UNRWA’s Fake Students, Curriculum and Shortfall

The first day of school was a wonderful opportunity for the 70 year-old temporary United Nations agency to show pictures of children and ask for money.

Students attend their first day of the 2019-2020 school year at the UNRWA al-Sabra Preparatory Co-Ed School in Gaza on 25 August 2019. © 2019 UNRWA Photo

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) wrote about the 532,000 UNRWA students who went back to school, part of the “5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA.

But those two figures were not really accurate, even by UNRWA’s count.

  • As of January 2019, UNRWA figures show that 5.545 million people were registered as Palestinian Refugees and another 626,000 were “other registered persons” for a total of 6.2 million people getting assistance from UNRWA, 15% more than described in the UNRWA article.
  • UNRWA also runs schools which provide vocational training on top of the 532,000 students going to elementary and preparatory schools, plus secondary in Lebanon. A total of 7,688 were enrolled in the UNRWA Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programme (TVET) and another 1,681 were in Educational Sciences.

The head of UNRWA, Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl who is being investigated for corruption, said that the schools help Arab students become “thoughtful and open-minded, to uphold human values and tolerance, and to contribute positively to the development of society and the global community.” Unfortunately, the exact opposite is the case. Just ten days before the first day of school, the UN was presented with significant findings of outright antisemitism in UNRWA textbooks. The IMPACT-SE study covered many examples of hatred and incitement in the classrooms including:

  • textbooks do not refer to Israel by name, and instead call it “Zionist Occupier”
  • an example for the word “beautiful” is “shahid” meaning martyr
  • A terrorist who killed many Jewish children is featured in textbooks with calls to emulate the act
  • Newton’s law of physics is demonstrated with a picture of an Arab shooting a slingshot at Israeli soldiers

Over a dozen other examples were given.

In concert with the corruption, the lies about the number and types of people getting services and the promotion of antisemitism, the ever-lasting temporary agency came begging for donations.

The Arab-friendly press said that UNRWA needs another $150 million to operate until the end of the year, about 10% of the annual budget of $1.2 billion.

One possible solution for the shortfall would be to remove all of the people in the “other” category who account for well over 10% of the population and should never have been getting services from the ever expanding temporary agency.

Another cure would be to stop UNRWA’s microfinance lending program which hands out tens of millions of dollars every year to Arabs to start businesses. It is unclear if any of the over $530 million in “loans” has ever been repaid.

Shutting all services in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and Area A is another possible answer to the incessant calls for global aid.

But more than anything else, it’s time to shut the school charade.

UNRWA’s textbooks and schools are the training manuals and grounds, respectively, for Hamas’s antisemitic war against Israel. Much like Hamas’s use of children as human shields in launching rockets against Israeli civilians, UNRWA is complicit in crimes against humanity. Not only should the agency’s mandate not be renewed in 2020, social media should block its pages and world banks should deny its ability to fund raise and distribute monies immediately.


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

The Growth of UNRWA’s “Other” Wards

Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

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I Hate Israel – The UN Told Me So

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The Growth of UNRWA’s “Other” Wards

The last post “UNRWA Anoints New Palestinian Wards” generated many questions. Does the agency tasked with helping descendants of internally-displaced people from 1948 actually assist non-refugees as well?

The answer is unambiguously yes.

Here is UNRWA’s report from January 1, 2011. It shows a whopping growth in the number of “refugees,” including a growth of 8.9% in the West Bank alone. If that sounds too hard to believe that Arabs suddenly went from an annual population growth of 2-3% to 9%, it’s because it is untrue. UNRWA decided to add lots of other people onto its service rolls.

Here is a chart the following year in January 2012, the first time UNRWA broke out figures for this “other” category.

Table 1. 2012 UNRWA Recipients Totals

2012 Jordan Lebanon Syria West Bank Gaza Total
Refugees        1,979,580        436,154        486,946        727,471        1,167,572        4,797,723
“Others”              67,787           29,644           23,498        147,156              49,947            318,032
Total        2,047,367        465,798        510,444        874,627        1,217,519        5,115,755
other % 3.3% 6.4% 4.6% 16.8% 4.1% 6.2%

The non-refugees who received aid from UNRWA were 6.2% of the total population, and an incredible 16.8% in the West Bank.

The world didn’t seem to care and kept sending money to the agency. So the numbers of “others” kept on skyrocketing.

Here is a chart from January 2019, which shows that the “other” percentage jumped to over 10% of the total population serviced by UNRWA.

Table 2. 2019 UNRWA Recipients Totals

2019 Jordan Lebanon Syria West Bank Gaza Total
Refugees        2,242,579        475,075        560,139        846,465        1,421,282        5,545,540
“Others”            133,902           58,810           83,003        201,525            149,013            626,253
Total        2,376,481        533,885        643,142     1,047,990        1,570,295        6,171,793
other % 5.6% 11.0% 12.9% 19.2% 9.5% 10.1%

As shown in Table 2, one-in-five West Bank recipients of UNRWA aid were not even descendants of people who fled the 1948 war zone.

