The UN Relief and Welfare Agency (UNRWA) is 65 years old. Quite a feat for an agency that was supposed to be a short-lived emergency organization when it was formed. Note that it does not mention the Palestinians in its name, but it is essentially a Palestinian welfare agency that supports 5 million Palestinians from cradle to grave and is one of the foremost pro-Palestinian organizations in the world. And where do they get their funds from? 25% of all their funds come from US taxpayers, a hefty proportion comes from the EU countries and a little from the Arabs themselves.
What is so objectionable about UNRWA? 1. All other refugees in the world come under the auspices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), only the Palestinians have their own UN agency, UNRWA. Also, UNHCR uses the standard international definition of refugees, that they are people who have left or been expelled from their own country, but this does not include their descendants, or anyone who is born in another country who are normally considered citizens of the country they are born in. Not so the Palestinians, according to the the rules adopted by UNRWA all descendants of Palestinian refugees themselves become refugees, so instead of decreasing, the number of so-called “refugees” keeps increasing from generation to generation. This definition was adopted deliberately so that the Palestinian problem would continue and get worse with time, and so that the host Arab countries did not have to extend their citizenship to the Palestinians, who they did not want.
2. Of the countries that host Palestinians refugees only Jordan made them citizens. So this means that the 1 million Palestinians in Jordan actually are not refugees they are Jordanians. Also, the so-called refugees in the West Bank and Gaza are not refugees since they are still within the borders of their own country, they are officially known as displaced persons (DPs). This would exclude a further ca. 2 million so-called refugees.
3. The fact that the Palestinians have their own refugee agency UNRWA means that they receive special treatment, receiving from 2-10 times the amount of financial support that all other international refugees receive. Over 65 years UNRWA has grown into a bloated bureaucracy, in which Palestinians are employed to feed, clothe and educate their own people from cradle to grave, without any requirement to work and at international donor expense. This is a great scam. Why should the Palestinians settle down and live like everyone else when the UN will take care of them forever.
4. With the crisis in Syria reaching epic proportions, with 4 million refugees outside the country (in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq) and ca. 5 million internal DPs, the UNHCR is stretched to its limit and a real humanitarian crisis is looming. Meanwhile Palestinians who have been displaced from so-called refugee camps in Syria are being fed and receive greater support from UNRWA than the Syrian refugees who are covered by the UNHCR. This has caused riots in Lebanon where the refugees from Syria resent the fact that the Palestinians, who they regarded as parasites in their own country, are better looked after and fed than themselves and their children. I ask anyone, is this fair?
5. As evidenced during the recent Gaza war, UN facilities of the UNRWA are being used by Palestinian terrorist groups for storing weapons and missiles and as locations from which to shoot at IDF soldiers, using the “refugees” as human shields. This is a war crime. Also, in their schools there is clear evidence that the roles of terrorists as martyrs to the Palestinian cause is widely taught, with posters of previous martyrs on the walls of classrooms and schools named after them. This is a violation of UN neutrality. In any case, Palestinian terrorists have infiltrated UNRWA at all levels.
There is no doubt that in this world of upheaval in the Middle East, the designation of all Palestinian descendants as “refugees” only serves to exacerbate and perpetuate the problem. Not only that, the idea that Palestinian refugees have some automatic “right of return” under international law is a hoax, there is no such right. To resolve these issues UNRWA must be shut down and eliminated. Doing so would remove one of the greatest irritants in the Israel-Palestinian conflict and would make it into a normal situation rather than an international cause celebre. It would be a great injustice if UNRWA continues to exist to clothe, feed and educate Palestinians for another generation, when none of the original refugees would be alive. Americans should contact their representatives and the Israel Government should make it a priority to close down UNRWA.