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UN Debates UNRWA Perpetuation of 'Palestinian Refugees'

Discussion held about UN org that focuses on 'Palestinians,' grants 'inherited' refugee status and reportedly radicalizes kids.
By Shimon Cohen, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/19/2014, 9:35 AM

UNRWA school in Gaza
UNRWA school in Gaza
Flash 90

The United Nations (UN) is set to hold a special discussion on Monday about the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a special UN organization tasked specifically with supporting "Palestinian refugees" - the descendants of Arab residents who left Israel in 1948.

In the discussion, Middle East specialists and historians are to present facts about the organization's role in perpetuating the refugee status of the descendants of those who left Israel. That status is widely seen as a tool to maintain a demographic threat on Israel with the demands for their "right of return."

UNRWA began activities in 1950 to provide aid to the roughly 700,000 Arabs who left Israel during the War of Independence, as an entirely separate entity from the UN's main refugee agency, the UNHCR. No UN organization was established to aid the nearly 1 million Jewish refugees who fled or were expelled from Arab countries following 1948.

Uniquely, "Palestinian refugee" status is "inherited" by the descendants of the original refugees, meaning that today the number of "Palestinian refugees" numbers 5 million in total. Instead of resettling them and helping them to rebuild their lives, however, UNRWA operates an extensive network of "refugee camps" in which residents are encouraged not to integrate into their host countries.

The discussion will also be attended by jurists working for UNRWA, who will explain their activities in the organization.

Former MK Dr. Einat Wilf will be among those speaking. Wilf has been active in the fight against UNRWA's perpetuation of refugee status, and is a senior research fellow in the Jewish People Policy Institute, other represents of which will also be present.

Wilf took part in a special meeting called by MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home) with over 40 diplomats from dozens of countries in February, which sought to shed light on how "Western countries are funding the incubators of terrorism."

US Congressmen have likewise questioned US funding for UNRWA given reports on how the group's educational texts incite and radicalize "Palestinian refugees."

Documentary research has revealed how UNRWA children's camps radicalize participants, with chants of: "with G-d's help and our own strength we will wage war. And with education and jihad we will return!" At one point, a camp instructor branded Jews as "wolves," the study showed.

UNRWA last November announced it would be unable to pay wages to its 30,000 staff members in December due to a $36 million deficit.