UNRWA Artificially Extends Its Mandate

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was created in December 1948 as a temporary agency to handle shelter, medical assistance and education for the roughly 700,000 Arabs who left what became Israel. Over seventy years later it continues to artificially extend its mandate.

UNRWA’s term was to end “at the earliest practicable date,” as outlined in UN General Assembly Resolution 194 which stated in article 11:

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;”

In December 1949 the UN General Assembly issued Resolution 302 which built upon the nature of UNRWA while also making clear the desire to end its existence quickly as stated in article 5:

“Recognizes that, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, continued assistance for the relief of the Palestine refugees is necessary to prevent conditions of starvation and distress among them and to further conditions of peace and stability, and that constructive measures should be undertaken at an early date with a view to the termination of international assistance for relief;”

One would imagine a primary focus of UNRWA would have been to help the Arabs learn to live in peace to facilitate their “repatriation.” Not so much.

The war waged by five Arab countries to destroy Israel in 1948-9 continued with cross-border skirmishes and wars leading to the 1967 war which all made clear that the refugees had no interest in living “at peace with their [Israeli] neighbours.” Consequently, no Arab refugees came to Israel, UNRWA continued to roll along and millions of dollars of international assistance continued to flow.

Only with the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 1995 did the Palestinian leadership express a willingness to recognize Israel. As such, Israel gave the newly-created Palestinian Authority the Gaza Strip and several towns in Judea and Samaria called “Area A.” However, the new reality that Gaza was under the rule of the Palestinian Authority made no impact on UNRWA which maintained that its mission continued until the refugees (at this point descendants of refugees who were born in Gaza) move into their ancestors’ towns in Israel. Seemingly, being under Palestinian rule was irrelevant to UNRWA’s term.

But in a pivot of mental gymnastics, UNRWA now claims that its mandate will continue until a Palestinian state is established.

Consider the virtual get-together on April 22, 2020 of the Second Ministerial Strategic Dialogue on UNRWA. The participants underlined that:

UNRWA must continue to operate in fulfillment of its UN mandate until a durable and just solution to the Palestine refugee issue is found in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions, including UN General Assembly resolution 194, and within the context of a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution.

UNRWA’s original mission was to help displaced people until they returned to their homes or were compensated. No longer. It first extended its mission to assist refugees in the physical return to homes, a partisan action which was never part of its mandate. It has now conditioned its term on the creation of a Palestinian state, further inserting itself as a highly biased political entity.

Entrance to UNRWA’s Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem portrayed as a keyhole with a key on top, demonstrating that the pathway to ancestors’ homes is via UNRWA.

There are many reasons to terminate UNRWA and fold it into the general United Nations agency which handles refugees around the world. There are ever-increasing reasons to starve UNRWA of all funding and donations as well.


Related First One Through articles:

New Head of UNRWA is Another Hamas-Sympathizer Politician

UNRWA Annoints New Palestinian Wards

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

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

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

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New Head of UNRWA is Another Hamas-Sympathizer Politician

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Philippe Lazzarini of Switzerland to be the new head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Upon hearing that the head was going to be from Switzerland and not England which is forever anti-Israel, one had a moment to be hopeful that the tainted agency that prevents peace in the Israeli-Arab conflict might have a chance of reform.

Philippe Lazzarini

Lazzarini had been the Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon and before that served in a similar capacity in Somalia, as well as a decade at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). His work often focused on “humanitarian assistance and international coordination in conflict and post-conflict areas,” so there was hope that the U.N. was making an active step to turn UNRWA into an organization of humanitarian assistance and not a political instrument to attack Israel.

Reading about Lazzarini’s work in Somalia gave a person a measure of hope. He said that “it is important to bear in mind that the humanitarian agenda will not be subordinated to political decisions,” an important point to make to gain support of people on the ground and to be effective and supporting people in need.

But that is seemingly only his concern in Somalia.

In September 2009, Lazzarini wrote a scathing peace about Gaza and the West Bank called “Putting dignity at the heart of the humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory.” It showed a complete deafness to the history of the region and to his own recommendations in Somalia of keeping politics out of his work.

Regarding the first “intifada” which killed hundreds of civilians in Israel between 1987 and 1993, Lazzarini wrote

“Although that period was violent, with daily mass demonstrations, confrontations,
arrests and casualties, it was at least possible to dream of a better future.” 

No mention of brutal killings, bombings or the slaughter of civilians. Just optimism.

He would continue that the situation at the time he wrote (2009) was worse, as there was little cause to be hopeful.

“The current crisis in Gaza was triggered by the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 and the unprecedented blockade imposed by Israel.”

Nowhere in the nearly 2,000-word article did Lazzarini mention that Hamas is recognized as a terrorist group by a dozen countries and sworn to the destruction of Israel. As such, the blockade appeared unjustified. He would keep his audience in the dark in writing about Operation Cast Lead of December 2008 – January 2009:

“The bulk of the 1,383 fatalities were civilians not involved in the fighting, including over 330 children. Tens of thousands were injured or traumatised. Enduring three weeks of daily bombardment from land, sea and air, the population had nowhere to seek refuge: borders were sealed and safe havens non-existent since even UN premises and schools, where civilians had taken shelter, were hit by direct shelling.”

Lazzarini failed to note that Israel launched the operation to stop the constant missile attacks coming from Gaza and to destroy hundreds of tunnels which Hamas used to bring in weaponry. He also did not mention that Israel allowed the flow of humanitarian goods throughout the conflict.

Regarding U.N. schools being safe havens, the question is safety for who? Just before Operation Cast Lead, Israel killed the principal of one of those UN schools, Awad al-Qiq, who built rockets for Islamic Jihad to fire into Israeli schools and playgrounds.

Lazzarini continued:

“Locked in by a medieval siege whose enforcers decide what items will be allowed in and what people will eat, Gaza has become a ‘humanitarian welfare society’ supported by the international community.”

The author of the Goldstone Report, Richard Goldstone said unequivocally, that “Israel, like any other sovereign nation, has the right and obligation to defend itself and its citizens against attacks from abroad and within.” The “medieval” behavior is by the antisemites who seek to kill Jews, not by those seeking to defend themselves.

Lazzarini then went on to blame Palestinian Arab child and spousal abuse on Israel:

“Women and children in particular are paying a high price, as shown by a recent UN survey revealing an increase in the prevalence of domestic and gender-based violence. Possible factors behind the increase in domestic violence include the
unprecedented levels of trauma and stress that emerged after the conflict.”

The obsession for blaming Israel for the situation continued, as did false political aspersions that “East Jerusalem” is “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Firstly, East Jerusalem doesn’t exist, it was a 19-year blip in the city’s 4,000-year history and an artifice of war. Secondly, Jerusalem was NEVER designed to be Palestinian: not in the British Mandate; not in the 1947 U.N. resolution to divide the land for two peoples; not in the post-1948/9 war which saw the Jordanians illegally annex the city; not in the post-1967 war after Jordan attacked Israel and lost the eastern half of the city; and not in the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995, the last agreements signed by the Israelis and Palestinian Authority.

Lazzarini concludes his article with a notion that has proven untrue:

“Poverty, isolation and humiliation are recipes for extremism. ‘Unlocking’ Gaza by opening its crossing points and freeing up space for Palestinian development in the West Bank are the first steps towards averting a future explosion of violence.”

There is no correlation between poverty and “violence” a/k/a “terrorism.” Palestinians rioted in the 1920’s and 1930’s killing hundreds of Jews without “poverty, isolation and humiliation.” The perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were from wealthy families.

The Palestinian Arab objection is the presence of Jews and the establishment of the Jewish State as Hamas made clear in its 1988 Charter with statements “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people,” and “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” The Palestinian Arabs voted Hamas to 58% of the parliament in 2006 with this call for a religious war against the Jews.

