Running For The Wrong Kind Of Mental Health For Gaza

On March 5, 2022, there will be races in Brooklyn, NY and Washington, DC to raise money for the mental health of the children in Gaza. Unfortunately, the fundraiser is to promote mental and emotional dysfunction.

Promotion for “Gaza 5K” run in Prospect Park, Brooklyn

The Gaza 5K race is sponsored by UNRWA, the Palestinian-political agency that masquerades as a global humanitarian organization. The fundraiser aims to raise $350,000 to:

Your fundraising can enable UNRWA to employ mental health counselors recruited locally from the Palestine refugee population. UNRWA counselors provide psychosocial support to address the mental health needs of refugee children and families in Gaza. The people of Gaza suffer from trauma due to repeated Israeli military assaults and the continued blockade. Counseling offers kids in Gaza a safe space to express their emotions and fears and a way to learn valuable coping skills.

Almost the entire UNRWA staff of 29,000 are local Palestinian Arabs. To say that the counselors are “recruited locally” serves to further the lie that UNRWA is run by a bunch of peace-loving Europeans, and these counselors are an aberration.

These days, as people watch over a million people flee the war in Ukraine, as well as the wars in Syria and Afghanistan, it is shameful to use the concocted phrase Palestinian “refugee children.” These kids aren’t fleeing a war zone. They, their parents and their grandparents were all born in Gaza. They live next to cousins – many, who are not refugees – with the same language and culture. The fact that their great-grandparents lived for a few years about 20 miles away in what is now Israel does not make them refugees.

Further, the “repeated Israeli military assaults and the continued blockade” are in REACTION to the aggressive goals and tactics of the Gaza leadership. The political-terrorist group Hamas that runs Gaza is a genocidal anti-Semitic group that has repeatedly engaged in crimes against humanity in their attacks on Israeli civilians. UNRWA’s distortion reverses cause-and-effect and therefore, perpetrator-and-victim.

Further, the lie once again proves that UNRWA is not a humanitarian aid agency that simply seeks to simply provide healthcare and education to Gaza’s youth, but a charged anti-Israel political group.

The children of Gaza do need mental health counselors – to deal with their society that instills hatred for Jews and women.

Gaza is one of the worst places in the world for “honor killings,” in which family members kill a woman in the family that brings shame to the family “honor.” Palestinian courts routinely give a pass to family members who engage in the heinous act.

Consider the mental health of a Palestinian child who participates in the killing of his sister, and is celebrated by the community.

Hamas runs summer camps for children where they are taught to make “sacrifices” in the war against Israel. These child soldiers are as young as 10 years old. A spokesperson for the terrorist defended the practice sayingThe Al-Qassam Brigades has organized the Vanguard of Liberation camps for over ten years, as it believes that the youth have a significant role and that it has a responsibility towards the generation that all sides are trying to tempt and divert their attention from their cause and priorities.”

Palestinian children compelled to participate in a Hamas military parade. Photo: Twitter.

Girl schools in Palestinian territories are named after Dalal al-Mugrahbi, a terrorist who killed 37 Israeli civilians, including a niece of a U.S. senator and 13 children in the infamous Coastal Road Massacre in 1978.

Even the more mainstream Fatah party is in on the child abuse. Official Palestinian TV airs spots of children calling for the complete ethnic cleansing of Jews.

Consider the mental health of a Palestinian child who is brainwashed that killing Jews is a cause to be celebrated.

UNRWA is a disgraceful anti-peace organization disguised as a humanitarian agency. If you are at the UNRWA 5K race on Saturday, wear an Israeli flag to demand radical changes in the UNRWA-HAMAS alliance.

Related articles:

Palestinians Want Their Young Girls To Become Terrorists

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

UNRWA Is A Prison

A Tale of Three Palestinian Refugees, With and Without UNRWA

Gaza, The Terrorist Enclave

Empowering Women… To Murder

Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

“Politics Aside,” It’s All Politics for UNRWA

UNRWA is a deeply flawed organization that manages to get worse.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East claims that its mission is one of humanitarian work devoid of any politics but that is plainly not so. It proclaims to be independent when it it is clearly not.

From its website:

  • Independence is understood to mean that “humanitarian action must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian action is being implemented.” In other words, without independence and the autonomy that it affords the Agency, UNRWA would be at risk of being diverted from its humanitarian trajectory and its commitment to the other three Humanitarian Principles of humanity, impartiality, and neutrality.
  • It is only by being truly independent that UNRWA can respect the principles of neutrality and impartiality, and therefore only be driven by humanity.

While UNRWA claims to understand that neutrality, impartiality and independence are critical for its mission, it remains a tool for the roughly 30,000 Palestinian Arabs who work for the agency, the 6.4 million (and growing) people who are registered with the agency, and the global anti-Zionist community which enjoy ripping at the seams of the Jewish State.

