ImageSenior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag door USAID U.S. Agency for International DevelopmentCC BY-NC 2.0.

Dutch politician Sigrid Kaag has a new dream job, but it could turn into a nightmare for Gaza and Israel. Hopefully, the recent revelations about UNRWA and some reminders of Kaag’s past lies and failures will help well intended people to prevent her from doing too much harm. It is time to learn from history.

Finally, it seems to be dawning on the rest of the world: UNRWA, the UN agency specifically responsible for Palestinian refugees, is utterly depraved. Last week, UN-watch, an NGO that critically monitors the UN, released evidence showing that scores of UNRWA teachers celebrated the October 7 pogrom, and even more serious accusations have since followed.

On Tuesday, January 30th, Hillel Neuer – the CEO of UN-watch – will testify before the American Congress. Until recently, the UN had refused to take the UN-watch reports seriously, but now that the powerful American Congress is going to look into this, the UN can no longer pretend to be deaf. Suddenly Secretary-General António Guterres is deeply shocked, an investigation must be carried out quickly and UNRWA employees are being fired.

Sigrid Kaag coordinator for Gaza

The ‘shock’ among all kinds of leading figures would make even the greatest optimist cynical. It has been known for years how depraved UNRWA is, but after each new revelation these leaders chose to look away. An example of this looking away was the appointment of former UNRWA employee Sigrid Kaag as UN coordinator of humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Gaza.

In the NOS report on this (NOS is the Dutch national broadcaster) we learn how, among others, Unicef representative in Pakistan, Abdullah Fadil, praised the Dutch former minister. “She is uniquely qualified, both from a professional and moral point of view. She has shown that she can be impartial and that she does not take sides on difficult issues, except perhaps when it comes to core values of the UN.”

Impartial? Sigrid Kaag? In this conflict?!

The Buitenhof broadcast

Allow me to take you back to October 6, 1996. At that time, Sigrid Kaag was already married to Anis al-Qaq, back then a Palestinian deputy minister of Arafat, and she was a Senior Program Manager in UNRWA’s External Relations Office. She spoke Arabic and knew Arafat personally. Moderator Paul Witteman received her at Buitenhof together with Wiesje de Lange, an Israeli Jew of Dutch descent. You can watch that conversation (in Dutch) here.

Sigrid Kaag was immediately allowed to have her say for two and a half minutes – including accusations against Israel – while Wiesje de Lange was barely allowed to speak, let alone reply to Sigrid’s accusations, even afterwards. Paul Witteman was clearly charmed by Kaag and her cause, and behaved shamelessly biased. However, that was not the worst part of this conversation. The worst part of this conversation was what Sigrid Kaag did.

Palestinian lies

As soon as Wiesje de Lange started telling about crimes committed by the Palestinian authority – terror against its own population – Kaag interrupted her. When De Lange said that Arafat himself told Palestinians that the Oslo Accords were just a cover so that they could strike better later, Kaag talked through it. Wiesje de Lange talked about the Palestinian manifesto in which the destruction of Israel was described as the goal, and Sigrid Kaag stated that such a manifesto did not exist.

All of these statements of De Lange were true and are extensively proven, and Kaag knew they were true. She was an insider. She knew very well what Arafat said to his followers in Arabic, she knew of the Hamas Charter, she knew that the Palestinians speak with two tongues. She portrayed De Lange as a liar, and Paul Witteman supported her. He probably saw Kaag as respectable and De Lange as untrustworthy, but Sigrid Kaag was the one who lied.

Translation of this tweet: And this woman, who insisted to her husband that her children(!) should be photographed with Jew-hater Arafat, should now coordinate “impartially” in #Gaza?! @sigridkaag MUST have known the murderous intent of this terrorist. And the NL ‘elites’ are just cheering for this lady.
Translation of the quoted tweet: The framed photo of Sigrid Kaag and her family with PLO terrorist Yasser Arafat has a place of honor among the family photos (video).

And it didn’t stop there. Every time De Lange tried to explain how deep the Jewish bond with the land of Israel is – she talked about excavations, among other things – Kaag talked over her. Twice Wiesje tried to talk about her childhood during the Holocaust as a child in hiding, the only survivor of her entire family, and Kaag bluntly talked through it.

Why did De Lange want to tell these things? Because she tried to explain that Jews have been persecuted all over the world and finally have decided never to suffer passively again, but to fight for their lives. Sigrid Kaag could not tolerate this voice. Apparently, she felt it was necessary to prevent viewers from developing sympathy for Israeli Jews.

