On November 15, the National Jewish Assembly brought together two distinguished voices to shed light on critical issues surrounding Israel and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). HonestReporting’s Executive Director, Gil Hoffman, and UN Watch’s Legal Adviser, Dina Rovner, shared their expertise and insights with 129 guests comprised of NJA members and the wider communityy via Zoom.
Hoffman delved into the crucial role that media plays in shaping public perception of Israel. He highlighted the alarming distortion and misinformation often prevalent in media coverage. Hoffman emphasised the need for accuracy and fairness in reporting on Israel and Palestine, stressing that unbiased journalism is essential for a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues involved.
In his presentation, Hoffman also explored the international law implications of Hamas using civilian infrastructure such as hospitals as terror sites. He illuminated how this dangerous tactic not only endangers Israeli civilians but also makes civilian infrastructure a legal and valid military target as a consequence.
Rovner provided a critical and damning perspective on UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Rovner revealed deeply troubling insights about UNRWA staff celebrating Hamas’s massacre of Israeli civilians on October 7, 2023, through their social media platforms. This disturbing revelation raised questions about the agency’s commitment to its mandate and its impartiality.
Rovner discussed how taxpayer dollars contribute to UNRWA, an organisation that fails in its mandate, lacks independence, and is complicit in perpetuating antisemitism in Gaza by teaching children hate and violence. Her presentation underscored the need for transparency, accountability, and major reform.
The National Jewish Assembly extends its gratitude to Hoffman and Dina for their enlightening discussions. These conversations contribute to a more informed and nuanced understanding of the challenges facing Israel and the need for responsible and accountable international institutions.