In time for the holidays and tax planning, UNRWA continues to ask Americas for money, seemingly unsatisfied with the $7.6 billion that tax payers have given to the Palestinians since 1993, which has yielded no peace. The agency which claims that politics is poison to its mission, led with politics in its 2021 year-end appeal:

UNRWA led with distorted politics in its year-end appeal for donations

UNRWA asked for money for “families in Gaza and Lebanon to secure their basic needs, giving them options and hope. (UNRWA’s emphasis),” ideally with donations of as large as $1,000. The reason that they need this money is declared in the opening lines: “Occupation, repeated military assaults, crippling blockades.” Are these three lines anything but smears and politics? Are they even factually correct? Since when is Lebanon under theses stresses? The Gazans initiate the repeated military assaults and are the cause of the blockade.

Knowing that it led with inflammatory language, the second paragraph backtracks and starts “Politics aside,” Indeed, politics. What else can be expected from an organization run by the largest political machine in the world, which makes it particular inept at carrying out humanitarian missions.

UNRWA is a prison which keeps millions of people tethered to the organization with the threat that if they deregister, they will no longer be classified as refugees and not entitled to millions of dollars from Israel.

It unilaterally extended its mandate beyond the contours of its formation which called for its wards to be either compensated or settled somewhere, with the declaration in April 2020 that it will live on until “a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution.” That’s ridiculous. Why would a future-compensated descendant of a refugee living in Lebanon continue to need free housing, healthcare and education from UNRWA while Israelis and Palestinians debate water rights in the Jordan Valley?

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.

And it is bad at what it does. It is proportionately staffed by 20 times as many people as the UNHR which cares for actual refugees. Palestinian parents who have a choice, send their children to non-UNRWA schools.

UNRWA is a political tool dressed as a humanitarian organization. It is an embarrassment for the UN, the Palestinians forced to stay tethered to the over-staffed beast, and the well-meaning countries and people who fall for the marketing and advertising blitz with donations of hard-earned monies.

Queen Rania of Jordan – herself a Palestinian Arab – at a United Nations event in September 2009 to mark the 60th anniversary of UNRWA

Related 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

The Embarrassment of UNRWA, By Its Own Numbers

UNRWA, the controversial UN agency which is solely devoted to the descendants of Palestinian refugees and other local people, held a two day fundraising appeal which began on November 16, 2021. Led by the governments of Jordan and Sweden, they appealed to countries around the world to donate to a temporary agency which was established in 1949.

An examination of UNRWA’s statistics as of December 31, 2020 would make the donors run.

UNRWA Clientele

According to UNRWA, it serviced 5.7 million refugees and 685,000 other people (mainly poor people and those married to descendants of refugees) in the five fields of operation. That means that 10.7% of the UNRWA’s wards are not refugees, even under the exaggerated definition that UNRWA uses. In the West Bank, the numbers are even more stark, where 19.5% of the UNRWA base are “others.” Many of these extra clients are poor Arabs in Jerusalem, as noted in the fine print of the UNRWA report.

UNRWA added services to thousands of poor Arabs in the eastern portion of Jerusalem, resulting in an inflated 19.5% of UNRWA wards in the West Bank being “others” compared to just 10.2% in Gaza.

As evidence of distortion in the West Bank, there are very few students relative to the population, especially compared to Gaza. While the percent of the population below 14 years old is high in both locales at 35.3% and 42.5% in the West Bank and Gaza, respectively, (and 17.4% and 18.0% for 15-24 year olds) only 4.2% of UNRWA’s West Bank wards are in UNRWA schools, while the figure is 17.4% in Gaza – four times the rate! That’s because children in the West Bank have many more options and prefer to stay away from UNRWA’s schools.

UNRWA services 287,000 students in Gaza but only 46,000 in the West Bank. The youth in the West Bank prefer using non-UNRWA schools because they have a choice while there are few options in Gaza.

Despite UNRWA’s schools being unpopular in the West Bank, the agency continues to hire. The pupil-to-student ratio was 20, in sharp contrast to 30 students per teacher in Gaza.

The US Ambassador to the UN may be in on the joke as she tweeted during her visit to a UN school on November 17: “Today, I met with educators and students at Jalazone @UNRWA Girls School in Ramallah. I was inspired by their stories and dreams for the future, and I spoke to UNRWA officials about how to make their work stronger, more efficient, and more accountable.

Moves of UNRWA to Jerusalem and Wards to Statelessness

For the period of January 1, 2012, UNRWA began to break out the “other” category for the first time. It was also the last year that it published the annual report from Gaza. Starting the following year – a year which saw the US Democratic Party yell at its national convention that it no longer considered Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – it began to publish its report in Jerusalem, as noted at the bottom of the reports.

Over the nine years since this breakout started, the refugees in the West Bank grew from 727,471 to 871,537, a growth of 20%, while the other wards grew from 147,156 to 211,116, a 43% jump – over twice the rate. The situation was even more dramatic in Jordan, where the UNRWA refugee population grew 17% while the other category grew by a whopping 130%. It’s not hard to speculate that people married in to get free services from UNRWA, and the fat agency could funnel cash and services to actual refugees from the Syrian civil war who flooded into Jordan.

The majority of UNRWA’s clientele actually had Jordanian citizenship from the time the agency was founded until 1988. Jordan illegally annexed what is now commonly called the “West Bank” in 1950 and gave all the Arabs there citizenship. Many Arabs moved back-and-forth between Jordan and the West Bank (both part of the original Palestine Mandate) until 1967 when it became harder to do so after Jordan (and West Bankers) attacked Israel and lost the region. Jordan continued to give those Arabs Jordanian citizenship until it withdrew it abruptly in July 1988, making these Arabs stateless.

A total of 55.5% of UNRWA wards would still be Jordanians had the king not removed their citizenship.

Staffing

In 2000, UNRWA had a staff of 22,447 to address a population of 3,806,055, or a staff member for every 170 registered persons. At the end of 2020, the staff was down from immediate prior years due to the Trump administration cutbacks, but up overall to 28,563 staffers for 6,388,887 people, or one staffer per 224 people. By way of comparison, in 2020 the UNHCR global refugee agency had to deal with 76.7 million people fleeing wars far from their homes requiring brand new housing and schools, was staffed by only 17,300 people, or a staffer for every 4,433 real refugees.

UNRWA has operated in the exact same geography with the same people speaking the same language for decades but still has a staff that is 20x the size proportionately of UHCR which has to handle real refugees fleeing across the world requiring everything new.

Summary

UNRWA is grossly over-staffed, especially relative to the global refugee agency that really does need the resources. It inflated its mandate by adding nearly 11% new people to its roster and moved its center to the contested city of Jerusalem and began servicing eastern Jerusalem’s poor Arabs, making the agency yet more politicized. Further, in terms of competence, UNRWA has shown that it is unable to attract students to its schools.

One needn’t look to news stories and editorials about UNRWA’s supporting anti-Semitism, harboring and employing terrorists, redefining “refugees,” extending its mandate and hearing how Arabs are deregistering from UNRWA to realize how disastrous it is. The agency’s own numbers make clear that it is inept and past time to be shut down.

Related articles:

A Tale of Three Palestinian Refugees, With and Without UNRWA

Shut UNRWA in Gaza Immediately

Why Blockade Gaza

The United Nations, liberal media and politicians are bemoaning the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza, arguing that it is a form of “collective punishment” and is creating an economic disaster in the small coastal enclave. Those articles and arguments all fail to describe why the blockade exists and why it is essential for it to continue.

The landside blockade of Gaza began in June 2007, shortly after the political-terrorist group Hamas ousted its rival Fatah from the area. A naval blockade went into effect in January 2009 to further clamp down on the region, after the December 2008-January 2009 war against Israel launched by Hamas.

Ruled by a Terrorist Organization

Hamas is an extremist Islamist terrorist organization sworn to Israel’s destruction and the murder of Jews. It is a designated foreign terrorist organization by the United States and many western countries. Its 1988 founding charter is the most anti-Semitic political document of the modern age, a combination of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the Russian forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Palestinian Arabs elected Hamas to a majority of the Palestinian parliament in 2006. The organization calls for the destruction of Israel in any form and calls for a global jihad against the Jewish State.

Repeated Wars from Gaza

Hamas has launched wars from Gaza against Israel in 2008, 2012, 2014 and May 2021. When not sending missiles all over the Jewish State, it launches arson balloons to burn Israeli fields, digs tunnels into Israel to abduct Israelis, and attempts to destroy the separation fence and infiltrate Israel.

Gazans Want To Kill Israeli Civilians

The Anti-Defamation League did global polls in 2014 and 2015 and found the Palestinian Arabs were by far the most anti-Semitic in the world, with 93% of the population harboring anti-Jewish attitudes. However, while almost every Palestinian Arab is anti-Semitic, the Gazans and West Bankers have different views about physically attacking Israeli civilians.

The gap in attitude between Gazans and West Bankers about violently attacking Israeli civilians inside of Israel has continued to grow
(source: Palestinian PCPSR polls)

Palestinians poll themselves every quarter about their attitudes on a variety of topics. One of the questions asked each poll is “Concerning armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel, I…” with choices ranging from “strong support”, “support” to “oppose”, “strongly oppose” and “I don’t know.” The fact that the poll asks such question says a lot about Palestinian society generally, but an analysis of the trend in the chart above is important.