This is a result of the active recruitment of “other” Arabs who UNRWA decided should get services from the bloated agency.

Table 3. Change from 2012 to 2019
UNRWA Recipients Totals

Change Jordan Lebanon Syria West Bank Gaza Total
Refugees 13.3% 8.9% 15.0% 16.4% 21.7% 15.6%
“Others” 97.5% 98.4% 253.2% 36.9% 198.3% 96.9%

As show in Table 3, while the Gaza “refugee” population grew by 21.7% over seven years, the “others” serviced by UNRWA TRIPLED. Overall, the refugee population grew by 15.6% while the “other” category almost doubled.

Who are these “Other” Non-Refugees?

UNRWA doesn’t hide the fact that in services other people. It considers itself a humanitarian organization, so it will give other people in need free education and healthcare. Why Syrians fleeing the terrible civil war come under the umbrella of UNRWA (growing by 253%!!) and not the UNHCR which cares for every other refugee in the world is a mystery that only the brains at UNRWA could answer.

In general, UNRWA breaks down the “other” category into six categories:

  • Jerusalem poor and Gaza poor. Just being poor – and their descendants! – entitles people to special relief from UNRWA.
  • Frontier Villagers. That’s a category, and all their descendants also get services from UNRWA.
  • Compromise Cases. Alas, these descendant to not get services
  • Family Members. If someone marries a refugee, then they get services and all adopted children get services. Quite the set up for the scam of the century.
  • Non-refugee wives. If you marry a refugee, you get special services.
  • Khafala children. Children who get Islamic care from a refugee or “other” get UNRWA services too, even if they or their ancestors were never refugees.

So many rich categories to choose from, it’s a wonder that the rolls only doubled in seven years and din’t quintuple.


UNRWA office in Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)

UNRWA was created in 1950 as a TEMPORARY agency, but has managed to make itself a permanent fixture in the Arab-Israel conflict as it inflates the number of refugees and continuously adds to its beneficiaries and staffing. It is well past time to whittle it down to size.


Related First.One.Through articles:

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

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UNRWA Annoints New Palestinian Wards

UNRWA, the UN agency tasked with providing healthcare, education and loans to the descendants of Arabs who used to live in Israel, has come under fire recently because the head of the agency was caught extending favors to his girlfriend. The accusations caused the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium to suspend donations to the agency.

Past accusations of supporting terrorism and producing school textbooks which promoted antisemitism never generated such an outcry, perhaps because the Europeans viewed those reports as biased, coming from pro-Israel corners of the world.

But raw statistics as provided by UNRWA itself show the agency to be deeply flawed. Consider the following:

UNRWA staff grows faster than the population it serves.  From 2017 to 2018, the local staff at UNRWA grew by 3.0%, from 30,799 to 31,726, while the number of registered persons served by UNRWA grew by only 2.6%, from 5,869,733 to 6,021,510. There is no reason for a 70-year old agency to grow (hire local Palestinian Arabs) at such an aggressive level.

UNRWA keeps adding (manufacturing?) new Palestinians wards. The number of “registered persons” who are serviced by UNRWA include “registered refugees” which is defined as people who lived (or are descended from males who lived) in Israel between June 1, 1946 and May 15, 1948, together with “other registered persons” who might include wives of people who are registered refugees. (For clarity, the UN decided that a woman who marries a grandson of an Arab who used to live in Jaffa for a few months in the 1940’s, becomes entitled to free healthcare and education for life, as do all of her kids- even those from a previous marriage).

From 2017 to 2018, while the number of registered refugees in Gaza grew by 2.8%, the number of “other registered persons” grew by a whopping 48.4%! The refugee count in Gaza grew by 37,919 people from 1.35 million to 1.39 million, while the number of “others” grew by an insane 42,114 people, from 87,080 to 129,194. It is as though UNRWA in Gaza was officiating at 100 wedding ceremonies every single day to enroll more wards onto its ledgers.

These are figures supplied by UNRWA itself, not an external report which may have some qualitative bias.

UNRWA is a highly corrupt agency focused on self-preservation which wastes billions of dollars of global aid, as it actively undermines any chance for peace in the Arab-Israel conflict. That the Europeans would suddenly become “woke” because of the toxic environment at the top is more tragic than laughable.


UNRWA building in Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)


Related First.One.Through articles:

Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

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While Palestinians Fire 400 Rockets, the United Nations Meets to Give Them Money

On November 12, 2018, the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza fired over 400 rockets into various populations centers in Israel. Buses, roads and homes were hit, killing and injuring people trying to manage their lives.


Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel

The United Nations was keenly aware of the situation in Gaza. It talks about the Palestinian Arabs living there every day.

