Expose the Palestinian "Refugee" Scam

(Wall Street Journal) Richard Goldberg and Jonathan Schanzer - If President Trump wants to promote peace in the Middle East, his first step should be to declassify a key State Department report that would end the myth of Palestinian "refugees." The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is singularly devoted to the Palestinian refugee issue. UNRWA labels more than five million Palestinians "refugees" - an impossible figure. The first Arab-Israeli war, in 1948, yielded roughly 800,000 Palestinian Arab refugees. Perhaps 30,000 remain alive today, but UNRWA has kept the refugee issue alive by labeling their descendants - in some cases great-great-grandchildren - as "refugees." In 2012 Congress ordered the State Department to disclose how many Palestinians currently served by UNRWA fled the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and how many are merely their descendants. The Obama administration classified the report, citing national security - as if revealing foreign census data were a threat to America. In April more than 50 House members urged State to declassify the report. Removing the label of "refugee" from millions of Palestinians wouldn't hurt them. Instead, it would unlock their economic potential and create an opportunity for lasting peace. Perhaps that's why the Palestinian leadership is fighting it. Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser and Jonathan Schanzer senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2018-07-06 00:00:00

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