Holland May Cut Funds to UNRWA
Holland is reviewing its policy of funding the UNRWA agency for Arab ”refugees," which treats them differently from other refugees.
In reply to a question from Speaker of the legislature Hans Ten Broke, Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the government will “thoroughly review” its annual contribution of approximately $30 million, according to the European Jewish Press.
Holland is the sixth largest contributor to the United Nations agency, which was set up to deal with Arabs, most of whom were encouraged to flee Israel by Arab countries who promised they would quickly return after the anticipated annihilation of Israel in the War for Independence.
Canada last year decided not to renew its $10 million funding for UNRWA, which is financed mainly by the United States, Sweden, Norway and Britain.
"UNRWA uses its own unique definition of refugees, different to the UN’s. The refugee issue is a big obstacle for peace. We therefore ask the government acknowledge this discrepancy, which leads to the third-generation Palestinian refugees," speaker Hans Ten Broeke was quoted as saying.
Rosenthal said, "I understand many involved parties regard UNRWA’s approach as highly important as it helps clarify matters and bring them into focus."
In a video explanation of “Arab refugees” presented on Arutz Sheva Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon noted that UNRWA’s policy is different from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is responsible for all refugees in the world other than those from Israel.
Unlike the High Commissioner, UNRWA extends the definition of “refugee” from generation to generation instead of acting to resettle Arabs and also retains the “refugee” status even after citizenship is granted.
Jordan is the only Arab country that has accepted the Arabs from Israel as citizens, while other countries and UNRWA cooperate to keep them in “refugee camps” as part of a political strategy to resettle them in Israel and reduce the number of Jews in the country to a minority.