And so it was on November 12. Dozens of delegates from around the world came to express their desire for more money to flow to these same Palestinians via UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which has perpetuated the status of statelessness.

  • The delegate from Syria which hosts a few hundred thousand Palestinians said the “United Nations and the Secretary-General must bridge the Agency’s funding shortfall and work with UNRWA to sustain funding,” and nothing must “interfere with the right of Palestine refugees to return home [meaning to Israel].
  • The delegate from Jordan which hosts – and granted citizenship – to over 2 million Palestinians said “many of those refugees are denied their right to prosper and to return to their villages [meaning to Israel],” and “undermining UNRWA could deepen the frustrations of refugees and cause young people to fall prey to extremism.” (it could get worse than rocket fire).
  • The delegate from Lebanon noted “his country hosts about 469,000 [Palestinians],” and was glad that “UNRWA has contributed to efforts aimed at keeping the right of return [meaning to Israel] on the table,” and “he welcomed the proposed initiatives to fund the Agency [UNRWA].”
  • The delegate from Norway focused immediately on Gaza, where the financial situation of UNRWA created a terrible “humanitarian situation” for Palestinian Arabs “emphasizing that its financial situation is very concerning.
  • The delegate from Indonesia said that “Palestinians should not be deprived of the right of return [meaning to Israel], while highlighting Indonesia’s increased contribution to the Agency’s work.

The list goes on, and includes delegates from Japan, Kuwait, Tunisia, Malaysia, Ecuador, China, Nigeria, Egypt, UAE, Sudan, Australia, Turkey, India, Brazil, Russia and the Vatican.

Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, thanked the Committee for their recognition and support, also noting the remarkable support mobilized in the face of the Agency’s dire financial shortfall.

  • No one addressed the rocket fire from Gaza.
  • No one mentioned that Hamas which runs Gaza threatened to continue to shell the Israeli cities of Ashdod and Beer Sheva.
  • No one discussed the Hamas Charter which calls for the destruction of Israel.
  • No one mentioned the three wars which Palestinians from Gaza have waged against Israel over the past decade.
  • No one mentioned the car rammings or knife attacks against Israeli civilians by Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank.

While Palestinians shelled Israel, the United Nations demanded more monies for Palestinians and a right to move into Israel. Such actions are worse than the “Zionism is racism” resolution of the 1970’s. The UN is actively aiding, abetting and encouraging war against a member state.


Related First.One.Through articles:

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

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Compensation Fund for Palestinian Arabs’ and MENA Jews’ Lost Property

As the US hopefully initiates plans to dismantle the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Near East (UNRWA), it is an appropriate time for Israel to assess the amount of money that Palestinians are due for their lost property.

ALL Palestinians

Part of the lure that the United Nations dangled before the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) to register as refugees in the UN agency was that those people who remained in the immediate surrounding area (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza) would not only be entitled to free schooling and healthcare, subsidized housing and business loans, but would ALSO have the opportunity to either move into Israel or be compensated for the homes that were left by parents, grandparents and great-grandparents long ago. This contrasts with relatives who left the region to have careers, homes and citizenship outside of Israel’s neighbors who gave up the right to move to Israel and/or be compensated for the lost property according to the UN.

That’s absurd. Lost property is lost property.

It is time for Israel to take a full accounting of the property which Arabs left in 1948 when five Arab armies came to destroy the reestablished Jewish State of Israel. Those Arab descendants who lost property should not be limited to those who registered with UNRWA to be wards of the world. There are Arabs who live in Chile, the United Kingdom and elsewhere who should also be entitled to compensation for a lost home.

The compensation should be paid directly to the Arabs still alive from 1948. In cases in which there is no survivor, the compensation should be shared ratably among all of the descendants regardless of where they currently live and whether they are registered as “refugees” with the UN.

Such approach is consistent with the founding resolution of UNRWA and UNGA Resolution 194 which states:

 “that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;”

For 70 years it has been clear through wars, intifadas, car ramming and stabbing attacks and a leadership that continues to refuse to acknowledge the “Jewishness of Israel” and has laws for the death penalty for any Arab that sells land to a Jew, that the Palestinian Arabs are unwilling to “live at peace.” The chapter of “Right of Return” has closed. It is time to settle the issue completely with compensation.

Does that mean that third generation Palestinian Arabs living in Chile will have the same rights to compensation as the SAPs in Gaza? Absolutely. Why should they be treated differently? Just because Gazans have been living off of the world’s charity for 70 years, does not make them more entitled to compensation for lost property than Palestinians that established productive lives in new countries. A Palestinian-Canadian, Palestinian-Chilean and Gazan will all have to share from the same compensation fund.

850,000 Jews from Arab Lands

It is similarly time for the Arab countries that forced their native Jews to flee from their homes to pay compensation to them for lost property. These Jews were routed from their houses out of pure antisemitism, unlike the Arabs from Palestine that had launched a civil war over land. Each country should follow a similar program of compensating the direct party that was forced to leave their home, or their direct descendants.

  • Algeria 140,000 Jews
  • Egypt 75,000
  • Iraq 135,000
  • Lebanon 5,000
  • Libya 38,000
  • Morocco 265,000
  • Syria 30,000
  • Tunisia 105,000
  • Yemen 55,000

This total of 850,000 Jews does not include the Jews who fled Iran and Afghanistan.

The fact that the Jewish survivors of the Arab expulsion and their descendants now have citizenship in Israel, France, Canada and elsewhere make them no less entitled to compensation for lost property, just like the Palestinians with citizenship in various countries.


For 70 years the Jews and Arabs from around the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have fought each other and routed people from their homes. It is time for just compensation to be made for all parties to forge a pathway to an enduring peace in the region.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

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What’s Wrong with UNRWA

The United States has seemingly made the decision to stop its voluntary contributions to UNRWA, the United Nations organization which handles the descendants of Palestinian Arab “refugees” who left what is now Israel in 1948. The US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a talk at the Defense of Democracies where she made several comments as to why she felt that it was the correct thing to do:

  • The countries that we give money to, do they believe what we believe? Are they still actually wanting to be our partner and work with us? If they’re not and shouting ‘Death to America’ why would we give them a single penny? And so you are seeing the efforts to defunding those things that are not helpful to us and not in the United States’ interest.” (16:50)
  • UNRWA can stay there, and we will be a donor if it reforms what it does. If it goes and makes sure that they are not doing this teachings in textbooks , if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering with them.” (27:45)

The leadership of the Palestinian Authority has repeatedly shut down discussions with the Trump Administration. Senior leaders have refused to entertain the still unreleased peace plan; they have refused to stop paying stipends to the families of terrorists; they have even told Nikki Haley to “shut up.”

In short, the Palestinian Authority is a problem, the terrorist group Hamas that runs Gaza is a problem, and the UN agency that enables and encourages these two factions is also a problem.

But the New York Times could not bring itself to cover the underlying facts about the decision to cut funding to UNRWA in an unbiased fashion.


New York Times page A8 on September 1, 2018
with two stories on the US funding cuts to UNRWA

On September 1, 2018, the “news”paper ran two stories on the subject, conceivably showing two sides of the UNRWA defunding issue. One article was called “Trump Administration’s Move to Cut Aid to Palestinians Is Denounced.” The article included a picture of Arabs on line for aid with a caption “Palestinian refugees receive assistance at a distribution center managed by the United Nations in Gaza last month.” The second article was titled “Why U.S. Plans to Slash Aid to Palestinians Make Israel Uneasy.” It included a very large picture of five cute girls sitting at school desks with a caption “Students at a U.N. school in Gaza City on Wednesday. A U.N. agency faces a $217 million shortfall that could force schools to close.”

Two articles were printed together on the same topic. One article said that the U.S. move to cut its funding to UNRWA was “denounced” broadly. The second article said that the cut made Israelis “uneasy.” The clear message from the Times was that everyone thinks the move is a terrible idea, even the Israelis.

How is that two sides of an issue? Why not clearly articulate why the administration is taking the steps against the agency which the State Department called an “irredeemably flawed operation,” with an “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable“?

Since the alt-left media cannot be balanced and educate readers, let’s do so here.

Refugee Definition and Headcount

A “refugee” is someone who leaves a country, not a town or a village. Such definition does not get handed down through the generations like an inheritance. There are roughly 50,000 refugees from the Arab War against Israel in 1948, not 5.3 million, as detailed below. The balance are descendants of refugees. The UN allows even more people to register for services (RPs, Registered Persons), so UNRWA actually provided services to 5.87 million people as of December 31, 2017.

UNRWA’s own definition of Palestinian refugees are “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.” The area of Palestine in that window of time included Gaza and the region later to be known as the “West Bank.” Gaza holds 1.436 million “Registered Persons” and the West Bank 997,000 RPs. That’s 2.4 million people who are living in the same place, just a few miles from where their grandparents had a house. There’s no basis of calling any of these people refugees.

Basically all of the 2.287 million Palestinian Arab “RPs” living in Jordan have Jordanian citizenship. They – and their parents and grandparents – were granted citizenship after Jordan attacked Israel in 1948, illegally annexed eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (which they renamed the West Bank) in 1950 and then granted all of the non-Jewish residents citizenship in 1954 as part of their ethnic cleansing of Jews and illegal seizure. These Palestinian-Jordanian citizens have no fear of persecution. Indeed, the Queen of Jordan is herself a descendant of Palestinians. As such, all of these 2.3 million people have no basis of being called refugees.

The balance of the RPs in Syria (618,000) and Lebanon (532,000) who are over 70 years old who left Palestine because of the 1948 War could be called Palestinian refugees. What percentage of the 1.15 million people were born before May 1948? The estimate is that 6.78% of Lebanon is over the age of 65. Using a very conservative 5% figure for people 70+ who fled Palestine because of war would yield a actual refugee count of approximately 57,000 people; the actual number is likely 1/10th of that.

The United Nations is perpetuating UNRWA and its budget through a grossly exaggerated count of refugees, by well over 100 times!

UNRWA Budget

UNRWA claimed a needed budget in 2016/7 of $760 million. That equates to $129 spent per person on the overstated 5.87 million RPs. The other United Nations agency tasked with helping refugees – real ones by the way – is the UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That group handles 68.5 million people, from war-town areas including South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria (63.1 million stripping out 5.4m Palestinians registered with UNRWA). These refugees typically have nothing as they flee their regions, needing basic items including food, clothing and shelter, let alone medicine and schools. UNHCR had $4 billion of expenditures to care for these people in 2017, roughly $63 per person. That means that UNHCR spent 51% less per person for people with dire needs all over the world, compared to UNRWA which has been around for decades, with established facilities.

The main cause is staffing. UNHCR had a staff of 11,517 around the world as of May 2018. Meanwhile, UNRWA had a staff of 30,799. The staff-to-RPs ratios for Palestinians was 1 UN staff member for every 190 people needing assistance, but only 1 UN staffer for every 5,479 people at UNHCR for refugees with real emergency needs. That’s an over-staffing problem at UNRWA of 29 times – even using the grossly exaggerated UNRWA definition of refugee.

UNRWA’s Abused and Outdated Mission Statement

UNRWA has a flawed mission statement at its core, quite unique relative to the UNHCR.

The UNHR’s mission statement states clearly:

“UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. In its efforts to achieve this objective,the Office strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State,and to return home voluntarily. By assisting refugees to return to their own country or to settle permanently in another country, UNHCR also seeks lasting solutions to their plight.”

As noted above, the 2.4 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are already in “their own country.” The 2.3 million Palestinians living in safety and security and enjoying citizenship in Jordan are settled “in another country.” Under UNHCR’s definition, there would be no facilities in those locations.

However, UNRWA was created as different kind of agency. General Assembly Resolution 302 in December 1949 sought to create UNRWA at a time when Egypt controlled Gaza, Jordan had the “West Bank,” and Israel assumed even more land than had been considered under the 1947 Partition Plan. The resolution referred to UNGA Resolution 194 – and paragraph 11 in particular – which stated:

“Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

“Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;”

Unlike the UNHCR, which seeks to make sure that refugees are safe and settled SOMEWHERE, UNRWA only seeks to have Palestinians going to their HOMES. Not to their country or another country, but to the actual house where people once lived. While that may have been a somewhat logical approach right after the war 70 years ago, the idea of moving into a house that no longer exists in towns that have been completely rebuilt is nonsensical.

Yet, UNRWA is unswayed. It insists that the Palestinian refugees will return to the exact town and home. It even features skeleton keys above the entrance to its camps, as a symbol of such “Right of Return.”

UNRWA Facilitating Terrorism

Beyond the flawed core mission of UNRWA – and perhaps because of it – the organization is a horribly biased actor in the peace process between the Arabs and Israelis.

The school textbooks have long denied the history of Jews throughout the holy land and promote antisemitism. The schools refuse to teach about the Holocaust and UNRWA teachers use Facebook to promote terrorism against Israelis.

In Gaza, the situation is particularly untenable, as the area is governed by the terrorist group Hamas which has launched three wars against Israel in 2008, 2012 and 2014. UNRWA does not sit idly as a neutral party in these battles. UNRWA teachers have been active fighters, building bombs for terrorist groups, and allowing schools to be used to store weapons and as missile launching sites.

The UNRWA-terrorism problem has been going on for a long time. James Lindsay, a former general counsel for UNRWA from 2000 to 2007, penned a report in January 2009 where he wrote “UNRWA has taken very few steps to detect and eliminate terrorists from the ranks of its staff or its beneficiaries, and no steps at all to prevent members of terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, from joining its staff.

In October 2015, during the Obama Administration, Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.R. 3829, The UNRWA Anti-Incitement and Anti-Terrorism Act, which sought to defund UNRWA unless and until it made significant changes. The bill had three Republican co-sponsors but did not get much traction. And the US kept sending UNRWA its voluntary contributions.

Finally in 2018, the United States appears ready to follow through with actions after a decade-plus of discussions.

Funding Sources

Almost the entirety of UNRWA’s funding comes from voluntary donations. There is no assessment nor formula for which country is required to give how much.

