At last some sanity in the Middle East, the US has announced its decision to cease all funding of UNRWA. This UN agency has been selectively funding Palestinian so-called refugees for 70 years and has been perpetuating the Israel-Arab conflict. It’s time it was stopped.
The US has been paying up to one-third of the billion dollar budget of UNRWA, some m$360 per year, your tax payer’s money at work. Now it has reduced that to m$60 and finally it will cease altogether. This is the policy of Pres. Trump, resulting from the advice of his Middle East adviser, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his foreign policy adviser John Bolton and his UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. The reasons for this move are good ones and will correct a terrible and ridiculous situation.
The main problem was that UNRWA defined a refugee to include the descendants of those who left their country, while the UN and international law definition includes only the actual persons who left their country, not their descendants. This definition is intended to help resolve refugees problems, in other words after the initial generation all descendants are expected to become inhabitants and/or citizens of a host country. The Arabs, to deliberately fail to resolve the problem and to avoid accepting the Palestinian refugees foisted this definition on UNRWA, so that the Palestinian refugee problem in effect could not be solved. Instead of the number of actual refugees decreasing each year as they do in all other cases, in the case of the Palestinians they increased! So now 70 years later, instead of an estimated actual ca. 20,000 refugees left, UNRWA requires a budget to support a supposed over 5 million “refugees”!
Also, while the refugees from Mandatory Palestine went into Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, those who moved to Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan were actually within the original borders of British Mandatory Palestine, so they had not actually left “their country.” They were not refugees but displaced persons, and therefore should not have been supported by UNRWA for 70 years. In addition, those west Palestine Arabs who moved into Jordan were made citizens, so they no longer qualified as refugees.
Finally, UNRWA became a fully engaged part of the Palestine movement rather than an independent and neutral UN agency. In Gaza it was totally infiltrated by Hamas and largely controlled by it, with members of this terrorist organization at every level. This was exemplified by the teaching in UNRWA schools of hatred of Jews, glorification of martyrdom and the use of UNRWA facilities to store weapons, including missiles that were fired from UNRWA school grounds.
This was an Arab scam against Israel and the world and it is finally good that the US will no longer foot the bill for this ridiculous situation. Some politicians and countries have come forward to say that they will replace US funding, including Labour leader Corbyn in the UK and the German government, as well as some Arab countries. However, it is very unlikely that they will be able to match the US funding, and it is hoped that this UN agency that perpetuated the refugee problem and added to the conflict will finally be dissolved.