The head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)—which provides educational and social services to the descendants of Palestinian refugees—recently predicted disaster if the organization is unable to raise $100 million in the next few months. Ruthie Blum explains why this official’s claim that UNRWA “is indispensable in the lives of Palestinian refugees” is simply false:
UNRWA—which was established in December 1949 to assist Arabs who were displaced in 1948 as a result of the Arab assault on the Jewish state that constituted Israel’s War of Independence—is far from being a “humanitarian” organization. It is, rather, a self-serving NGO that reinforces the victimhood and radicalism of the people it’s supposed to be extricating from their circumstances.
Indeed, the organization whose doors and coffers should have been nailed shut decades ago abets terrorists in a number of ways. One is by enabling Fatah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to hide weapons under and inside its schools. . . . Another is through the anti-Semitic content of the textbooks in those schools, whose teachers include Palestinian activists who openly call for violence against Israelis. Such illustrious educators regularly spread vicious lies about the Jewish state on social media. . . . Repeated assurances by UNRWA that it would “investigate” and “deal with” these teachers came to nothing. Naturally.
Bolstering terrorism isn’t the only violation of its mandate that UNRWA has committed, however. No, its misappropriation of millions in American and European tax dollars and euros extends to less lofty ideals than attacking Israel. A damning internal report exposed in July 2019 by Al Jazeera and AFP revealed that then-UNRWA commissioner-general Pierre Krähenbühl and other agency officials were engaging in “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination, and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives.”
UNRWA’s demise is long overdue. Let’s pray for its funeral.