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(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

Israeli celebrity who called on Facebook for Palestinian children to “suffer” quits UNICEF post

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Judy Mozes Nir Shalom (source)

(Chom / Wikimedia Commons)

Israeli TV personality Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes has quit as Chair of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF after just months, stating that UNICEF officials wanted to vet her Facebook postings which notoriously included expressing a desire for Palestinian children to “suffer.”

Shalom Nir-Mozes, who is also wife of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, has claimed that Palestinians “have it as part of their DNA to hate us” and publicly urged against a ceasefire during Israel’s November assault on Gaza which killed more than 170 people including three dozen children.

Over several months, Israeli activist Ari Remez organized a Facebook group with more than 200 members whose Hebrew name translates as “Sack Judy from UNICEF” to document, translate and inform UNICEF affiliates around the world of Shalom Nir-Mozes’ hate speech. Remez also used his Twitter feed (@AriRemez) to document Shalom Nir-Mozes’ inflammatory postings.

Earlier this month the Middle East Children’s Alliance issued an action alert urging people to demand that UNICEF remove Shalom Nir-Mozes because of her hateful statements.

UNICEF, which exists to promote the rights and well-being of children, had previously distanced itself from Shalom Nir-Mozes, stating that her lengthy compendium of violent and racist statements “do not reflect the views of UNICEF.” The Israeli Fund for UNICEF is an Israeli nongovernmental organization that raises money for UNICEF and collaborates with the UN body.

Enhancing the prestige of Israel

On Wednesday, Shalom Nir-Mozes announced on her Facebook page that she had quit, bristling at various strictures.

Shalom Nir-Mozes said she had originally accepted the invitation to head the Israeli Fund for UNICEF so she “could contribute even more to the welfare of children in Israel and around the whole world, and to enhance the prestige of Israel around the world.

Trouble with her Facebook posts

But she felt let down by UNICEF as she explained in her statement:

I was sorry to discover very quickly that this was not how things were. UNICEF is a wondrous organization with a very important agenda, but by force of being an institution affiliated with the UN, it put in place bureaucratic, political, and other obstacles that prevented me from promoting the goals I set for myself upon entering the position. It started with my visit to Sderot, when I organized the donation of thousands of toys and treats for the children of the bombarded South during the recent military confrontation.

The organization was entirely unwilling to allow its name to be involved in this move, for political and diplomatic reasons. They also asked me to have my activities vetted by the UNICEF branch in East Jerusalem. It continued when I was asked to let the organization vet the Facebook entries in which I express my views about various issues. The climax was when I heard that in contrast with the rest of the world, where the organization is called UNICEF Colombia or UNICEF Spain, as the case may be, in Israel the organization wanted to call itself The Israeli Fund for UNICEF.

Shalom Nir-Mozes’ full statement, translated by Dena Shunra, is below.

Apparently adhering to the non-political nature of UNICEF and not making statements about how you want some children to suffer, was simply too much of an imposition on a woman – who by her own account – has dedicated her life to the needy.

UNICEF responds

UNICEF Spokesman Peter Smerdon emailed The Electronic Intifada in response to an inquiry:

We understand that Ms. Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes has tendered her resignation as Honorary Chair of the Annual General Assembly of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF [IFU]. We respect the decision made between the IFU and of Ms Shalom Nir-Mozes. Specific enquiries relating to the resignation of Ms. Shalom Nir-Mozes should be addressed to the Board of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF, a legally independent, non-governmental organization.

Statement by Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes

Facebook status posted on 19 December 2012

About two months ago I, was appointed to head the Israeli branch of UNICEF, an organization affiliated with the U.N., whose goal it is to help the children in the world whose life circumstances have brought upon them misery and difficulties.

Many people were surprised that I accepted the organization’s request to lead it, as anyone who knows me, knows that being direct and forthright is part of who I am, and that when something disturbs or touches me, I express my position directly, without diplomatic niceties. A UN-affiliated organization, I was told, would not allow me such a free hand, and would force me to act in a manner that is diplomatic, and has no bite. Despite these warnings, I accepted the organization’s invitation, as the care for needy children has always been an integral part of my very being. As a mother of five children and as chair of the Chom [warmth] Association for many years, whose goal it is to collect food and medications for needy children in Israel, I felt compelled to accept this invitation, through which I believed that I could contribute even more to the welfare of children in Israel and around the whole world, and to enhance the prestige of Israel around the world.

I was sorry to discover very quickly that this was not how things were. UNICEF is a wondrous organization with a very important agenda, but by force of being an institution affiliated with the U.N., it put in place bureaucratic, political, and other obstacles that prevented me from promoting the goals I set for myself upon entering the position. It started with my visit to Sderot, when I organized the donation of thousands of toys and treats for the children of the bombarded South during the recent military confrontation.

The organization was entirely unwilling to allow its name to be involved in this move, for political and diplomatic reasons. They also asked me to have my activities vetted by the UNICEF branch in East Jerusalem. It continued when I was asked to let the organization vet the Facebook entries in which I express my views about various issues. The climax was when I heard that in contrast with the rest of the world, where the organization is called UNICEF Colombia or UNICEF Spain, as the case may be, in Israel the organization wanted to call itself The Israeli Fund for UNICEF.

In recent days, much information was published about the sad situation of Israel’s children, many of whom live below the poverty line and suffer a severe need for the most basic living conditions that a person needs to maintain an appropriate quality of life. I was raised to think that charity begins in one’s hometown. With all of my empathy for promoting awareness of difficulties of the children of the world, wherever they may be, I am a practical person, who – at the end of the day – wants to care for the severe and immediate needs of the thousands of hungry and needy children who live in Israel today. I am less interested in creating a mere change of awareness, while forestalling practical initiatives for donation to children in Israel and attempting to tiptoe through political landmines, which – at the end of the day – castrate any activity that could make a real change in this difficult situation.

