U.S. States Call for Defunding of Hamas-Linked U.N. Agency

Twenty-four U.S. states sent a letter to congressional leaders, demanding that a United Nations (U.N.) agency with links to Hamas be defunded.

The letter, led by Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, urged House and Senate leaders to “stop funding antisemitic education efforts run by the United Nations body tied to terror organization Hamas.”

“While the United States suspended UNRWA’s funding in January, it is time to make that permanent—unless UNRWA engages in serious and clear reform,” the attorney generals wrote. “A recent UN-ordered investigation found that the situation is as bad as the States had predicted. That investigation found that UNRWA textbooks included antisemitic content and that UNRWA staff were violating the UN principle of neutrality with their social media posts.”

“We would never tolerate American tax dollars being used to teach antisemitic hate here at home—and we should hold foreign organizations we support to the same standard,” they asserted. “Congress should take this opportunity and moment of moral clarity to say enough is enough and stop funding UNRWA for good.”

The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Iowa, South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Attorney General Bird said in a statement, “UNRWA has become a taxpayer-funded welfare program for terrorists.”

“There is no excuse to pay a single cent more in taxpayer dollars to an organization that employs terrorists and fuels antisemitic hate,” she emphasized. “President Trump had it right when he cut funding to UNRWA in 2018. We are calling on Congress to immediately and permanently defund UNRWA.”

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, intelligence shared with the United States uncovered that an estimated 49% of UNRWA employees had “close relatives” connected to “militant groups, especially Hamas.”

Twenty-three percent of UNRWA’s male employees were also tied to Hamas, the outlet noted.

A 2023 report from U.N. Watch and IMPACT alleged that schools operated by UNRWA endorse violence.

An Islamic education exam asks students whether the statement, “Liberating the Al-Aqsa Mosque and making sacrifices for it is an obligation for all Muslims” is true or false. The answer is “true,” according to the document.

“Moreover, according to UNRWA in this exam, violence and martyrdom to ‘liberate’ Al-Aqsa are obligatory not only for Palestinians, but also for ‘all Muslims,’ thus using religion to legitimize hatred and violence against Jews and Israelis,” the report explains. “Moreover, according to UNRWA in this exam, violence and martyrdom to ‘liberate’ Al-Aqsa are obligatory not only for Palestinians, but also for ‘all Muslims,’ thus using religion to legitimize hatred and violence against Jews and Israelis.”

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