This refers to the film "'Travel Palestine - Rediscover Your Senses', posted last week on Youtube<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUpjoEpbWsM> which acknowledges that 'This production was made possible with support from the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP/PAPP)'".
The letter quoted the Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP)as making grants "towards reducing poverty" in both the West Bank and Gaza of "over US$ 600 million, focussing on...water, health and education facilities, social services, infrastructure and rural and agricultural development."
Samuels stressed that "the film sponsored by your agency, however, portrays a 'Palestine' of wealth and luxury for the well-heeled tourist" continuing, "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."
The letter argued that "'Travel Palestine' is even more offensive as an exercise in identity theft. In depicting the Holy Land as Islamic and, secondarily Christian, it delegitimises its indigenous Jewish heritage, misrepresents the region's reality and demonstrates threatening intent to a UN member - the State of Israel."
This UNDP-financed travelogue is in violation of your website mission masthead : 'Promote accountability, integrity and provide impartial and reliable information'" claimed Samuels.
The Centre urged the UNDP Administrator "to publicly condemn 'Travel Palestine' and launch a full enquiry by UNDP Office of Audit and Investigation, resulting in the disciplining of those responsible."
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.
For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58