To summarize: I came in order to work and donate my time and capacities for the practical promotion of the children’s distress, and I did not feel that in this framework I was given a real opportunity to do so. I have therefore decided, in full cooperation with the organization’s directorship (which on its part found it difficult to contain my independence and my concern for the interests of Israel, in contrast with the organization’s desire to blur out the national aspect of this activity), to resign form my position as chair of UNICEF Israel (or the Israeli Fund for UNICEF, if you like), with the intent of investing my time for acting for the children of Israel, as I have done in recent years. I wish much success to the organization and invite anyone who would like to reach out to the children of Israel to join the Chom association, which is dedicated entirely to the distribution of food and medications to [Israeli] needy families.

Comments

that her name is "Shalom".

Children of the earth are dear to us everywhere, and no one should accept a person who thinks that she (and 'her people' in her own context) has the superiority and better than the others as a role model in charity. Totally not the best human kind on earth as how they think they are.
And yet she's a deputy minister's wife. Can we imagine the mentality of these people over what they are doing to the Palestinians? Gosh she wouldn't spare our children if we were to live next to Israel.

As a co-president of the Muslim-Jewish Volunteer Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I am upset that so many people try to speak for all Jewish people as if they can. She is not doing what is in best interest for the Jewish diaspora, as far as I am concerned. I am a proud Jew and therefore prefer to speak for myself. We need to care about all the world's Jews and Palestinians alike, and this kind of hatred is absolutely unacceptable. If she truly wants shalom, she will learn that salaam aleikum means the same thing as shalom aleichem, that alef/alif is the first letter in both of our alphabits, and that we all have a positive ruah/ruh (spirit) deep inside.

I will continue praying for the people of Gaza and the West Bank, from Rafah to Ramallah, and beyond.

I decided not to just read this article and take it as the gospel, however I chose to do a bit of research. It comes to pass, that she is no chair of the Israel fund for UNICEF. Infact the Israel fund and UNICEF are 2 totally different organisations. One being a UN org and the other a non-governmental org. Her job was voluntary and therefore her personal views have nothing to do with UNICEF. She holds the same type of position that David Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker, Shakira and William and Kate had or have.

The activist Ari Remez, therefore really had no leg to stand on, She was never an employee of UNICEF and instead she was to spearhead charitable events to fund raise.

All this has done is got a very famous celebrity in Israel who has connections, money and the will to help children to be sent packing. This is just another example of hypocrisy when it comes to attacking Israel. How many worse twitter and facebook posts come up on a daily basis against Israel and never see the light of criticism especially when they are employees of UN.

There are so many flaws in the article and in Ari Remez's mindset that he was not caring for the countless children that will not get as much help as they could have due to hatred of Israel, because it is Israel.

This mirrors the actions of the Arab countries that voted against an Israeli resolution promoting entrepreneurship. It seems to me that the Arabs would rather stay illiterate and uneducated than move forward and advance their own countries if it has anything to do with Israel...The hate for Israel overrides anything else.

Oh and BTW her name is Judy-Shalom-Nir-Moses and not all the other drivel you wrote. It seems facts are not really needed when you want to Israel bash.

You haven’t pointed out any misrepresentation of facts. It’s clearly stated in this article and in previous articles on EI that IFU is an independent organization from UNICEF, and that her role was as honorary chair. However IFU raises funds for UNICEF, and like other national affiliates cooperates with UNICEF on events, therefore the reputation of the national affiliate reflects on UNICEF, which is why UNICEF must have taken pains previously to dissociate itself from Shalom Nir-Mozes to avoid the reputational damage her horrifying statements do to the name of UNICEF. The fact that she is paid or unpaid is irrelevant. The comparison with Beckham, etc is an apt one. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are usually celebrities with whom people all over the world can identify — football stars beloved by children and adults, singers, etc. — who do not have reputations for racist, sectarian and violent statements. Exactly the opposite of Ms. Shalom Nir-Mozes.

Israelis conveniently forget all about the 1940s when terrorist Jewish gangs such as the Irgun and Stern blew up the King David Hotel, expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their villages never to be allowed back and committed 2 or 3 or more massacres in the process. A case of the pot calling the kettle black? Jews contintinue to kill and maim far more Arabs than Arabs do likewise to Israelis.

My Jewish friend has lived in northern israel for about 18 months. She sends me pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian propaganda. I see the hatred expressed in these one-sided videos and articles and can quite see why Judy Shalom Nir-Moses thinks as she does. She doesn't care at all for the suffering of children in Gaza which is undoubtedly far greater than that of kids in Sderot (frightening though their experiences of rockets may be). I don't want to defend Palestinian violence but 3 quarters of their land has been forcibly taken away from them and that stinks. I am sure God would think that too as there is a place for all peoples in His Land of Israel.

Yes, the Holocaust can make one sympathise up to a point with Israel's behaviour but Israeli violence MUST STOP TOO. Let's hope for proper and sincere negotiations by both sides in the coming year 2013. And a stop to all the new settlements in the West Bank/East Jerusalem.

Mrs. Nir-Moses was about doing what she said, that is, to enhance israel's reputation. Something, by the way, which would be hard to do given israel's serial violation of Palestinian rights,international law, and U.N. resolutions. Pure and simple, the lady is a racist and a fascist who is actively about implementing israel's final solution to the Palestinian problem