Past time to resettle the Palestinians 1

UNRWA should go.

(Indeed, the UN and all its agencies should go.)

This is from  the Council on Foreign Relations, by Elliott Abrams. (We have cut out the bits where he praises the UN and its agencies, because we consider the UN to be a center of global evil.)

Since the end of the Second World War, millions of refugees have left refugee camps, and refugee status, and moved to countries that accepted them – quickly or slowly – as citizens.

Post-World War II Europe was an archipelago of displaced persons and refugee camps, housing 850,000 people in 1947 – Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and many more nationalities. By 1952, all but one of the camps had closed. …

Hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe went to Israel after 1948, and then hundreds of thousands more arrived from Arab lands when they were forced to flee after 1956 and 1967. The children and grandchildren of these refugees, born after their arrival, were never refugees themselves; they were from birth citizens of the new land, as their parents had become immediately upon their own arrival. …

The exception to this refugee story is the Palestinians. In most of the Arab lands to which they fled or travelled after 1948 they were often treated badly, and refused citizenship (with Jordan the major exception) or even the right to work legally. And instead of coming under the protection of UNHCR [the UN High Commissioner for Refugees] , they had a special agency of their own, UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency. In the decades of its existence, it has not solved or even diminished the Palesinian refugee problem; instead it has presided over a massive increase in its size, for all the descendants of Palestinian refugees are considered to be refugees as well. Once there were 750,000; now there are five million people considered by UNRWA to be “Palestinian refugees.” And UNRWA is now the largest UN agency, with a staff of 30,000. UNHCR cares for the rest of the world with about 7,500 personnel.

The political background to this story is simple: only in the case of Israel was there a determined refusal to accept what had happened during and after World War II, with the establishment of the Jewish state and the increase in its population by the acceptance of refugee Jews. Of all the world’s refugees, whom UNHCR tries normally to resettle, only the Palestinians are an exception. UNRWA presides over generation after generation of additional refugees, and Arab states and leaders make believe that some day they can turn back the clock and send them – and their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – to Israel. …

UNRWA should cease to exist, and Palestinian refugees should be handled by UNHCR with the intention of resettling them. …

Lest that position seem idiosyncratic, consider this: in 2010 Canada cut off its funding of UNRWA, and just now the Netherlands government has said it is considering the same action. How did they explain this? The foreign minister told parliament that Holland would “thoroughly review” its policy and the ruling party called UNRWA’s refugee definition “worrying”. UNRWA, said the party spokesman, “uses its own unique definition of refugees, different to the UN’s. The refugee issue is a big obstacle for peace. We therefore ask the government acknowledge this discrepancy, which leads to the third-generation Palestinian refugees.” Correction: fourth-generation, actually.

It is worth noting that there are many other criticisms of UNRWA: that it overlooks terrorist group activity in some camps, or allows members of Hamas and other terrorist groups to hold UNRWA staff positions. But those are criticisms of how UNRWA is carrying out its mission, while the deeper problem is the mission itself. That mission might accurately be described as enlarging the Palestinian refugee problem forever and thereby making any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement tremendously more difficult if not impossible to achieve.

Closing UNRWA would in the end be a great favor to Palestinians who live outside the West Bank and Gaza … Some of those individuals will [we would say “may” – ed] some day move to the West Bank or Gaza, but they do not need UNRWA to do that. None of them will ever move to Israel, and the existence of UNRWA helps to maintain the cruel myth that they will.

The “peace process” seems stalled today; no negotiated final settlements is on the horizon. … Starting the process of closing down UNRWA would be a move toward peace, as it would replace the permanent perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem with a process designed to reduce it in size and some day solve it.

UNRWA, nursery of terrorism, resents being attacked 2

Ever since May 1, 1950, the Palestinian Arabs have been kept in a state of welfare dependency by the United Nations. On that day the UN created a special sub-organization called the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, its acronym the unpronounceable UNRWA. It was established specially to provide for the Palestinians, not for any other of the millions of refugees scattered through the Third World. It gave them monthly food rations and schooling. By far the greater part of its funding came from Western nations, one third from the US.* The Soviet Union contributed nothing.

Israel contributed to UNRWA, though dispensing with its services, preferring to assume responsibility for the integration of all the  Arabs who remained within its borders.

The UNRWA schools taught hatred of the United States, Israel and Jews in general. In 1968 these school were taken over in all but name by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO. UNRWA accepted the stipulation of the PLO Covenant  that it was a “national duty to bring up Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner”, and “all means of information and education” must be used to forge a national consciousness and prepare the young Palestinian to die in the armed struggle for his homeland.

Students could find themselves refused graduation certificates if they did not join a militant “fedayeen” group. For instance: an  UNRWA vocational training school at Siblin, near Sidon in Lebanon, awarded qualifications only to members of  Arafat’s own fedayeen group, Fatah. One room in the school was reserved as an office for Arafat. His portrait hung on the wall above a swastika. On the upper storey were the classrooms, and there teaching materials were stored; among them quantities of PLO propaganda, and – in 1982 – poems praising the assassins of Anwar Sadat – the Egyptian leader who had gone to Jerusalem to make a peace agreement with the Israelis.The lower story was used as an arms store. Katyusha rockets, rocket propelled grenades, hand grenades, mines, and Kalashnikov sub-machine guns were stacked – under the students. There were also stores of military uniforms and manuals. Most of the arms were made in the USSR, but some were from Sweden, and there was also some NATO equipment. Posters and maps on the walls of the classrooms showed the final solution of the Palestinian problem – the abolition of Israel.

