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June 28, 2005

AP Forgetful on UNRWA

AP's Edith M. Lederer reported today on the appointment of a new commissioner-general for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

Of the 518 words about the changing of the guard at UNRWA, not one mentions the controversy surrounding the organization and its former chief, Peter Hansen.

This might not come as a complete surprise, considering the AP has covered up for Hansen in the past. Still, the discord over UNRWA is no secret to the media. Even the AP has in the past noted that "Israel has long accused UNRWA of anti-Israel bias."

Such context is relevant to Lederer's story, and wouldn't be so difficult to provide. The AP, for example, could look to the Washington Times for guidance, as that newspaper's coverage of the UNRWA appointment conveyed the important background information with one sentence:

Mr. Hansen, the departing director, was accused by the Israeli government of condoning the hiring of Islamic militants for U.N.-funded jobs, permitting schools to preach intolerance for the Jewish state and allowing UNRWA ambulances to be used to transport fighters and weapons across checkpoints.

(AP story currently unavailable online)

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Former UNRWA cheif Peter Hansen

Posted by GI at June 28, 2005 09:50 PM

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