Every year, decade-after-decade, it has been the United States that has been the single largest contributor to UNRWA. In 2017, the USA gave $364 million. The European Union gave $142 million. The individual counties’ contributions were relatively light: Germany $76 million; United Kingdom $67 million; Sweden $61 million.

The Muslim and Arab states gave paltry sums, especially considering their constant attacks against Israel at the United Nations. Saudi Arabia $53 million; UAE $12.8 million; Kuwait $9 million; Turkey $6.7 million; Kuwaiti Fund $4.9 million; Dubai Cares $3.8 million; Qatar $1 million; Kuwait Patients Fund $100,000.

Zero from Iran. Nothing from Bahrain. No Oman. No Morocco. No Pakistan. The entire Arab and Muslim world gave less than 25% of the American donation.

But as Nikki Haley pointed out, the generosity of the United States is treated with scorn and demands for more.


UNRWA is a deeply flawed organization and has been so for decades. It has been an embarrassment that the United States has done so little to reform the organization over the past decade and that liberal media still cannot accurately report on the agency’s corruption and failings. More kudos to Nikki Haley for underscoring plain facts, and to the Trump team of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt for their efforts to reform the UN to help advance an enduring peace in the Arab-Israel conflict.


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

The Arab Middle East Makes Refugees, They Don’t Help Them

The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

Related First.One.Through video:

Jordan’s Hypocrisy about UNRWA

The Hamas Theme Song (CSNY)

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Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

The arguments to defund and shut UNRWA are plentiful, but as the established and embedded “way of living,” (to quote Queen Rania of Jordan) of Palestinian Arabs in the five regions in which it operates, the process of closing the organization may take some time to implement.

But the time is now in Gaza.

  1. There is no basis for calling anyone in Gaza a “refugee.”

While the United Nations long ago abused the definition of “refugee” as something that can be passed down through generations like an inheritance uniquely for Palestinian Arabs, the situation in Gaza is all the more ridiculous. A “refugee” is not defined as someone that left a specific house. It refers to leaving a country.

Even under UNRWA’s contorted definition of a refugee, the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza are living in the same land and country that their parents and grandparents left at the time of the Jewish State’s reestablishment in 1948, as defined by UNRWA:

“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.”

“Palestine” between June 1946 and May 1948 included the areas now known as Israel, Gaza and the area commonly known as the “West Bank,” which was seized and annexed illegally by the Jordanians at the end of the 1948 conflict.

At best, the “refugees” in Gaza can be described as “internally-displaced” people.

  1. Independent

While the Arabs in the West Bank are also only descendants of internally-displaced people like those in Gaza, they have limited autonomy in much of the region. Only in Area A is the Palestinian Authority in charge of both the civilian and military life.

However, the situation is completely different in Gaza. Israel removed every Israeli civilian and soldier in 2005. For the first time in history, local Arabs in Gaza control their own territory. The Gazans held elections for president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005 and for parliament in 2006.

But UNRWA has stayed put in Gaza anyway.

  1. Taking Sides in an Armed Conflict

While the United Nations adoption of the Palestinian cause has long made the organization a biased actor in the Israeli-Palestinian Arab dispute, the situation is much more problematic in a war zone.

Hamas, the ruling government in Gaza is a designated terrorist organization according to many countries in the world including Israel, the United States, Canada and the European Union. Hamas has launched three full-blown wars against Israel since it took over the region: in 2008, 2012 and 2014. And the group has continued to incite and launch terrorist attacks against Israel during intervening “ceasefires.”

UNRWA does not sit in the middle as a neutral party in these battles. Over 99% of UNRWA employees are the local Palestinian Arabs, not European peace forces. UNRWA teachers have been active in the terrorism against a UN member state, building bombs for terrorist groups. They have allowed the schools to be used to store weapons and as missile launching sites.

And many of the students and their family members are part of the terrorist infrastructure itself, belonging to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups.


Rocket launcher next to UN building in Hamas’s 2014 war against Israel
(source: UNWatch)

How can the United Nations continue to take an active – or at a minimum, abetting – role in terrorism and violence against a member state?

The world is finally waking up to the travesty that is UNRWA. The UN should take immediate action to close down all of the facilities that it operates in Gaza. #ShutUNRWA


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UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence

The United Nations Can Hear the Songs of Gazans, but Cannot See Their Rockets

The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

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The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been bloating its staff and wards since 1949. Tasked with taking care of displaced Arab people from the 1948-9 Arab war against Israel’s creation, the agency has continued to provide services for children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original refugees who continue to live in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza.

To examine the staffing of UNRWA is to gain insight into the gross misuse of the world’s generosity.

