Dec. 28, 2017
- U.S. Should Crack Down on UNRWA, End Fiction of Palestinian “Refugees” – Richard Goldberg
Nearly every refugee in the world is cared for by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, whose goal is repatriation, resettlement and integration. The exception? Palestinian refugees, cared for by UNRWA. Today, millions of people are referred to as “Palestinian refugees,” even though the only home they, and in many cases even their parents and grandparents, have ever known is either a refugee camp or an Arab host nation like Jordan.
In truth, UNRWA is not a refugee agency but a welfare agency, which keeps millions of people in a permanent state of dependency and poverty – all while feeding Palestinians an empty promise that one day they’ll settle in Israel. Yet the U.S. remains the agency’s largest donor.
In 2012, Congress asked: How many of the Palestinians currently served by UNRWA were personally displaced by the 1948 war? The answer remains classified. The administration can take a giant step toward Middle East peace by declassifying that report and formally adopting a definition for Palestinian refugees that makes a clear distinction between refugees displaced by the 1948 war and their descendants.
America should change the way it funds UNRWA, making clear how much money goes to refugee assistance and how much subsidizes a culture of welfare and terrorism. Future funding should be tied to a clear mission of resettlement, integration and economic self-sufficiency. The writer is a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.(New York Post)