Did UN worker’s anti-Israel tweet provoke Mohammed Merah to murder?
MOHAMMED Merah is the man suspected of murdering four Jews – three of them young children – in Toulouse. Mohammed Merah is a 24-year-old French citizen of Algerian extraction, self-declared Islamist warrior and member of the al-Qaeda network, linked to banned Islamist group Forsane Alizza (Knights of Pride), and once arrested in the Afghan city of Kandahar.
Did Mohammed Merah murder Jewish children because little over week earlier, on March 12, UN worker Khulood Badawi posted a photo of a cloodied child on @KhuloodBadawi? Did it play a part in his thinking? (She has since taken it down, later writing: “Correction: I tweeted the photo believing it was from the last round of violence & it turned out to be from 2006.”)
Her original caption read:
Long Live Palestine – Palestine is bleeding – Another child killed by #Israel..Another father carrying his child to the grace in #Gaza.
The child turned out ot one Raja Abu Shaban, who died after a playground accident in Gaza on August 9, 2006.
Khulood Badawi works at OCHA – the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The UN says she works as an Information and Media Coordinator.
When a person in a position of influence uses a false image to illustrate her point, what effect does it have? Does it reaffirm prejudices? Does it inspire acts of righteous violence?
Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor demands action:
“We have before us an OCHA information officer who was directly engaged in spreading misinformation. When the conduct of an OCHA employee so grossly deviates from the organization’s responsibility to remain impartial, the integrity of the entire organization is eroded. The credibility of OCHA is already seriously in doubt among the Israeli public. This is why immediate action in this case is necessary.”
Prosor says Khulood Badawi “actively engaged in the demonization of Israel, a member state of the United Nations. Such actions contribute to incitement, conflict and, ultimately, violence.”
“Ms. Badawi stands in complete violation of articles 100 and 101 of the UN Charter.”
The UN states:
In the performance of their duties the Secretary-General and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other authority external to the Organization. They shall refrain from any action which might reflect on their position as international officials responsible only to the Organization. Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and the staff and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities.
The staff shall be appointed by the Secretary-General under regulations established by the General Assembly. Appropriate staffs shall be permanently assigned to the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, and, as required, to other organs of the United Nations. These staffs shall form a part of the Secretariat. The paramount consideration in the employment of the staff and in the determination of the conditions of service shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Due regard shall be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible.
The UN likes to big itself up as the bastion of honest brokering and human rights. But is it? Does Khulood Badawi and her position inflame passions. Did the UN workers tweet lead to murder?
Claude Guéant, the France Interior Minister, says:
“He [Merah]is talking a lot and he is very explicit about his reasons for attacking the school and says it was to avenge Palestinian children.”
Police officers gather at the site of a shooting in Toulouse, southwestern France, Monday, March 19, 2012. A father and his two sons were among four people who died Monday when a gunman opened fire in front of a Jewish school in a city in southwest France, the Toulouse prosecutor said Monday. (AP Photo/Bruno Martin)