Nothing changed

Now, one might argue: this conversation was almost thirty years ago, should we still bring it up with Sigrid Kaag? We certainly should. And let us be happy that we have this recording, originating from a time when Kaag was not yet shrewd enough to lie skillfully. Or perhaps better phrased: from a time when people like Kaag could still lie unhindered, because the old media did not yet really have to deal with substantial criticism on the internet.

Minister Kaag

Nowadays, Sigrid Kaag may no longer lie this openly, but her beliefs did not change. In 2017, the political party D66 brought her to the Netherlands, and to her delight she was sworn in as Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Rutte III cabinet in October of that year. In that position she had control over the Dutch financial flow to Palestinian organizations.

The litmus test came as early as January 2018. President Trump froze US subsidies to UNRWA, and Kaag came to the aid of her Palestinian friends. She did not even consult her coalition partners, on the contrary. She waited with the announcement until after a closed coalition meeting. In this way, she presented them with a fait accompli, and the coalition partners were very displeased. However, it was a done deal, and they swallowed it with gritted teeth.

Rina Shnerb

The second litmus test was more dramatic. On August 23, 2019, a Jewish girl, Rina Shnerb, was killed in a terrorist attack. The Palestinian perpetrators turned out to be members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an organization that was on the European list of terrorist organizations. Because they also worked for the Palestinian agricultural organization UAWC – subsidized by the Netherlands – they were partly paid by the Netherlands.

The Dutch government had been warned several times about the ties between UAWC employees and the PFLP, but it was not until the summer of 2020 that Kaag announced an external investigation and halted the subsidy to UAWC. Meanwhile, the Dutch media had also realized that the Netherlands was indirectly involved in the attack on Rina Shnerb, and Kaag received questions from journalists.

Translation of the tweet: Painful inaccuracy by Minister Kaag. Rina Shnerb’s family has not had a visit from a Ndl representative. Would still appreciate a visit from the ambassador.
Translation of the quoted tweet: Sharp journalist ON! therefore asked her this question yesterday. (in the video Sigrid Kaag claims the Dutch ambassador had visited the family of Rina Shnerb, which was not true).

Funding

The fact that the minister wrongly claimed that the ambassador had visited the grieving family already said something about her lack of empathy with the Jewish victims. The fact that she partially resumed payments to UAWC at the beginning of 2021 is even more problematic. Someone as well-informed about Palestinian affairs as Kaag, should be acutely aware of where many of those subsidies ultimately end up.

EW Magazine reported in May 2021 that Dutch aid money was channeled through various NGOs to terrorist activities of the PFLP. The information came from the Israeli security service, and EW was able to verify the reliability of the report. This detailed article clarifies how deep this corruption runs, and how dubious Minister Kaag’s choices were.

In the conversation at Buitenhof we saw who Sigrid Kaag is, and we have continued to see it since 2017. Kaag subsidized Palestinian organizations, even if with proven links to terrorism. She remained steadfast in her support for UNRWA, despite extensive evidence that children in UNRWA schools and UNRWA summer camps are being groomed for terrorism.

Kaag as savior of Gaza

And now she has been sent to Gaza as an angel of peace to help the people of Gaza. A population in which almost half consists of minors who have grown up with this toxic indoctrination. The rot in Gaza runs deep. All those corrupt NGOs working there knew about the tunnels and the weapons caches in schools, hospitals and mosques.

After all this, should Gaza be ‘saved’ by Sigrid Kaag?

I am not interested in her incompetence right now. I am not talking about her total failure as a party leader and minister, or her embarrassing fiasco as a champion of women’s rights during that disastrous press conference about the Van Drimmelen affair. What concerns me is the harm she has already done in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and the greater harm she can do.

Deliberately

I do not lightly call people evil, but every time I see Sigrid Kaag, I feel appalled. Because Kaag is not some stupid girl with a Palestinian scarf who shouts with the mob ‘from the river to the sea!’, without even knowing which river and sea are meant. Sigrid Kaag has known all ins and outs for decades.

She knows what lays behind the lies, she knows how the Palestinian people have been poisoned with Jew-hatred for decades, far beyond healing. She knows how much harm UNRWA has done. She knows all that, and helps to maintain this evil. And with an air of moral superiority, she claims the right to lie and act arbitrarily.

There is no indication of any change in this woman, which is why she should never have been given this position. Let us hope UN-watch will keep a close eye on Sigrid Kaag as it does on UNRWA, and it would be great if the powerful on earth would no longer cover up the lies, although that may be too much to ask.

Save Gaza from people like Sigrid Kaag.

This article was first published in Dutch on OpinieZ.com.

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