For the most part, UNRWA education of the young was  an education in active aggression. This was the case even in the ordinary UNRWA schools, where general school curricula were followed, but all subjects were used as vehicles  of propaganda.

To sum up, the UNRWA schools have been raising generations of jihadis, dedicated to the destruction of Israel by terrorist means.

They have been teaching, urging, encouraging, assisting violence – until early this month, when their own headquarters in Gaza were attacked.

This is from the Independent, April 5, 2013 – a British newspaper plainly sympathetic to the Palestinians, and to Hamas, the terrorist organization that governs them in Gaza:

The United Nations has suspended significant operations in Gaza after demonstrators protesting against cuts to the agency’s programmes in the Palestinian enclave breached the organisation’s headquarters.

There have been several demonstrations against cuts to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)’s aid work – specifically cash hand outs to Gazans – in recent weeks but the protests escalated on Thursday when several people stormed its main compound in Gaza city.

In response, UNRWA said it would close its relief and distribution centres until it receives guarantees from Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, of greater security.

Robert Turner, UNRWA’s director of operations in Gaza, said that the agency, “respect[ed] people’s right to peaceful demonstration but what happened today was completely unacceptable: the situation could very easily have resulted in serious injuries to UNRWA staff and to the demonstrators. This escalation, apparently pre-planned, was unwarranted and unprecedented. These demonstrations affect our ability to provide much needed service to the Palestine refugees in Gaza and – because they also targeted the Gaza headquarters building – our operations in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.”

UNRWA’s work is vital in Gaza. The organisation provides assistance … to more than 800,000 people in the isolated territory, which is subject to tough controls imposed by both Israel and Egypt. However, UNRWA has also protested that it has a funding deficit of $67m and that without more money it will be forced to scale back its activities.

The agency receives money from a number of western donors, including the US and the European Union, and often there is a shortfall between what is pledged and what is subsequently paid. It is believed that there is a shortage in both UNRWA’s general fund, and its emergency project funding, which competes with other disaster appeals. …

Gaza’s population – between 1.5 and 1.7 million – is growing exponentially and is expected to top two million within seven years. More than a million people are classified as refugees.

The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the original refugees, and who knows how many generations still to come, must be supported as victims, their status as dependents preserved. Originally, the idea of keeping them in a state of beggary – as a reproach to the conscience of the Israelis and the West – came from the heads of the Arab states. The UN embraced it. And no nation questions it, not even the United States.

UNRWA has a difficult relationship with Hamas, despite providing a lifeline for as much as half the population in Gaza. There have been rows about what is taught in UNRWA-sponsored schools [!?], and last month  UNRWA cancelled the running of the annual Gaza marathon after Hamas refused to allow women to compete.

UNRWA has apparently discovered, after 63 years of working with Muslims, that they discriminate against women.

UNRWA officials are in high dudgeon. Just think of it – their headquarters attacked quite violently, so that people may have been hurt!

Hamas is now sorry for offending them.

Hamas yesterday urged UNRWA to reconsider its decision to suspend its work. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, said the group condemned any violence against UNRWA but said the decision to close the food centres was “unjustified”.

“People have the right to protest against UNRWA’s cuts, but at the same time we condemn any violence against the organisation. When the administration of UNRWA asked the Palestinian security services to intervene, they stopped the chaos. We ask UNRWA to reconsider its decision and [reiterate] the importance of UNRWA’s role in helping Palestinian refugees,” he added.

Will UNRWA forgive Hamas? Will the teaching of terrorism resume – perhaps a little more militantly?

Our guess is, it will.

 

PS. The UN must be destroyed. 

 

*  From 1948 to 1950, the US donated half the money for the relief aid of the refugees. Thirty-one years later, in the year 1981 – a year which fairly indicates the proportion of the burden shared by some United Nations members through UNRWA – the US contributed $462 million, 32%; the European Union 13%. So nearly half came from America and Western Europe. Britain gave another $10 million in addition to its contribution through the EU. Sweden and Japan gave about the same. Western Germany gave an additional $5 million. The only Arab states that contributed sums in the millions were: Saudi Arabia, $6 million; Kuwait – the richest country in the world then, reckoned by per capita income – $1 million; Libya, 4.25 million; Iraq, $3.5 million. Proportionately, in comparison with these oil-rich countries, impecunious Israel was far more generous giving just under half a million. Turkey and Nigeria gave $200,000 each; Syria, $168, 000; the United Arab Emirates, $800,000; Yemen $2,000. The Holy See gave $12,500. The only Communist countries that donated anything at all were Rumania, $3,300; Yugoslavia, $25,000; China, $3,500. Now, another thirty-two years on, there is no end in sight to the dependency of the Palestinian “refugees”. Will they never be allowed – or compelled – to grow up?