Topic | Choose topic/s and define your search
Affiliations / Personalities
Date Range

It’s all a question of context – and the UN gives none!

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

UN’s OCHA sends out “ALERTS” about house demolitions but leaves out crucial information, creating a false demonizing impression of Israel

The United Nations “Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory” (OCHA oPt) is one of the 22 different UN organizations connected only to the Palestinians working in Israel.

Even if staunch Zionists were to read the two or three weekly distorted and context-lacking updates of OCHA oPt they would begin to question Israel’s legitimacy.

It is OCHA oPt, for example, that constantly harps on about the “Israeli blockade of Gaza” while simultaneously publishing statistics, exposed by Palestinian Media Watch, that show the substantial flow of people and goods from Gaza into Israel and Egypt and from Israel and Egypt into Gaza.

One of OCHA’s activities is to track “Demolitions” of Palestinian structures, built without permits, by the Israeli authorities. On social media, OCHA’s posts are graphic, with a big red banner shouting “ALERT”.

One of those “ALERT”s appeared on OCHA’s Twitter account on May 24, and provided initial information about two alleged demolitions, one of them “in Anab al Kabir #Hebron”:

[Twitter account of OCHA oPt, May 24, 2023]

OCHA systematically fails to provide any context regarding the demolitions, including not noting that the demolition of the structures is a simple function of elementary law enforcement after these structures were built without permits. Although rare, it is actually the Palestinian Authority that sometimes provides the necessary context.

On Feb. 17, 2022, People Magazine reported on the demolition of a "Bel-Air Mega-Mansion" built by “Palestinian”-American real estate developer Mohamed Hadid, father of the self-appointed “Palestinian” model Bella Hadid. Since the mansion was built without the necessary building permits, there was no “ALERT” and no one really batted an eye. That is elementary law enforcement.

[People online, February 17, 2022]

But when OCHA reports on an Israeli demolition, one immediately conjures images of some hard-done-by Palestinian losing the only rickety shack that provided him and his family comfort and respite from the elements. One certainly does not expect to see a huge mansion, landscaped gardens, and a pool to boot.

So imagine the surprise, when in parallel to the dramatic OCHA “ALERT” of a “demolition” in Anab Al-Kabir (see above), which is in the South Hebron hills, the PA official news agency, WAFA, published pictures of the structure it claims was destroyed on May 24:

[Twitter account of WAFA, May 24, 2023]

Unfortunately, the distorted, context-lacking OCHA reports carry considerable weight and are an integral part of demonizing Israel while simultaneously promoting the Palestinian narrative.

But truth be told, similar to any other place in the world, if someone randomly decides to build a structure without the necessary building permits, that structure will most probably be demolished.