UNRWA’s own 2017 statistics revealed the following:

 Jordan   Lebanon   Syria   West Bank   Gaza   Amman HQ   Total 
 Registered Refugees        2,175,491        463,664        543,014        809,738        1,348,536        5,340,443
 Other Registered Persons            111,152           50,131           75,114        187,435              87,080            510,912
 Total Registered Persons (RR)        2,286,643        513,795        618,128        997,173        1,435,616        5,851,355

UNRWA gives services to nearly 5.9 million people today, even though only 711,000 “refugees” existed in 1949. Of those 711,000 people, only about 25,000 real refugees are alive today.

The numbers continue to show further abuse:

 Jordan   Lebanon   Syria   West Bank   Gaza   Amman HQ   Total 
 UNRWA Staff                6,642             3,096             3,003             4,635              13,037                  386              30,799
 International Staff                      15                  15                  17                  19                      27                    85                   178
 RR / Staff                   344                166                206                215                   110                   190

As of December 31, 2017, there were close to 31,000 employees of UNRWA – more than the number of ACTUAL refugees alive today.

Further, almost all of the 31,000 employees are local Palestinian Arabs – only 178 people are “international.” UNRWA is simply a vehicle to employ local Arabs.

The most aggressive employment happens in Gaza, where there is an UNRWA Staff person for every 110 Registered Refugees (RR). That is almost twice the level in the other regions, and three times the staffing level as in Jordan.


UNRWA offices in Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)

Most of the staffing is for UNRWA’s schools. As shown in the chart below, roughly 71% of the overall staffing is for the schools.

 Staff Detail   Jordan   Lebanon   Syria   West Bank   Gaza   Total 
 Educational Staff                5,090             2,082             2,193             2,671                9,910              21,946
 Pupil enrollment            121,368           36,088           46,733           48,959            262,112            515,260
 Pupil / Educational Staff                      24                  17                  21                  18                      26                      23
 Educational Staff as % Staff 77% 67% 73% 58% 76% 71%

To get an appreciation for  staffing levels of the schools, consider that UNRWA has a student-to-staff ratio of approximately 23:1. By way of comparison, the student-to-staff ratio in the schools in the United States is 32:1, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. There is a wide disparity in the ratio, ranging from 15:1 in Virginia to 136:1 in Kansas. But on average, UNRWA over-staffs its schools by roughly 40% compared to the United States.

There are various arguments against the existence of UNRWA which keeps Arabs in a perpetual state of statelessness and hopelessness (SAPs). There are additional arguments against the funding of the schools which promote antisemitism and intolerance.

It is worth taking note of the gross over-staffing of the organization as another component in assessing the funding of UNRWA.


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

Related First.One.Through video:

Jordan’s Hypocrisy about UNRWA

The Hamas Theme Song (CSNY)

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The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence

The United Nations has long encouraged a deeply flawed directive which stands against global international law, that descendants of Palestinian Arabs who left homes in 1948 have a right to move back to such houses inside Israel.

In addition to that particular Palestinian-only ruling, the UN created a unique definition for a “refugee” as it relates to Palestinian Arabs, coupled with a unique refugee agency, UNRWA, distinct from the global refugee agency. These convoluted UN initiatives have encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to view the borders of Israel as permeable, as mere temporary and arbitrary lines with no meaning. The UN has educated generations of these Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) that with the help of the United Nations, they will all move into Israel.


Key on top of UNRWA camp in Bethlehem,
encouraging the “Right of Return” for Palestinian Arabs

Together with the incitement of their leaders from the terrorist group Hamas, Gazans have taken the next small step to view the border fence with Israel as not just irrelevant, but completely illegitimate.

It is therefore no surprise that Gazans attacked the border fence with Israel in their “Great March of Return” during the spring of 2018. The Palestinian Arabs have been given tacit approval of such actions for decades by the United Nations.

It is therefore highly appropriate that the United Nations take active steps to correct the violation of Israel’s sovereignty which the UN itself implicitly inspired.

The UN must contribute funds to Israel’s repair of its border fence with Gaza. It must make clear to the people of Gaza and around the world that Israel’s borders are inviolable and no threat to the country will be tolerated.

Unless it really believes otherwise.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

The “Great Myth of Return”

Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

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UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

It has been often reviewed how the United Nations has manufactured Palestinian Arab “refugees.” The fabrication done at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been via:

  • calling someone a “refugee” when they left a home or town, rather than a country which is the actual definition of a refugee;
  • allowing the descendants of those Palestinian Arab “refugees” to claim such status, even though no such status is conferred to other refugees;
  • Telling those refugees that they will return to homes that grandparents left decades ago, even when such homes no longer exist and not a goal of relief agencies;
  • Still calling such people “refugees,” even when they live in the same country that they claim to be refugees of, in the case of Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank

However, the NUMBER of Palestinian Arabs has not been reviewed, and particularly, how UNRWA has increased the number of Palestinian Arabs through its actions.

Fertility Rates in Undeveloped Areas

The UN has completed studies that show how more developed countries witness a much lower rate of birth and older population compared to less developed countries.

