales8nians in perpetuity, by keeping the  Palestinian people in overcrowded refugee camps for generations, by  indoctrinating generation after generation of Palestinian children in a  

belief that they are entitled to return to towns and villages of their  ancestors that no longer exist in order to overtake Israel by sheer numbers if not by a violent overthrow, and by using the generous humanitarian aid provided over the years by Western Democracies to  feather the nest of their terror state. Ironically, it is the very principles  of Western civilization-personal and religious freedoms, tolerance, free  elec8ons-that Hamas and likeminded terrorists seek to destroy.  

The SWC has for years been providing evidence to a high up official in  the office of the Secretary General of the United Na8ons of UNRWA’s  blatant indoctrination of generations of Palestinian school children with  the purpose of radicalizing impressionable minds to commit jihad and  sacrifice their young lives in support of a radical genocidal Islamic ideology that has co-opted this UN organization. For nearly a decade I  have made the claim that this cons8tutes “societal child abuse.” We  warned that the curriculum they were subjected to in UNRWA schools  was a war curriculum.

Tragically, our fears were played out on October 7, 2023. It is no  surprise that many of the perpetrators of Hamas atrocities had been indoctrinated in UNRWA schools. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, The Associate  Dean and Director of Global Social Ac8on for the SWC and the current  chair of the United States Commission on International Religious  Freedom, just a few weeks ago spoke directly with Secretary of State  Blinken about what should be done about UNRWA going forward.  

UNRWA is one of the largest employers of Gazans, second only to  Hamas itself. “According to Kobi Michael, a senior researcher at Tel  Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), “All the workers of  UNRWA in the Gaza Strip—something like 13,000—all of them are  approved by Hamas.”” h,ps://www.jns.org/terrorists-deeply embedded-within-unrwa-staff/ Moreover, UNRWA is mandated in its  charter to implement the policies of the local government, which in the  case of Gaza is Hamas. Thus, UNRWA serves at the pleasure of this extremist Islamist terror organization. 

Now it is 8me to acknowledge reality. In Gaza, UNRWA is Hamas and  Hamas is UNRWA. Since Oct. 7, we have the proof. UNRWA employees  are either members of Hamas or are family and friends of Hamas members as these are coveted jobs. UNRWA schools, hospitals, medical  clinics, and facilities are part of the Hamas terror infrastructure. UNRWA  employees participated in Hamas atrocities. UNRWA aid meant for  civilians is under the control of Hamas terrorists and either stolen by  these terrorists or sold for profit to the suffering Palestinian people.  Just exposed by UN-Watch, three thousand UNRWA employees  celebrated the murder of Jews on Oct. 7 on Telegram.  

h,ps://www.thefp.com/p/the-united-na8ons-terrorism-teachers 

It is appalling that UNRWA employees participated in perpetrating the  most unspeakable crimes against the Jewish people since the 

Holocaust. En8re families living on peaceful kibbutzim butchered in  their beds, babies decapitated, young girls and women gang raped, and  their bodies mu8lated, people burned alive beyond recogni8on,  hundreds of young people slaughtered at a music fes8val, Israelis and  foreigners alike from infants to octogenarians taken hostage, tortured and abused in the most brutal condi8ons to this day, day 116 of hell.  

Hamas is not only the sworn enemy of Israel. Their jihad starts with  Israel but does not end with Israel. MEMRI did a report demonstrating  this using Hamas’s own words: 

“Hamas – the acronym for the movement’s full name, the Islamic Resistance  Movement, in Arabic – is a Sunni Islamist terror organization that is part of the  Muslim Brotherhood. Its goal is the establishment of an independent Palestinian  state in all of Palestine, “from the river to the sea,” by means of uncompromising  jihad. This campaign is regarded as part of the Muslims’ ongoing jihad against the  Jews that will continue until the Judgement Day and will end with the annihilation  of the Jews… 

Hamas also defines itself as part of the Islamic resistance movement whose  ultimate goal is the establishment of a worldwide Islamic caliphate… 

–The liberation of Palestine is a prelude to the establishment of a global Islamic  caliphate. Rome will be conquered by Islam as Constantinople was once  conquered, and then the rest of the world will be overtaken, including America  and Eastern Europe.” https://www.memri.org/reports/ideology-hamas-–- its-own-words 

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz this past weekend stated that Israel  demands the leadership of UNRWA be dismissed, and in Gaza’s  rebuilding, be replaced with agencies dedicated to genuine peace and  development .https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-783945 

We at SWC agree. UNRWA must be dissolved. Not one more cent of  United States Tax Dollars should be given to this terror enabling UN  agency. Third and fourth generation Palestinians must wake up to the  harsh reality that they are not refugees, and instead should be given the 

tools to make a better life for themselves and their families, not at the  expense of their Israeli neighbors who too deserve a better future.  Assistance to Palestinians going forward must be provided by humanitarian organizations that will work to improve conditions on the  ground for Palestinians rather than using the billions of dollars given to  them over the years to build a terror state. Their children must be  educated in schools dedicated to tolerance and peaceful coexistence with  their Israeli neighbors, their schools must be rid of teachers supportive  of terrorist organizations, and the current curriculum must be replaced  with one that does not indoctrinate children into a culture of jihad and  martyrdom such as used in the UAE.  

We make these recommendations not only for the sake of future generations of Israeli and Palestinian children, but for the prevention of  this hateful ideology spreading to our own shores.  

Respectfully Submitted, 

Deborah Soffen MD 

Child Advocate 

Simon Wiesenthal Center 

dsoffen@wiesenthal.com

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