There is no such thing as an “international” organization in Gaza. There is only international funding. Once you understand that, you can see the conflict much more clearly. Once in Gaza, everything is an adjunct of Hamas.

Shocked to see a recent AP and CNN freelance journalist taking a selfie while being kissed by Hamas’s Oct. 7 mastermind Yahya Sinwar? Surprised that reporters’ dispatches are censored by Hamas first? Don’t be—just follow the rule that everything in Gaza is subordinated to Hamas regardless of how, when, or why it got there in the first place.

Same goes for an Israeli hostage’s revelation that he was held by a UN schoolteacher, or that UNRWA schools double as weapons depots, or that food and relief supplies make their way directly to Hamas not for distribution but for hoarding or tunnel-building.

The key to this whole enterprise turns out to be very simple: Just keep moving the same “Western officials” around Gaza like pieces on a chessboard. What looks like a massive gathering of NGO do-gooders is in reality a Hamas masquerade ball.

The funders and feeders and enablers of this charade are surprisingly up-front about it.

Robert Mardini’s term as the director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross is coming to an end. The Red Cross excitedly announced its new director will be Pierre Krahenbuhl.

Who is Pierre Krahenbuhl? A symbol of everything that is wrong with the world’s enabling of Gaza’s misery.

This is a promotion for Krahenbuhl, who has been back with the ICRC for a few years now. He spent a long stretch with the Red Cross prior to 2014. That’s when he was appointed commissioner of UNRWA.

Not coincidentally, it was a watershed year for the organization. Hamas instigated a war that summer by kidnapping and murdering Israelis (sound familiar?). In the middle of that war, UNRWA officials were shocked—shocked!—to find Hamas rockets in one of its schools. Officials condemned it as an aberration.

But it was only the beginning. A few days later, it happened again. And then again. After one of the “discoveries,” the rockets were handed over to “local authorities.” That is, Hamas.

It is by now unremarkable to find that UN schools are actually weapons depots. A few years later, UN officials started discovering Hamas tunnels underneath their schools. Krahenbuhl’s UNRWA years were of a time of much discovery and wonder.

Unfortunately they were also a time of scandal. An internal investigation found credible claims of mismanagement and Krahenbuhl stepped down in 2019. After the dust settled, the ICRC took him back, and here we are.

At the ICRC, Krahenbuhl will work with Red Cross President Mirjana Spoljaric. Two years before Krahenbuhl joined UNRWA, Spoljaric was ending her tour there.

The revolving door between UNRWA and the Red Cross—both its president and director are now alumni of UNRWA—isn’t limited to the top jobs, either. On Twitter, a hawkeyed Israeli-American noticed that UNRWA commissioner Philippe Lazzarini had previously worked for the ICRC in Gaza, and found a few other such connections lower on the totem pole.

UNRWA operates nearly 300 schools in Gaza alone. Its textbooks are famously full of incitement against Jews. When the head of an Israeli education nonprofit visited one such school and asked the children what they learned, the students responded: “They teach us that the Zionists are our enemy and we must fight them,” and: “They teach us that [Jews] are bad people. They killed our young.” Haaretz’s Ronny Linder recently pointed out that education makes up the bulk of UNRWA’s spending in Gaza. And UNRWA teachers have been taking to Telegram to celebrate Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

It’s no wonder, then, that the Red Cross has been such a mammoth disappointment during this conflict, ignoring the Israeli hostages for long stretches and helping Hamas cover up its use of hospitals for war crimes.

But the ICRC and UNRWA have two different reputations to manage. UNRWA is known for its rancid anti-Semitism, its self-sustaining system of funding patronage jobs by keeping Palestinians in refugee status, and its role as Hamas’s education ministry. That the Red Cross seems to be going down this same road is a genuine shame. UNRWA may be an irredeemable bastion of violence and hate, but the Red Cross is more than a subagency of Hamas. Or at least, it was.

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