Development Stage:         Advanced           Less              Least
Annual rate of
population change                0.3%                1.4%              2.4%

Population age 0-14               16%                28%                40%

Maternal Mortality                0.01%            0.24%             0.44%

Undeveloped countries like Yemen and Sudan have very high birth rates, averaging over 4 children per mother. They similarly have a high maternal and infant mortality rates, as the level of healthcare in those countries is quite poor.

Not so for the healthcare of Palestinian Arabs, thanks to UNRWA.

UNRWA deploys billions of dollars every year to give the Palestinian Arabs the best healthcare in almost the entire world. As a result, despite the high birth rates in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the mortality rates are a fraction witnessed throughout the region.

fertility vs mortality

Most of the mothers in the Middle East average between 1.5 and 3.0 children. Societies in Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Iran and Qatar average just below two children per mother according to the World Health Organization. The incidents of children under five years old dying was low in those countries, at roughly 1.0 to 1.5%. On the other end of the spectrum were countries under severe distress, including Sudan and Yemen. These countries with over four children on average per mother saw an expected rate of death for children under five years old of 6.0%, five times the rate of the more stable and advanced regions.

But the Palestinian Arabs are an anomaly. While Palestinian mothers average 4.1 children, according to the WHO, the probability of the children dying was the same as experienced in advanced Turkey or Saudi Arabia, at under 1.5%. Applying 2014 data of 121,330 Palestinian Arab births in Gaza and the West Bank, would suggest that 1,808 of these children will die before age 5, but the theoretical number without UNRWA intervention would be closer to that 6.0% percentage of Sudan and Yemen, or 7,280 deaths. That means that because of UNRWA, there will be 5,472 more Palestinian Arab children alive from the class of 2014.

Further adding the 0.2% improved rate of maternal mortality represents approximately 240 mothers each year that do not pass away due to UNRWA’s efforts. In total, considering that UNRWA has been operating for close to 70 years through multiple generations, the number of incremental Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank because of UNRWA is close to 1 million.

Future Action: Jobs versus Contraception

The United Nations created a document together with the Palestinian Authority called “Palestine 2030 – Demographic Change” which told an interesting narrative and plan for the Palestinian demographic boom.

The opening lines of the report bemoaned the slow rate of the population growth: “Palestine’s demographic transition particularly its fertility component, continues to lag behind that of many Asia countries, including Arab countries… Fertility, which was extremely high in the 1970s has been cut in half.” A shocking statement compared to the statistics listed above.

The report continued to discuss the connection between fertility rates and education and income. “Very universal marriage, early marriage, and a low contraceptive rate, especially for modern methods of contraception (used by 44%), are the main proximate determinants of the present level of fertility. Household wealth also plays a role. But it is mainly education, particularly female education that determines the fertility rate.

The report estimates that the Palestinian Arab population in Gaza and the West Bank will grow from 4.7 million in 2015, to 6.9 million in 2030 and 9.5 million in 2050. The doubling of the Palestinian population between 2015 and 2050 compares to a global growth rate of just 36%. The high Palestinian rate of growth is only anticipated in the large poor African countries like Chad, Uganda and Tanzania. Consider further that the number of “refugees” in the GS/WB areas is forecast to grow from roughly 2 million today to 3 million in 2030 and 4.5 million in 2050 (+125% for refugees and +85% for non-refugees). UNRWA clearly impacts the population growth, with estimates of “creating” an additional 800,000 Palestinian Arabs by 2050.

Those are staggering figures for a small territory.

And yet the report claims that the solution to the population boom is not population control, but more jobs and education for women.

If the United Nations is on the front lines of health services in the Palestinian territories, why is the use of contraception only at 44%, when it stands at 64% in the rest of the world where women have to obtain, purchase and manage their health on their own? Why isn’t UNRWA doing more education about family planning and making more contraceptives available?  It is estimated that 7.0% and 5.0% of Palestinians use the pill and condoms, respectively. Shouldn’t the rate be double or triple, more in line with Lebanon (15.1% pill) and Turkey (15.9% condoms)? Overall contraceptive use should be targeted at 75%, in line with the Islamic Republic of Iran at 76.6%.

The UN General Assembly made a global goal of comprehensive family planning in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which it set out “universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.” With thousands of feet on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank, the UN is in prime position to take an aggressive stance.

Palestinian Arabs have extremely high fertility rates similar to third world countries but receive first-class healthcare from the United Nations. In doing so, UNRWA has helped the Palestinian Arab population balloon by an incremental one million people, or 25%. Will the UN advance its own global family planning goals for Palestinian Arabs, or does it prefer to create a demographic army to confront Israel?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Time to Dissolve Key Principles of the “Inalienable Rights of Palestinians”

An Inconvenient Truth: Population Statistics in Israel/Palestine

Mad World of Palestinian Quality of Life Statistics

Arabs in Jerusalem

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