UNRWA responds to PMW report on sporting event
named after suicide bomber Idris
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
UNRWA has responded to the PMW bulletin about the Palestinian football tournament named after Wafa Idris, the first female suicide bomber. UNRWA states that it is not involved in and accepts no responsibility for the tournament named after the suicide bomber in the Al-Amari youth center.
PMW cited the website which writes:
"Al-Amari youth center was established in 1953. Since its creation the center has been a subsidiary to the UNRWA youth club centers system. The center is located at Al-Amari refugee camp within Ramallah & Al-Bireh Municipality area."
PMW showed the website logo:
The Al-Amari youth center's logo includes the word "UNRWA" near the top and center on the same page and just above the announcement where the Wafa Idris tournament is announced.
UNRWA statement about this use of UNRWA's name by the youth center:
Statement by UNRWA Spokesman, Chris Gunness
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA firmly rejects allegations made by Palestinian Media Watch that an "UNRWA youth center" named an event after a suicide bomber. The false accusation comes in an article posted by Palestinian Media Watch director, Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik.
The allegation that an UNRWA youth center had named an event after a suicide bomber is patently false as UNRWA has not run youth centers in the West Bank for over ten years.
By phone UNRWA spokesman told PMW that the use of the name "UNRWA" by the Al-Amari youth center in its logo was not authorized by UNRWA.
PMW response to UNRWA:
The Palestinian Authority has a long history of glorifying terrorists and presenting them as role models for children. PMW has documented this ongoing policy of the PA to name sporting events, summer camps, buildings and more, after terrorists. This football tournament named after suicide bomber Wafa Idris is just one more example.
PMW is very disappointed that UNRWA is condemning the messenger PMW and not condemning the Al-Amari Youth Center. UNRWA should be condemning the youth center, first and foremost, for sponsoring a football tournament named after a suicide terrorist. This was not mentioned in UNRWA's announcement at all.
Second, UNRWA should condemn the youth center for unauthorized use of the name UNRWA in their logo.
Third, UNRWA should condemn the youth center for publicizing on the internet a connection to UNRWA that no longer exists.
PMW believes that it is important that UNRWA, which is so actively involved in so many aspects of Palestinian life, take an active role in fighting against this culture of hate and terror glorification promoted by the PA. UNRWA acts irresponsibly when releasing the above statement related to a football tournament named after a suicide bomber to which UNRWA's name was connected by the Palestinian center, without a word of condemnation of the naming of the event after the suicide bomber.
PMW is waiting for UNRWA to issue the appropriate condemnation of the event as soon as possible.