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Working with terrorist groups, such as Hamas in Gaza, Fatah in PA controlled areas, PFLP in Syria, and the Army of Islam in Lebanon, UNRWA enables and even participates in anti-Western, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda. With an annual budget of nearly a billion dollars, half provided by the US and the rest by Canada and European countries, there is no incentive to change.
In sixty “camps” (in fact, towns) throughout the region – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Judea, Samaria and Gaza – UNRWA provides free education, medical services, food and “social and cultural” centers. Except for Jordan, no Arab country granted them citizenship, and they are often deprived of civil and humanitarian rights.
UNRWA’s largesse is available to anyone who is registered, whether they live in the town, or not, including those who live in other countries – as long as UNRWA exists. Once a “Palestinian refugee, always a Palestinian refugee” – from generation to generation.
Trapped by cynical Arab governments and Palestinian leaders, unable to get advanced training, attend college, apply for skilled jobs, often despised by locals, residents of UNRWA-backed towns are not allowed to get on with their lives as normal and productive citizens. Stuck, they are dry tinder for the fires of terrorism.
Burdened by economic hardship and growing national debt, support for UNRWA makes no sense. As long as Israel does not object and the funding doesn’t stop, however, this problem will continue to fester and spread, undermining efforts towards peace and reconciliation, and threatening the entire region.
Distracted by Arab Palestinian efforts for UN recognition, the world would do well to pay attention to more fundamental problems. Bringing an end to UNRWA will save resources that can be used more effectively and give hope to people who have been abused in the war to destroy Israel.
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