Monday, March 22, 2010

UNICEF Supports Anti-Israel Boycott and Anti-American Ad

As a child, I would sometimes proudly forgo trick-or-treating for candy on Halloween, in order to trick-or-treat for donations to the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). In those days, UNICEF was known for providing food, clothing and medical care for the world's impoverished children.

That was then, this is now. Palestinian Media Watch reports that UNICEF money was used by PYALARA (Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation), a Palestinian Authority youth organization, to pay for Arabic-language advertising supporting an anti-Israel boycott. The UNICEF logo appears right on the advertisement. The reader will note the anti-U.S. aspects of the ad as well--the ax is splitting a Star of David which is lined with the Stars and Stripes. On the ax that splits the Star of David is the Arabic word for "Boycott." The ad calls for Palestinian youth to watch a television program calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. The program producers acknowledge during the program that the boycott is illegal because the Palestinian Authority is party to a number of agreements with Israel that prohibit advocacy of an anti-Israel boycott; however, this official Palestinian Authority organization nonetheless urges all Palestinian youth to observe a total boycott of Israeli goods.

This is just one of many examples of how U.N. resources are used to sponsor official anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda by the Palestinian Authority. We breathlessly await the strong condemnations of incitement that no doubt will follow from the U.N. Secretary General and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Perhaps we will also hear condemnation from Vice President Joe Biden, who was personally insulted when an Israeli housing agency announced an approval of the construction of new apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem during his recent visit to Israel, but expressed no concern that his visit coincided with the Palestinian Authority naming a town square after a terrorist who killed 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children.

3/23/10 Update: To its credit (although probably motivated by the political embarrassment), UNICEF issued the following statement:


NEW YORK, NY; MARCH 23, 2010-UNICEF does not endorse the use of violent imagery and abhors the inappropriate use of its logo to suggest otherwise. The use of violence runs counter to UN values and principles.

UNICEF was not consulted by PYALARA about the use of its logo in a poster announcing a youth broadcast and it condemns the use of its logo to imply endorsement of political opinions. Neither the poster nor the television program it advertises reflect UNICEF's policies or its views. UNICEF's partnership agreement with PYALARA ended in January 2010.

As soon as this incorrect use of the logo came to its attention, UNICEF contacted PYALARA to demand an explanation and to seek rectification. UNICEF has also demanded clarification as to the actual process and context in which the logo was used.

UNICEF's policy is clear on the use of its logo. Standard agreements with partners require prior approval in writing for the use of the UNICEF brand. PYALARA did not follow this process and UNICEF approval was not sought or granted.

PYALARA has since presented its apologies to UNICEF and has given us assurances that it will conduct an enquiry to avoid similar incidents from occurring.

Prior to this, UNICEF had worked with PYALARA from 2000 to provide children and young people with a forum to voice their ideas and reach out to their peers. UNICEF's support was for media training, video documentation and peer-to-peer counseling, both in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

Until this year, UNICEF provided approximately US$100,000 a year to PYALARA. In light of the latest development, UNICEF will be carefully reviewing any proposed future partnerships with PYALARA."


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