The Demise of UNRWA Is Long Overdue

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.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, UNRWA

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin