Don't Give More Money to the UN's Failed Palestinian Refugee Agency

(The Hill) Richard Goldberg and David May - With heavy fighting continuing inside the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is asking for an emergency bailout to establish alternative schooling options while militants occupy the schools that American taxpayers already funded. Instead of throwing good money after bad, U.S. lawmakers should put an end to UNRWA's safe havens for terrorism, whether in Lebanon, Gaza or the West Bank. The Palestinians are the only people for whom the UN operates a separate refugee agency. This agency has a uniquely expansive definition of who constitutes a refugee, allowing the status to be passed automatically to male descendants of actual refugees. Patrilineal-inherited refugee status has led UNRWA's refugee numbers to swell from 750,000 to 5.9 million. Yet in Lebanon, the number of Palestinian refugees has plummeted from 500,000 to fewer than 250,000 in recent years. Notably, UNRWA does not offer resettlement as an option, which aligns with the Lebanese dispossession of its Palestinian guests. Rather, the UN body promotes a fictitious Palestinian right to live in Israel, which would force the Jewish state to cease to be Jewish. Yet by perpetuating the Palestinian refugee debacle, UNRWA's approach only increases Palestinian suffering. One day, the UN will need to dissolve UNRWA, turning over its responsibilities to host governments and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Until that day comes, Congress should prevent taxpayer dollars provided to UNRWA from facilitating terror, hatred and human rights abuses. Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), where David May is a research manager.

2023-09-18 00:00:00

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