The United Nations last week disciplined an employee who works with Palestinians in disputed territories for her tweet condemning the Iranian regime-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and its “indiscriminate” missile fire into Israel.
The U.N. removed Jerusalem-based Sarah Muscroft from her post as the head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory because she tweeted: “Relieved to see a ceasefire agreed ending hostilities impacting both Palestinians and Israeli civilians. Such indiscriminate rocket fire of Islamic Jihad provoking Israeli retaliation is condemned. The safety of all civilians is paramount—the ceasefire must be upheld.”
Israel’s ambassador to the world body, Gilad Erdan, on Sunday sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres requesting that Muscroft be reinstated.
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“This norm effectively grants the Palestinian players and the local U.N. staff an ‘unwritten veto’ over U.N. statements, and stands in clear contradiction with the basic principles of objectivity and neutrality that the U.N. claims to hold,” wrote Erdan.
Palestinian activists launched a campaign to oust Muscroft, who responded by apologizing and deleting her Twitter account. “One of my previous tweets was ill-informed and I have deleted it” Muscroft wrote, adding “I sincerely apologize for my poor judgment. All civilians—everywhere—must be able to live in peace.”
Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, told Fox News Digital.
“Muscroft’s groveling apology—for having rightly condemned the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization firing 1,100 rockets aimed at Israel—failed to appease the angry mob. The U.N., which is notoriously slow to act in genuine cases of employee misconduct, rushed to delete her Twitter account, and then remove her from the post.”
Fox News Digital asked Muscroft’s employer the reasons for her reassignment and whether she would be reinstated. Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the U.N. office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), said only that she would “be assigned to a new role.”
Laerke continued, “OCHA has been present in the occupied Palestinian territory for the past 20 years, working to help meet humanitarian needs, guided by the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and humanity. Over 2 million people in the occupied Palestinian territory need assistance – they remain our only focus and priority.”
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Neuer noted Muscroft’s case is not without precedent citing an example involving a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) employee. “Likewise, last year UNRWA’s Matthias Schmale said IDF strikes on Hamas were precise. Hamas protested, so UNRWA fired him. UNRWA Deputy Chief Leni Stenseth met with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, ‘affirmed her solidarity’ and called Schmale’s words ‘indefensible.”’
Neuer said “The UN’s message is crystal clear: any official who dares to publicly defy the false narrative of Hamas and Islamic Jihad will be removed.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is based in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip located on the southern border of Israel. The U.S. has classified PIJ and Hamas as foreign terrorist organizations.
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The U.N.’s alleged bias toward the Jewish state was also cited in Erdan’s letter. “We recently witnessed a clear case in which a U.N. official who clearly breached the principles of impartiality and neutrality required from a member of an HRC Commission of Inquiry used clear antisemitic vicious parlance, and yet still maintains his position.”
Israel’s ambassador continued “HRC [Human Rights Council] Commissioner Miloon Kothari’s interview, where he clearly stated that the Jewish lobby controls the social media, should have been met with a firm response that would have led to his resignation,” he said.
Erdan concluded that “While Israel supports constructive engagement with U.N. officials and agencies, we cannot accept such blatant double standards.”
Fox News Digital emailed the spokesperson for the U.N. secretary general for comment on whether Muscroft should be reinstated.