August 07, 2008

UN Reforms Needed for Palestinian Refugees

Via Washington Times:

# Our next president should focus on reforming the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). For nearly 60 years, UNRWA has perpetuated opinions among the Palestinians that could hardly be better calculated to impoverish and embitter them, and subvert the achievement of the two-state solution that Annapolis envisaged.

# UNRWA's very existence promotes the belief among Palestinians that a two-state solution is essentially unjust. It encourages Palestinians to believe that the international community owes them repatriation to the land their parents and grandparents fled when five Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948.

# For nearly 60 years, the United Nations has maintained a successful and respected organization for refugees apart from Palestinians - the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The UNHCR's aim is to enable refugees to become citizens somewhere as quickly as possible. In contrast, for the Palestinians, the UN has effectively eliminated local integration and third country resettlement as desirable or even possible outcomes, and instead has enshrined in UNRWA's mission the 1950s promise of repatriation that was implicit in the resolution that established the agency.

# Moreover, contrary to the policy that it generally applies to refugees, the UN regards Palestinian refugee status as transferable from parents to children without limit. This enables UNRWA to fuel the conflict with Israel by cultivating a trans-generational belief among Palestinians that the one-and-only solution to their plight consists in returning to homes and lands vacated more than half a century ago.

# America should seek to bring to an end to UNRWA's mandate that reinforces the Palestinians' false hopes. The U.S. must persuade the UN to fold UNRWA into the UNHCR, where it belongs.
For a further dissection of UNRWA, see this excellent post by GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD.