UNRWA’s Shameful System of Apartheid

April 2 2018

Since the U.S. government cut its annual funding to UNRWA—the UN agency tasked with caring for Palestinian refugees and their descendants—to $60 million, the organization has been complaining of a financial crisis. While this is surely an exaggeration, Evelyn Gordon hopes the shortfall will encourage UNRWA to drop its insistence that Palestinian “refugees” in Jordan, the West Bank, and Gaza be treated as second-class citizens:

First, UNRWA should stop financing Jordan’s outrageous apartheid system, under which two million Palestinians registered with the agency receive no services from the Jordanian government, even though most (as UNRWA itself admits) are Jordanian citizens. Instead of using Jordan’s health and education systems, they attend special UNRWA schools and health clinics; many even live in ten designated refugee camps.

Clearly, people with citizenship in another country shouldn’t be considered refugees at all. Under the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ definition, which applies to everyone except Palestinians, anyone who obtains citizenship in another country automatically loses his or her refugee status.

But the situation is also unfair to the Palestinians themselves because they are denied the possibility of integrating into the country where they hold citizenship. Nobody can integrate if forced to live in special camps and attend special schools and clinics. . . . [B]eginning a gradual handover of these services to Jordan would save UNRWA money while also helping two million people. . . .

Second, [much] like Jordan, the Palestinian Authority (PA) refuses to provide services to either the 800,000 registered refugees in the West Bank or the 1.3 million in Gaza. In other words, based on the PA’s self-reported population of 4.9 million, it’s refusing to provide services to a whopping 43 percent of the residents of its putative state. These 2.1 million “refugees” live in 27 designated camps. They attend special UNRWA schools and health clinics, instead of the regular Palestinian ones. And senior PA officials have said explicitly that they are not and never will be entitled to citizenship in the Palestinian state.

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More about: Jordan, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian refugees, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, UNRWA

 

The American Jewish Establishment Has Failed to Grapple with the Threat of Anti-Semitism

Feb. 17 2020

When the White House released its plan for the creation of a Palestinian state that also gives due consideration to Israeli security, writes Seth Mandel, a number of major Jewish organizations rushed to condemn it. The self-styled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group J Street lambasted the plan for being too pro-Israel, as did the Israel Policy Forum—founded in the 1990s at the behest of Yitzḥak Rabin. Even the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) responded equivocally. To Mandel, this attitude is only a symptom of a deeper problem:

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More about: ADL, AIPAC, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism