Turning Palestinians into Permanent Refugees Makes Peace Impossible

The U.S., Canada, and several European countries have temporarily suspended their financial support for UNRWA—the UN agency tasked with providing aid to Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948 and their descendants—over its ties to Hamas. But the organization’s rot lies with the very purpose of its existence. Einat Wilf explains:

Once it became clear that UNRWA would neither settle a single Arab refugee nor close down, it became necessary for UNRWA to keep busy, especially since immediate relief was no longer necessary. What started as initiatives for vocational training turned within a few short years into a sprawling education system run by the Arab refugees themselves. In the UNRWA compounds (misnamed “refugee camps”) and the schools a new nationalism was born, the Palestinian one, that united Arabs living in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip around the goals of revenge and “return.”

UNRWA and the Palestinian “refugee” issue are not marginal aspects of the conflict. They are at the core of the conflict and the reason for its perpetuation.

The conflict has always been about one thing and one thing only, the Arab rejection of the Jewish right to self-determination in any part of the Jewish historical homeland. Everything else has been the outcome of that single rejection. UNRWA has been one of the most substantial forces in ensuring that this rejection not only never ends, but is indulged, supported, and magnified to become the core element of an entire people.

For there to be peace, the war must first end, and the war cannot end if there is an organization, supported by Canada and other Western powers, that does everything possible to ensure it continues.

Read more at National Post

More about: Israeli War of Independence, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian refugees, UNRWA


How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy