UN Prolongs Palestinian Problem

The author is a PhD historian, writer and journalist living in Israel.


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Supporters of Palestinian statehood prominently display “194″ next to their flag. That number refers not only to its proposed place in the UN next-in-line, but their goal.

Citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) as guarantor of the right to leave and return to one’s country, they use that to justify the “Palestinian right of return.”

But there is no such “right.” UNGA Resolution 194 (1948) refers to all refugees, Jewish as well as Arab, and does not confer automatic rights to return. Repatriation (or return) was suggested as one option, but this is based on conditions that Arabs have never fulfilled. Resettlement was also recommended in this and subsequent resolutions. All were rejected by the Arabs.

What to do with millions of Arab “refugees,” most of whom are cared for by UNRWA, is one of the most difficult and contentious issues that snarls any resolution of the dispute between Israel and the Arabs. UNRWA is at the core of the problem.

For sixty years, this agency has promoted an anti-Israel agenda that supports the “Palestinian right of return,” holds Israel alone as responsible for the plight of Arab refugees, and refuses to resettle them anywhere except in Israel.

Why, then, does Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs support it?

Citing agreements, the MFA acknowledges that it cooperates with UNRWA’s humanitarian efforts, albeit with “reservations about [its] political aspects.” But making this distinction practically is impossible.

UNRWA’s humanitarian work can be assumed by the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), which assists all other refugees. Why continue to support a separate organization only for those who claim to be Palestinian refugees and their descendants?

Israel’s support for UNRWA, moreover, prevents donor countries from insisting on change and reducing or restricting funds, thus enabling one of the most anti-Israel organizations to flourish.

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  • http://hubofmiddleeastpolitics.blogspot.com Adel Helal

    So why did the Arabs reject the UN Partition Plan? (assuming this is your implication of Arab rejection of UN Resolutions)
    Did the Jews have the right to declare Israel as an independent state in 1948? http://hubofmiddleeastpolitics.blogspot.com/2011/

    • aspacia

      Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc., were all artificially carved and the only nation Muslim are angry about it tiny Israel. Which reveals Muslim intolerance and bigotry and stupid infidel keep falling for the Muslin mendacious spin.

  • DanKelso

    Great article which shows having a conflict with Israel is a goldmine for the Arabs and the U.N. Then again Palestinians using their civilians as human shields is good for propaganda and brings in more money from the U.N.
    Golda Meir was so right what she said, when the Palestinians love their children, then their will be peace.

    • StephenD

      Dan, she is also quoted as saying: "I can forgive them for killing our children but I cannot forgive them for making us kill their children."
      THIS is exactly what the rest of the M.E. uses the so called "Palestinians" for ~ just to go after Israel. We don't hear a word from the UN to any other country that maintains "Refugees" within its borders. In Israel, they are citizens. Yet it is Israel that is the bad guy. Continued support for the UNRWA or the UN as a whole just doesn't make any sense.

    • http://hubofmiddleeastpolitics.blogspot.com Adel Helal

      How ignorant is it to think that Palestinians use human shield as an Israeli justification to kill innocent people?

      For the sake of argument, does that mean you would agree if a bank robber held 100s of hostages, only for the police to kill all the civilians on sight to get to the criminal?

      The rhetoric is always the same as you lie through your teeth about the realities of the situation

      • Ron Edge

        What?? It's a WAR, Adel. What part of that don't you understand? When there are 10's of Thousands of your enemies using "Human Shields", then, yes: one does what one has to do.

        Conversely, when NOT at War, you don't…well, civilized Western people don't… slit the throats of any children: some of the age of 1 1/2 year; shoot pregnant women after, deliberately, leaving her to last to watch her other 4 children murdered; hang a 16 year old because she was, admittedly, raped (just like that Book of Death teaches you, Adel: raped women deserve death unless 2-men stand up for her. Or…Is that 4-men?); murder someone of a different Faith because, although he was born Arab, he never became a Muslim and is now a Christian. Horrors!!

        What was your Prophet (May He Roast In Hell [MHRIH]) so afraid of that he had to surround Muslims with murderers to make sure no one left your "Religion of Peace", Adel?

        You're being 'had', man, and when you eventually stand before the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I fear the deserved damnation for the awful acts which you have done, or supported, will not be mitigated by your protestations of being 'misled'. He'll look on the Heart, Adel, and He'll know, and judge you for it, that you, yes YOU and 100's of millions, if not billions like you, took glee in the slitting of those Innocent throats and the shedding of that Innocent Blood which, to your lose, "Cries from the ground unto The Most High".

        • aspacia

          Ron, your post is one of the few using faith that I enjoy. Thank you.

      • aspacia

        Honest Reporting and numerous other site have video of Muslims using Muslims, schools, homes, hospitals, abulances as human shield.

      • aspacia

        Israel, similar to police try to avoid civilian casualties, albeit their efforts, at times are unsuccessful. In contrast, Muslims target sleeping Jewish families, day care centers, school buses, schools, etc. This is a huge difference.

  • maturin20

    It would be so much easier to blur and mislead the lives of Palestinian refugees if there weren't an agency dedicated to their welfare, wouldn't it? If they were part of UNHCR, the whole thing just disappears.

    • aspacia

      True, what agency was created to help Jews during Hitler's rise to power? None. Actually, the British thrwarted their escape attempts.

      • maturin20

        Different agencies helped Jews during Hitler's rise, like the American Friends Service Committee and the Emergency Rescue Committee.

        • aspacia

          Most Jews were not allowed to enter the U.S., and had to go to Canada. The British did prevent Jews from entering their ancient homeland.

          • maturin20

            Really? I had thought that Canada shut its doors to European refugees about as effectively as the USA. Certainly it's an abiding shame for both countries, among many others, that they didn't do more to help. And it's a continuing shame for all the wealthy nations, that they aren't making more room for today's refugees from places like Chad and Sudan.

          • aspacia

            Read Jewish media and literature for insight.

            Educated, industrious immigrants or refugees add value to a society. At the moment those from Somalia and most third world lands, demand or expect their hosts to accommodate their needs rather than assimilate.

            Part of our problem is that we changed our quota system allowing uneducated, intolerant and often jealous immigrants into our lands instead of the enlightened lands.

          • maturin20

            You think our current immigration system favors the uneducated and the intolerant?

  • steven l

    The truth is that the West perennial and visceral antisemitism is at the origin of its support for the "Palestinians" by subsidizing UNRWA.

  • steven l

    Israel support for UNHCR is based on ETHICS pure and simple.
    Judaism is not interested in oppressing, killing or converting others. That is what Islam (and Christianity at a lesser extend) is about.

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    OBAMA AND HILLARY WISH JEWS A HAPPY NEW YEAR BY DECLARING JERUSALEM THE ILLIGITIMATE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL.

    You heard me. In what is an outrageous reversal from candidate Obama's disingenuous AIPAC speech three years ago (where he boldly declared Jerusalem "the indivisible capital of Israel"), and Hillary Clinton's support of Israeli ownership of Jerusalem as Senator, now these two perfidious
    snakes have gone to the opposite extreme stating in a State Department brief filed with the Supreme Court that Israel has got it all wrong; that it has no sovereignty or territorial rights over Jerusalem; that Jerusalem is a city belonging to no state or people; that it's a city state unto itself; that the people of Jerusalem aren't Israeli citizens; that, in effect, they are Jerusalemites; and that Israel's claim that Jerusalem is its capital is bogus and illigitimate.

    Click my name to continue reading

  • findalis

    It is time to get rid of UNHCR, stop all funding of it. To declare the descendents of the original refugees citizens of the nations they inhabit, and to declare the "refugees" citizens of the nations they have lived in these 63 years.

    Anything less is to spit in the face of true refugees who don't get this perk due to the fact they are not Arabs.

  • Bill B.

    The UN and most of its subsidiaries like UNHCR have become de facto two-edged swords. Either way their sword swings, the U.S., Western nations, and Israel, get wounded. The majority of their insecurity council spends their time finding pretexts to attack Israel. So much so, that even some Israelis are beginning to believe it.

    When Hezb. kidnapped Israeli soldiers and provoked a reaction, the UN was slow to respond, never "demanded" their return, and issued only pathetic censure. On the contrary, it wasted on time in loudly attacking Israel's attack on Hezb. , pathetically using the "disproportional response" rationale. The conflict stopped with a UN Resolution that declared demilitarized zones and cessation of weapons imports from Iran. Yet the UN, using the other side of its sword, ignored the last 5 years of buildup of even more weapons and more militarized zones, not to mention the Hezb. takeover of Lebanon's government.

    It's obvious that wherever the UN is involved in creating and maintaining peace in that region, things end up being worse! They do not simply prolong the Palestinian problem, they cause it, and others, and prevent them from being reduced. The UN has become a slow boiling pot, and We and our closest allies are the frogs.

  • Bill B.

    "He who does not punish evil commands it to be done."
    Leonardo Da Vinci