It was not about “poverty.”

The new head of UNRWA looked at first blush as a man who could turn a terrible agency into a constructive organization solely dedicated to humanitarian assistance. Alas, he has shown that he is another political creature born in the UN swamp who will spare no ink to defend Hamas and berate Israel.


Related First One Through articles:

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

The United Nations Once Again “Encourages” Hamas

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

The Dangerous Red Herring Linking Poverty and Terrorism

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Palestinian Arabs De-Registering from UNRWA

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

UN’s Confusion on the Legality of Israel’s Blockade of Gaza

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

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Palestinian Arabs De-Registering from UNRWA

The saga of the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) which have cast their lot with UNRWA for generations may finally be coming to an end.

Since 1949, the United Nations has promised Arabs who used to live and work in what became Israel, that they would be entitled to move back to their old houses. It didn’t matter if they had just moved those homes a few months before, 70 years ago. It didn’t matter if they were just renters and didn’t actually own any property. It didn’t matter that they rejected the very existence of Israel and wanted to see it destroyed. It didn’t even matter if they are the grandchild of someone who was just renting a house for a few months in what became Israel, and both they and their grandparents seek the end of the Jewish State. UNRWA crafted a special designation of “refugees” from Palestine:

“’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 descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration.”

These “UNRWA Refugees” were given much more than free housing, education and healthcare from the United Nations. They were promised that, with the help of the UN, they would get to move to the thriving country of Israel.

With such benefits and promise, these SAPs opted to register themselves with UNRWA, despite being denied the ability to gain well-paying jobs by their host countries in Syria and Lebanon. While they had relatives who moved on with their lives and became citizens of various countries ranging from Chile to the United Kingdom, the UNRWA Refugees opted to remain stateless and to live on handouts.

But those days may be coming to an end.

The ongoing war in Syria has been devastating, not just on Syrian civilians but on the UNRWA Refugees living in Syria. The unrest in Lebanon has not been much better. Meanwhile, the UNRWA Refugees watch actual refugees from Syria and Lebanon who are treated by the UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) getting much better aid and a pathway out of the humanitarian disaster. Not surprisingly, the UNRWA Refugees are looking for a better deal.

On November 11, 2019, the acting officer in charge of UNRWA (as the prior head was fired for improper activities), Christian Saunders, addressed the UN about the current activities in the region. He noted at the end of his remarks:

“Emphasizing that the community of Palestine refugees from Syria inside Lebanon live in extremely difficult conditions, he said they are actively exploring ways to leave, with some demanding deregistration from UNRWA in the belief that it would offer access to resettlement opportunities available to other refugees from Syria.”

UNRWA Refugees are demanding de-registration from UNRWA to become regular refugees under the UNHCR which cares for every other refugee in the world.

The disgrace of UNRWA has been apparent for years, with corruption at the top, over-staffing, hiring of militants, warehousing of weapons to be used against Israel, textbooks which vilify the basic notion of coexistence and more. But it has taken a full 70 years since the establishment of UNRWA on December 8, 1949, for the organization to begin to devolve from within, from the very wards it was meant to assist declaring that they have had enough.

UNRWA was established to be a temporary agency in which “constructive measures should be undertaken at an early date with a view to the termination of international assistance for relief,” as noted in Article 5 in its founding declaration. World sympathy (with perhaps not an insignificant amount of anti-Israel animus) prevented those ‘constructive measures’ from being enacted and billions of dollars in aid were spent on the descendants of the Palestinian Arabs who had started the war to destroy Israel. But lifetimes of long-term promises may finally yield to the dreams of immediate normalcy.

Christian Saunders, new deputy commissioner general of UN agency for Palestinian refugees. UN


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

The Growth of UNRWA’s “Other” Wards

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

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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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Queen Rania on UNRWA

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


Related First.One.Through articles:

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

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

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