Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

Wards of the World The well-know secret (but not discussed, as honesty is considered impolite in politics) in the halls of governments around the world is that there are currently only 30,000 Palestinian refugees as defined by the United Nations. That definition states:

Palestine refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.

This generous definition of “refugee” ignores some basic points:

  • There were hundreds of thousands of “Palestinians” who moved to the region of Palestine from around the Arab world during the British Mandate prior to June 1946. They were newcomers, not indigenous people;
  • A “refugee” is defined as someone who is forced to flee a country, not a house or town. Palestine was not a country, but an administered region under the British Mandate;
  • Many of these “refugees” did not flee at all, but left on their own free will;
  • Many of the “refugees” were renters, not land-owners

Today, the United Nations refers to 5 million Palestinian “refugees”. These are not refugees, but descendants who voluntarily registered to receive aid from the “temporary” United Nations agency. UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, made these services available on a longer term basis when it appeared that the Israeli-Arab conflict would continue for many years:

UNRWA services are available to all those living in its area of operations [Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza] who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including adopted children, are also eligible for registration.”

UNRWA enabled people to register for services, not to register as a “refugee”. A person can no more register to be a refugee than to register to be a different gender or race. A person is either a refugee or is not- but cannot volunteer to sign up as one. Today, there are roughly 11 million Arabs who claim to have Palestinian heritage. The majority (55%) of them are citizens in new countries such as Chile, the United States and Israel. They have productive lives like many families from around the world. They call themselves Arab Chileans, Arab-Americans or Israeli Arabs. There are roughly 5 million Arabs who live in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza who have opted to take aid from UNRWA. Unlike relatives that made new lives and became citizens around the world, they decided to become SAPs, Stateless Arabs from Palestine. They accepted a beggar’s bargain which left them without a country in exchange for becoming wards of the world. In 2014, of the 11 million Palestinians:

  • 0.3% are Palestinian refugees who can make a claim of actually being displaced 66 years ago;
  • 55% have taken citizenship around the world;
  • 45% have elected to be SAPs, to live on the world’s charity and complain about their lack of dignity. 2.16 million people in Gaza and the West Bank currently receive aid from UNRWA, and another 3.1 million in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan

Source: Refugee definition,

  • someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons” (not a descendant)

US Senate defining 30,000 Palestinian refugees

UNRWA statistics:

Related First One Through article:

800,000 Arabs moved to Palestine between 1920 and 1947

UNRWA tries to hand key to Israel to Palestinians

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

50 thoughts on “Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

  1. you are right and that is why UNRWA should be abolished. Those countries that refuse to provide citizenship to their Palestinian third or fourth generation occupants should be refused all aid …of course it won’t happen but it is a nice thought! If there were around half of a million Arab immigrants to the British mandate of Palestine (while Britain suppressed all Jewish immigration during the critical period of WW2) then many of the so called refugees are no more than bludgers but forced by their own Arab brothers and sisters into this parasitic existence. Critically, if UNRWA did not exist Operation Protective Edge would have been unnecessary. UNRWA employs 30,000 people – HAMAS controls UNRWA in Gaza.


  2. Pingback: URL

  3. Pingback: Palestinians are “Desperate” for… | FirstOneThrough

  4. Pingback: Finding Mr. Right-Wing | FirstOneThrough

  5. Pingback: Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR | FirstOneThrough

  6. Pingback: Cause and Effect: Making Gaza | FirstOneThrough

  7. Pingback: Cause and Effect: Making Gaza.

  8. Pingback: The Vanishing Point | FirstOneThrough

  9. Pingback: Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys.

  10. Pingback: John Kerry’s Hypocrisy: “Can You Deliver?” | FirstOneThrough

  11. Pingback: John Kerry’s Hypocrisy: “Can You Deliver?” |

  12. Pingback: UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews | FirstOneThrough

  13. Pingback: Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return” | FirstOneThrough

  14. Pingback: Squeezing Zionism | FirstOneThrough

  15. Pingback: The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel | FirstOneThrough

  16. Pingback: The Muslim Middle East Makes Refugees, They Don’t Help Them | FirstOneThrough

  17. Pingback: The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism | FirstOneThrough

  18. Pingback: Names and Narrative: “Palestinians” versus Palestinian Arabs / Israeli Arabs | FirstOneThrough

  19. Pingback: UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016 | FirstOneThrough

  20. Pingback: Goodbye Moon | FirstOneThrough

  21. Pingback: The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated” | FirstOneThrough

  22. Pingback: The Liberals in Canada are Following Obama in Turning on Israel | FirstOneThrough

  23. Pingback: Ban Ki Moon Understands Why People Kill Israelis | FirstOneThrough

  24. Pingback: How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel | FirstOneThrough

  25. Pingback: The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees” | FirstOneThrough

  26. Pingback: The UN’s #Alternative Facts about the 1967 Six Day War | FirstOneThrough

  27. Pingback: In The Margins | FirstOneThrough

  28. Pingback: Losing Rights | FirstOneThrough

  29. Pingback: Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians” | FirstOneThrough

  30. Pingback: UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease | FirstOneThrough

  31. Pingback: The Palestinian State I Oppose | FirstOneThrough

  32. Pingback: The “Great Myth of Return” | FirstOneThrough

  33. Pingback: Abbas’s Speech and the Window into Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism | FirstOneThrough

  34. Pingback: The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence | FirstOneThrough

  35. Pingback: The United Nations’ Select Concern for Arson in the Middle East | FirstOneThrough

  36. Pingback: The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools | FirstOneThrough

  37. Pingback: Compensation Fund for Palestinian Arabs’ and MENA Jews’ Lost Property | FirstOneThrough

  38. Pingback: While Palestinians Fire 400 Rockets, the United Nations Meets to Give Them Money | FirstOneThrough

  39. Pingback: What the Palestinians Were Thinking While Israelis Were Voting | FirstOneThrough

  40. Pingback: The Debate About Two States is Between Arabs Themselves and Jews Themselves | FirstOneThrough

  41. Pingback: The Palestinian-American You Never Heard Of: Issam Akel | FirstOneThrough

  42. Pingback: Jordan’s King Abdullah II Fights to Retain His Throne | FirstOneThrough

  43. Pingback: King Abdullah II of Jordan fights to retain his throne.

  44. Pingback: Taking it Straight to the People: Obama and Kushner | FirstOneThrough

  45. Pingback: The United Nations Must Feed the Palestinian Authority Its Dog Food | FirstOneThrough

  46. Pingback: Ayman Odeh Doesn’t Speak for Arab Israelis, Jewish Israelis or Peace | FirstOneThrough

  47. Pingback: Palestinian Arabs De-Registering from UNRWA | FirstOneThrough

  48. Pingback: Palestinian Arabs De-Registering from UNRWA.

  49. Pingback: The False Palestinian Refugee, Self-Determination Narrative | FirstOneThrough

  50. Pingback: Jews Join Anti-Zionists in Rewriting History | FirstOneThrough

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s