Turning Palestinians into Permanent Refugees Makes Peace Impossible https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/israel-zionism/2024/02/turning-palestinians-into-permanent-refugees-makes-peace-impossible/

February 7, 2024 | Einat Wilf
About the author: Einat Wilf, a former Labor member of Israel’s Knesset, is the author of Telling Our Story and The War of Return (with Adi Schwartz).

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 on National Post: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/einat-wilf-without-unrwa-there-would-be-no-hamas-it-must-be-dismantled