UNRWA Is Effectively Controlled by a Terrorist Organization

(Foundation for the Defense of Democracies) Richard Goldberg - UNRWA is not a refugee agency. What began as a political weapon in the Arab world's campaign to destroy the State of Israel after its founding has evolved into an internationally funded, locally-staffed, foreign-aid entitlement program that incites violence against Israel, subsidizes U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, denies Palestinians their basic human rights, and blocks the pathways to a sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians. No agency exists to look after the Jews who fled Arab countries in 1948 because those refugees were absorbed by Israel and Western countries as quickly as possible. But Arab refugees produced by the Arab invasion of Israel were not so fortunate. By keeping people in refugee status indefinitely, UNRWA is raising generation after generation to believe that their destiny is to return to modern-day Israel. The population of Gaza is now 2.1 million, 1.7 million of whom UNRWA lists as refugees. But these people have lived in Gaza for generations, under Egyptian, Israeli, and then Hamas control, in what the media calls "urban refugee camps." The term "refugee camp" evokes images of temporary tents and trailers, but these are just UN-subsidized neighborhoods in cities. UNRWA is the only agency with a mandate to preserve a phony narrative of Palestinian refugeehood that sustains political warfare against Israel. UNRWA's enablement of terrorism is a feature of the agency, not a bug. Reporters and UN watchdog groups have identified thousands of UNRWA employees supporting terrorism and antisemitism in their social media and chat groups. What's the alternative? The world already has an agency dedicated to the distribution of food assistance in areas of crisis and war zones - the World Food Program - which is on the ground in Gaza. The World Health Organization is dedicated to the distribution of medical assistance in conflict zones. UNICEF is dedicated to helping children in need. And the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a massive agency with international staff and decades of experience coordinating relief for internally displaced persons in war zones at a moment's notice. Western nations must not condone a UN agency that is effectively controlled by a terrorist organization. Western donor countries would never tolerate a UN organization that collaborates with, employs, contracts with, and provides benefits to al-Qaeda or ISIS. The writer, who served on the U.S. National Security Council, is a senior advisor at the FDD.

2024-02-09 00:00:00

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