GOP Leader Works To Cut Off UN Funding

One Republican lawmaker believes the United States should never fund the UNRWA ever again.

This week, Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced the “Stop Support United Nations Relief and Works Agency Act of 2024,” a bill that would cut off all funding from America to the embattled United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

This comes after allegations that some of the members of the UN agency helped to funnel millions of dollars in aid that was supposed to help Palestinians who live in Gaza to the terrorist organization Hamas.

If Smith’s bill were to be passed, the U.S. would be permanently banned from making either involuntary or voluntary contributions to UNRWA, any related entity or successor entity. It also would ban the U.S. from supporting the United Nations’ regular budget if it were to support UNRWA at all.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid has been sent from the U.S. to UNRWA during the Biden administration. His successor, former President Donald Trump, actually cut off funding to the group completely.

The White House has said that UNRWA is meant to give humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza who need it, while critics say that the group is “effectively a branch of Hamas.”

In the last few weeks, Israel gave top Biden administration officials a dossier with information pertaining to how UNRWA staffers supported or assisted the terror attacks that Hamas carried out against Israel on October 7. More than 1,200 people were killed during those attacks, and hundreds more were taken hostage.

Last week, the White House said it would temporarily pause any “additional” aid to the UN group due to the information contained in the dossier. Other countries who are boycotting in a similar way include Switzerland, Netherlands, Finland, Australia, Italy and Germany.

The United Nations responded swiftly as well, terminating multiple staffers who were accused of being part of the ties to Hamas.

While all this is going on, John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said that the public shouldn’t yet write off the humanitarian efforts that UNRWA has undertaken.

As he explained:

“You’ve got 13,000 UNRWA employees. You have 13,000 of them in Gaza alone, and as I said last week, let’s not impugn the good work of a whole agency because of the potential bad actions here by a small number.”

Long before Hamas carried out its attack, UNRWA has been heavily scrutinized by critics, many of whom say they haven’t done nearly enough to prevent the aid that’s given to them from getting into the hands of terrorists.

It’s being alleged that various UNRWA locations were home to Hamas activities, and some helped to spread propaganda on behalf of Hamas in schools.

A report from UN Watch that was released earlier this year said UNRWA schools were complicit in teaching young students to glorify terrorism and hate Jewish people.