As fate would have it, it fell upon one of CBS’s most ardent anti-Israel reporters, correspondent Debora Patta, to report on the news of countries pulling funding from UNRWA due to employee involvement in Hamas’ barbaric October 7th attack against Israel. Needless to say, the report went exactly as you’d expect.
For a brief sampling, we want to show you how the report ended- with Patta effectively acting as a Hamas spokesperson, and relaying the terror organization’s demands ahead of any ceasefire:
DEBORA PATTA: Although nothing has been finalized, talks between Israel, the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt are inching closer towards a deal that provides for an extended a cease-fire in exchange for hostages. But Hamas wants all Israeli troops out of Gaza before any hostages are released.
Although the report is supposed to be on the scandal surrounding UNRWA, Patta frames it with apologia for the beleaguered agency. But beyond apologia and lamentation, not much is said about the scandal at all.
Of the 2 minutes and 15 seconds this report ran, only 47 seconds were about the UNRWA scandal, and even then only in the broadest of terms. There is no mention of the details of the allegations against the UNRWA workers that participated in Hamas’ attack. There’s the broad disclosure of the allegation of the kidnapping of Israelis by UNRWA workers, but no mention of some of the more specific accusations. Per The New York Times:
The Israelis described 10 of the employees as members of Hamas, the militant group that controlled Gaza at the time of the Oct. 7 attack. Another was said to be affiliated with another militant group, Islamic Jihad.
Yet seven of the accused were also said to be teachers at UNRWA schools, instructing students in subjects like math and Arabic. Two others worked at the schools in other capacities. The remaining three were described as a clerk, a social worker and the storeroom manager.
The most detailed accusations in the dossier concerned a school counselor from Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, who is accused of working with his son to abduct a woman from Israel.
A social worker from Nuseirat, in central Gaza, is accused of helping to bring the body of a dead Israeli soldier to Gaza, as well as distributing ammunition and coordinating vehicles on the day of the attack.
That’s a heck of a lot more than just “kidnappings”, and none of that made it into Patta’s report. Instead, viewers got a pivot to talk of a ceasefire. And it is at this point that Patta closes out the report by relaying Hamas’ demands.
It bears noting that Patta’s video package ran again during CBS Mornings. One wonders how she will report Israel’s scheduled release of the underlying evidence of the UNRWA employees’ atrocities.
Click “expand” to view the full transcript of the aforementioned report as aired on CBS Evening News on Monday, January 29th, 2024:
NORAH O’DONNELL: We turn now to Israel, where a growing list of countries around the world have suspended funding to the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians. CBS News has obtained an Israeli report that alleges that a group of workers at the aid agency actually took part in the Hamas terror attacks on October 7th. CBS's Deborah Patta has the details from Tel Aviv.
DEBORAH PATTA: Over 2 million people in Gaza rely on the U.N. relief agency and its 13,000 workers for access to aid. Now amid damning allegations, 15 countries and the European Union have suspended their funding. In a document given to the U.N., Israel accuses 12 UNRWA employees of being involved in the October 7 Hamas attack, including the kidnapping of Israeli citizens. But they have yet to provide evidence substantiating these claims. The U.N. has fired the workers and launched an internal investigation.
But the suspension of funding could not have come at a worse time. Gaza is on the brink of famine. We want them to release the hostages, Samira Hassan told us, and stop this war.
It is a cry shared by many of the families of those still being held hostage. Once a hostage herself, Clara Marmán was released in November. Her heart, she says, remains in Gaza where her brother and partner are still captive. She is terrified they could be killed at any moment. "No price is too high for their release," she told us.
Including stopping the war for two months?
CLARA MARMAN (via an interpreter): Yes. Definitely.
PATTA: Although nothing has been finalized, talks between Israel, the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt are inching closer towards a deal that provides for an extended a cease-fire in exchange for hostages. But Hamas wants all Israeli troops out of Gaza before any hostages are released. Norah.
O’DONNELL: Deborah Patta. Thank you.