Palestinian Refugee Status Preserved by UNRWA Is Unnecessary and Inequitable

(Jewish News-UK) Alex Brummer - UNRWA's existence could be construed by some as an enterprise that places Palestinian refugees in a different category to all others. These would include deserving refugees such as those fleeing the conflict in Syria and the Rohingya Muslims escaping oppression in Myanmar. In 70 years UNRWA grew into one the best-funded UN agencies, employing tens of thousands of people. It has become a highly politicized agency seeking to preserve the status of second- and third-generation Palestinians as refugees. These Palestinians do not live in the vast tent cities to be seen on Syria's borders with Jordan and Turkey. They inhabit well-maintained apartment blocks and the children are educated in well-appointed schools. Palestinian envoy Saeb Erekat says the decision to reduce or even close down funding "aims at closing schools, clinics, hospitals and starving people." No one wants to see any of that happen and there is no reason why, if UNRWA was to uprooted, other UN and global agencies could not take up the baton. The Palestinians are the only group in the world which has a specific agency which aims to preserve a refugee status which is unnecessary and inequitable. The real hope for the Palestinians are programs such as those run by the World Bank which seek to unleash enterprise and economic development, not to preserve a dependence culture. The writer is city editor of the Daily Mail.

2018-09-13 00:00:00

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