UNRWA and the Guardian: Perpetuating “Man-Made” Palestinian Misery

There was something rich about UNRWA spokesperson Chris Guinness’ comment about unemployment in Gaza, (“Gaza jobless rate at 45% five years after full blockade imposed“, Guardian/Reuters, June 14):

“It is hard to understand the logic of a man-made policy which deliberately impoverishes so many and condemns hundreds of thousands of potentially productive people to a life of destitution.”

While he was speaking of the alleged injurious economic effects of Israel’s blockade, designed to slow the flow of deadly weapons into Gaza (more than 6,000 rockets and mortars have been fired by Hamas into Israel since 2006), and was characteristically silent on Hamas’s role in creating the conditions by which such defensive measures were necessary, his use of the term “man-made” was especially interesting.  

Indeed, the idea of “man-made” misery would be more apt in describing his own organization’s role in perpetuating the plight of Palestinian “refugees” by continuing to prevent their assimilation into the Arab countries where they reside – UNWRA’s “man-made” policy which “impoverishes so many”.

Unlike all other refugee groups since 1948 (hundreds of millions were refugees as a result of WWII alone), including the 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands (and their descendants), only Palestinian Arabs and their descendants are funded, generation after generation, in UNRWA funded and administered towns in SyriaJordan, Lebanon and the PA.  

Exploited and discriminated against by their host Arab countries, they have been denied the opportunity to lead normal lives, and resettle.

Further, as research by NGO Monitor has demonstrated, the aid which UNRWA (generously funded by the EU) provides such “refugees” not only perpetuates generation after generation of dependency, but “UNRWA schools and other facilities are often used to teach hatred and encourage incitement; [and] the evidence demonstrates that UNRWA staff allowed terror related activities in its camps.”

Anyone truly concerned about the suffering of Palestinians would be lobbying Arab governments to immediately grant citizenship and full civil rights to their Palestinian populations, and use some of their Petrodollars to begin building schools and permanent housing for these “refugees” –  granting them the opportunity to become productive and creative citizens.

To fully understand the inversion of reality necessary to believe in UNRWA’s refugee swindle, you need to take note of the following passage, about unemployment figures in Gaza, from the Reuters/Guardian piece:

“These are disturbing trends,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, “and the refugees, who make up two-thirds of Gaza’s 1.5 million population, were the worst hit.” [emphasis mine]

Get it? Even Palestinians living in a sovereign, independent Palestinian-controlled and governed country are considered “refugees”!

At what point – other than by an unlimited Palestinian “right of return” into an Israeli state most have never lived or stepped foot in – will their refugee status end?      

More pointedly, at what point will governments who continue to pump cash into UNRWA realize that they’re participating in a massive fraud – the continuation of a program which “…impoverishes so many and condemns hundreds of thousands of potentially productive people to a life of destitution”?

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