Nides says work needed to improve both UNRWA and discourse on Israel at US campuses

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides says “we” need to do a better job advocating for Israel on US college campuses, where he says the Jewish state’s supporters face pressure.

“It’s not just BDS,” Nides tells the Conference of Presidents at the group’s Jerusalem event. “It is very hard on college campuses today to stand up and talk about Israel without some level of grief. We need kids out there to be advocates, to be educated.”

“We need to be focused on college campuses like never before. We need a moonshot program. Not just playing defense, we need an offense,” he adds. “This is a magical place, and all of us need to do a better job of breaking the cycle.”

Nides also says the US has stepped up its oversight efforts to police the flow of its funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which has been accused of directing resources towards Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“We are working with the leadership of UNRWA to understand this,” Nides says. “They have initiated a lot of reforms. We have a lot of understanding about how this money is spent. But I would be lying to you if I said it was perfect.”

“There is no question that UNRWA has serious flaws,” Nides adds.

“But the United States government,” he says, is committed to making sure that the money it contributes towards UNRWA “is used in the right places.”

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