UNRWA supplies at the Rafah Crossing (archive)
UNRWA supplies at the Rafah Crossing (archive)Flash 90

On February 27, 2024 a conference convened at the UN in Geneva,instigated by activists who demand that UNRWA be replaced.

However, the UN made clear that it will not allow the replacement of UNRWA, which oversees 5 million people in "temporary" refugee camps for descendants of Arabs who left villages in the wake of the 1948 war.

Since UNRWA is not going anywhere, the time has come to put the problems on the table and insist the UN address the challenge at hand:

How to get UNRWA to conform to the values of peace and reconciliation that characterize UN values.

Instead of promoting UN values, UNRWA has declared a state of war against the Jews, demanding implementation their "right of return - by force of arms- to villages that existed before 1948" - with full support from Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Iran , Turkey, the EU, Norway, the US State Department, the Israel Communist Party and the New Israel Fund.

Since the UN hows no sign of changing UNRWA policy, the parliaments of UNRWA donor nations, designated to oversee UNRWA policies, can be asked take up the challenge.

These are seven absolutely necessary steps that must be taken to promote UNRWA as a UN advocate or peace.

* Revive the RWG, the Refugee Working Group of donor nations, initiated at the Madrid peace conference in 1991, to oversee UNRWA transparency for the $1.6 billion UNRWA budget, most of which is garnered through cash donations:

* Disarm UNRWA facilities

* Remove UNRWA workers affiliated with terrorists

*Prosecute UNRWA officials who aid and abet violence.

*Facilitate a new UNRWA school system, to operate under UN guidelines for peace and reconciliation, in the spirit of the theme of UN education: PEACE BEGINS HERE.

*Introduce UNRWA maps which depict all sovereign nations.

*Adopt the UNHCR principle which allows refugees to be resettled in dignity.

While a change in the UNRWA mandate would require approval by the UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, a peaceful change in the day to day policies of UNRWA require no such approval by the UNGA.

Can it happen? Don't hold your breath.

David Bedein has directed the Israel Resource News Agency since 1987 and heads the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research, which has produced 24 movies shot on location in UNRWA camps, while engaging academics fluent in Arabic to review more than 1000 PA textbooks used by UNRWA schools . ever since the PA education ministry launched its own textbooks in August 2000

He is the author of “Genesis of the Palestinian Authority” and “Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered.”