United Nations funds were used to delegitimize Jewish people's connection to their homeland, the Simon Wiesenthal Center claims in a letter to UN officials.
In a Nov. 28 letter to United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark, Simon Wiesenthal Center Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels noted an "apparent misuse" of UNDP resources and misrepresentation under the UNDP Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with UN Standards of Conduct in regards to the film "Travel Palestine, Rediscover Your Senses," which was posted last week on YouTube.
The film, according to Samuels, acknowledges that the production was "made possible" with support from the UNDP.
Samuels' letter quoted the Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) as making grants "toward reducing poverty" in both the West Bank and Gaza in excess of $600 million, focusing on water, health care, education, social services and infrastructure.
"The film, however, portrays a 'Palestine' of wealth and luxury for the well-heeled tourist," Samuels wrote. "If the film reflects the truth, then UNDP largesse paid for by the taxpayers of the international community should be reassigned to truly impoverished populations in Africa and Asia."
Samuels' letter continued: "Travel Palestine' is even more offensive as an exercise in identity theft. In depicting the Holy Land as Islamic and, secondarily Christian, it delegitimizes its indigenous Jewish heritage, misrepresents the region's reality and demonstrates threatening intent to a UN member -- the State of Israel."
Samuels urged Clark to "publicly condemn" the film and launch a full inquiry by UN officials, claiming the UNDP-financed video is in violation of claims to provide "impartial and reliable information."
Meanwhile, a new piece of legislation working its way through the Israeli government would place museums on Israeli settlements in the West Bank under Israeli law, the Jerusalem Post reports. The true purpose of the bill, however, according to its author, Minister Uri Ariel of the National Union Party, is to slowly annex the West Bank.