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Press Release

February 9, 2024

Contact: Sarah Stern and Joseph Epstein

(202) 601-7422


EMET Applauds Rep. Chris Smith, (R-NJ), Brian Mast (R-FL), Joe Wilson, (R-SC), and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) as well as the Entire House Foreign Affairs Committee for their Vote to Disband Funding for UNRWA, But is Shocked by the Actions of the Norwegian Nobel Committee

(February 9, 2024, Washington, DC) – On February 6, the Stop Support for UNRWA Act of 2024, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and cosponsored by Brian Mast (R-FL), Joe Wilson, (R-SC), and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) cleared the House Foreign Affairs Committee, setting it up for a House vote. This was after the “UNRWA Exposed: Examining the Agency’s Mission and Failures” Hearing on Tuesday, January 30 that exposed the failures of the agency to deal with its embedded terrorist associations.

Said Smith on the Act: “It is a simple, clean bill that would go a long way to solve a terrible problem: UNRWA, the most corrupt, antisemitic, terror-complicit agency – perhaps ever, and certainly at the United Nations.

Meanwhile, despite the mounting evidence of UNRWA acting as an arm of Hamas, an organization that was responsible for the horrific attacks of October 7, UNRWA and Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, were honored this week by being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This nomination comes after it has been widely exposed by articles in the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, that at least 12 UNRWA workers were involved in the brutal October 7th massacre in which approximately 1200 Israelis were murdered, women were mass raped, and at least 240 men, women and children were kidnapped, and held hostage in their massive underground terrorist network.

EMET is profoundly disappointed that such paltry importance is given to the value of Jewish and Israeli human life by the Nobel Committee. As Hillel Neuer of UN Watch said during the hearing on January 30, at least 10% of the 30,000 workers are members of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other terrorist entities, and we are shocked that the Nobel Committee is seriously considering honoring an entity that so indiscriminately has chosen to work with Hamas, despite its proven brutality. The profound institutional callousness and complicity in terrorism are disturbing from the view of what antisemitism looks like structurally, as in the months since the attack antisemitic incidents have proliferated globally.

125 days since the atrocities of October 7, with over 100 hostages still in captivity in Gaza, care must be taken to ensure that Hamas and any institution associated with it continues to be held accountable, not just for the acts of that day but for its deep-rooted acts of hate that led to being designated as a terrorist organization in the first place.

UNRWA blatantly acting in concert with this terrorist organization should not be excused. The humanitarian crisis can only be solved in the long term, if sustainable governance mechanisms are put in place, ensuring that civilians are not silenced, children are not forced into being soldiers, and the most vulnerable cease from being treated as human shields.

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth

Founded in 2005, EMET is a pro-American, pro-Israel, and pro-human rights, foreign policy think tank and policy shop in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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