Part of the trouble with this place…

Take a look at this article, published here:

Look at the headline:

The Children of Shu’fat Camp Rejoice at “Animals” Muppet Show


OK. Now, read the article itself. It’s not so long.

It appears, from careful reading, that this WAFA article was produced entirely on the basis of a press release from UNRWA.

In fact, the original UNRWA press release is posted here — and it’s exact title is:

Children of Shu’fat Camp enjoy animals muppet show

[note that UNRWA prefers to use the word “enjoy].



There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever in this article as written that any correspondent of WAFA — the [yes, official] Palestine News [sic] & Info Agency — was present.

So, how would WAFA be able to know whether the children of Shu’fat [Shoafat] Camp “rejoiced”, or not?
[And, why is “animals” in quotation marks?]

Is this a genuine human interest story — or is it, as seems completely clear, institutional promotion?
[UNRWA, Spanish offices in Jerusalem]?

Why would UNRWA + WAFA be so enthusiastic about the appearance of a Spanish performing troupe?  Is it because any infusion of donor money and interest, however self-serving, must be applauded?

Ah, yes. Here it is, this is exactly what it says in the story below. In the words of the Deputy Consul General of Spain Javier Gutierrez: “It is a good opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the ‘Spanish government and UNRWA since Spanish government is a main partner and donor for UNRWA”.

So, this is the “Thank you”… with, of course, the pat on UNRWA’s own back. The Spanish offices mentioned in the WAFA article [and in the UNRWA press release] gets something nice to show the folks back home in the monthly, quarterly and yearly reports. And, of course, so does UNRWA, as this highlights [entirely on UNRWA’s terms] the “good” work that UNRWA wants you to know it does…

But, it is, certainly, almost unthinkable that UNRWA and/or WAFA [and/or the Spanish Cooperation Bureau] would promote any similar performance by a Palestinian puppet show… More than that, there’s no way a Palestinian puppet troupe would be able to get, easily, funding for its work — certainly never to the same level that this Spanish troupe receives… not from UNRWA, and not from Spain.

And, what can you say about a news agency that does this?

Continue reading Part of the trouble with this place…