The problem that is UNRWA

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

As Wikipedia puts it:

…originally intended to provide jobs on public works projects and direct relief for 652,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes during the fighting that followed the end of the British mandate over the region of Palestine.

So far, so good.

It also provided relief to Jewish and Arab Palestine refugees inside the state of Israel following the 1948 conflict until the Israeli government took over responsibility for Jewish refugees in 1952.

Warning bells should be ringing now. Since 1952, Israel has taken responsibility for Jewish refugees. Since 1952, however, no country – not a single one – has taken responsibility for Palestinian refugees. Not one.

It is generally accepted that the main reason for this is to use the refugees as a political weapon against Israel. Bugger the welfare of the people, let’s bash Israel.

In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2017.

Today, UNRWA provides education, health care and social services to the 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, including survivors from the 1948 and 1967 wars and their descendants. Aid is provided to Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as those in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is the only agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict, and is separate from UNHCR…

Nowhere else does refugee status become a hereditary right. Nowhere else is there such naked dependence for political reasons.

And in places like Gaza – though probably it is the same elsewhere – UNRWA has become a terrorist enabler. Some may see it as more than that.

How is it a terrorist enabler? It is riddled with Hamas people. Its premises are used as part of the tunnel network in Gaza. Its premises are used to store weapons. Its premises are used as command centers. Its premises are used to train terrorists. Its schools are used to teach anti-semitism and hate. It celebrates terrorism and terrorists. It does nothing to promote peace. Funded by UN money, it is a block to progress.

But the problem with UNRWA is not what it does (or doesn’t do) or the culture of dependency it has cultivated, encouraged, and helped become embedded in those parts of the world. The problem with UNRWA is that if it didn’t exist, who would fill its shoes? Would the nation states currently housing so called refugees suddenly step into the breach? Would they offer citizenship and freedom from discrimination? Apparently the consequences of UNRWA disappearing is one reason why Israel doesn’t make more of an issue about disbanding the horror show that is UNRWA. The USA would not want to be part of the creation of a humanitarian disaster or crisis.

And if you think a Palestinian state would solve the problem, think again. Why should UNRWA modify its behavior in anyway in such circumstances. We would only see and expect more of the same.

Ideally, there would be more efforts made to curb the behavior with penalties by way of withdrawal of funding. That won’t happen. So, how can the situation be fixed?

My suggestion is that UNRWA is not disbanded – at least not immediately. Instead, I propose a complex but desirable revolution.

First, the UN should be restructured. All current states would have to reapply for membership. Membership would only be open to those with a functioning democracy and full human rights: freedom of speech, equality for women, gays, lesbians, and minorities, a ban on discrimination, and so on. Countries that cannot pass the test do not get a voting membership, only the status of an observer. They can get a vote when they grow into mature states. In short, the UN should only be directed and guided by the democracies of the world.

Such a revolution would put right some of the gross injustice in the world. It would reinstate the right values. We should not be giving tin pot dictatorships and religious regimes and all the other bad states of governance any voice in the affairs of the civilized world. They should have no rights – beyond that of being treated fairly – until they pass muster.

Replacing the UN with a sensible set of states should freshen the approach in a number of areas. Fresh eyes, fresh appraisal, and fresh ideas. Like the following.

Second, the reworked UN should go to each place that UNRWA operates and negotiate with the local power to gradually absorb the refugees. Take the money from UNRWA and give it to the local authorities. With the money there may come a change of heart about what can and cannot be done. (Of course, while budget transfer would be dependent on certain conditions, having the conditions and enforcing the conditions are two separate issues.)

In other words, take UNRWA out of the picture, country by country, by passing the money on. Gradually, funding needs should decline. (That would have to be part of the negotiation.) Gradually, the UNRWA dependents would become part of their host and start contributing to that society. And, given that it is a fresh start, it should be easier to impose standards of education. No anti-semitism, no hate, no promotion of terror.

I know it’s a dream. I know there are huge obstacles I have ignored. I know it won’t happen. But that doesn’t stop me wishing for a change for the better. A world without UNRWA could be a better place. I am open to alternative suggestions.

PS: want to know the reality of UNRWA?

Look here and see:

  • UNRWA’s union officially denies the Holocaust
  • UNRWA teachers really love terrorists
  • UNRWA school logos erase Israel
  • UNRWA school deputy principal is a fan of Hamas terrorists
  • UNRWA teacher fervently supports terror on Facebook (UPDATES)
  • UNRWA teaches first graders to call for Israel’s destruction
  • Holocaust denial and antisemitism from UNRWA teachers
  • For the THIRD time, UNRWA engages in a coverup of its hate
  • UNRWA site, quoting hadith, says Jews are dirty (UPDATE)
  • COVERUP: UNRWA removes “human rights” webpage after hate and lies exposed
  • Plenty of hate and lies in the UNRWA “human rights” curriculum
  • Current UNRWA “human rights” website includes antisemitism
  • Corrupt, pro-Hamas UN offers to “monitor” cement imports into Gaza
  • UNRWA supplies found in terror tunnel
  • UNRWA praised the smuggling of cement into Gaza in 2011. What did they know then?
  • UNRWA’s second rocket cache and their zeal to redirect anger at Israel (UPDATE)

And lots more.