Between 2001 and 2008, the attitudes among Gazans and West Bank Arabs were much the same, with Gazans preferring killing Israeli civilians inside of Israel by an average of 11.6% more than West Bankers. After the 2008-9 Gaza war and the implementation of the naval blockade, the gap in attitudes widened. Between 2009 and 2017, Gazans preferred attacking Israeli Jews inside of Israel by a gap of 22.1%, almost double the 2001-8 period. Between 2018 and today, the gap has become even more pronounced, with Gazans voting for violence by a difference of 43.9%, nearly doubling again. Further, after the 2014 and May 2021 wars, Hamas’s popularity soared as did the uptick in Gazans desire to see more Jewish blood.

The difference in attitude is stark and the sentiment is frightening. And it is not theoretical.

In March 2011, after a the horrendous slaughter of a family of five by Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank, Gazans celebrated the murder (51.0%) while West Bank Arabs did not (75.6%).

Palestinian poll taken shortly after slaughter of Fogel family in Itamar, including an
11 year old, 4 year old and 3 month old, all stabbed to death.

This attitude was not an outlier. In August 2019, Palestinian Arabs blew up a 17 year-old girl, Rina Shnerb, while she was on a family hike. Over 80% of Gazans supported the attack.

Palestinian poll taken shortly after bomb blew up and killed Rina Shnerb.

It is hard to imagine that there are any places in the world where there would be any support for stabbing to death a 3 month old lying in its crib, or for blowing up a 17 year old girl going on a nature hike. But in Gaza, the MAJORITY support the slaughter of innocent Jews.


For people who want to counter and prevent violent extremism, and who care about peace, justice and the sanctity of human life, it is well past time to pull all support from the terrorist enclave of Gaza, including shutting UNRWA in the area. Human rights and decency demand it.


Related First One Through articles:

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

Quantifying the Values of Gazans

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

What’s Wrong with UNRWA

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The False Palestinian Refugee, Self-Determination Narrative

U.S. President Joe Biden decided that he would start to donate American taxpayer money to the specialized United Nations agency solely devoted to Palestinians, despite the troubled agency making few reforms. UNRWA has been constantly criticized for promoting anti-Semitism, has harbored weapons for terrorist groups and has long been a thorn in the Arab-Israeli peace process.

UNRWA actively perpetuates a false narrative that Palestinian Arabs are refugees from their homeland – even though Palestinians view all of pre-1948 Palestine as a single entity, meaning that they still live in their perceived homeland if they reside in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank.

Moreover, UNRWA encourages a storyline that all Palestinian Arabs are refugees. This is patently false. Many are stateless, but not refugees.

As seen in the charts above, according to UNRWA’s own numbers, 73% of Gazans are refugees (or more accurately, descendants of refugees) while another 8% are given services by UNRWA even though they are not refugees by any definition. Roughly one-in-five Gazans are simply residents, who have had family ties in the strip for generations who never had children with a descendant of a refugee (who would otherwise then get hereditary refugee status according to UNRWA).

The numbers east of the Green Line (EGL) / the “West Bank” are quite different, where over half of the Arabs are residents who have descendants from the region. Roughly 40% of Arab West Bankers registered with UNRWA as refugees to get free housing, education and healthcare, with another 9% “grantees” also getting services from the agency.

Another piece of commonly-stated fiction is that the Arabs have no self-determination and live under Israeli control. As Biden would say, that is “malarkey.”

Israel completely pulled out of Gaza in 2005 and gave the local Arabs there complete self-determination. With that freedom, Arabs voted the terrorist group Hamas to 58% of the Palestinian parliament in 2006 and watched Hamas take over the Gaza Strip in 2007. Hamas has thus far launched three wars from the area in 2008-9, 2012 and 2014.

Regarding EGL, Israel handed control of Areas A and B to the Palestinian Authority as part of the Oslo accords in the 1990’s. Only 14% of West Bank Arabs live in Area C under Israeli-control.

No matter. The world still berates Israel despite handing the PA land and being rewarded with wars, and condemns the Jewish State again for defending itself. No one pauses to contemplate why Israel would consider repeating the abuse at the hands of Palestinians, the UN and the media.

The Arab and Muslim-dominated United Nations manufactured a false narrative that Palestinian Arabs are refugees under Israeli-control which the anti-Israel media parrots in their quest to see the creation of a Palestinian State. In reality, it is those very lies that hinder the chance of reaching an enduring peace.


Related First One Through articles:

UNRWA Artificially Extends Its Mandate

New Head of UNRWA is Another Hamas-Sympathizer Politician

Palestinian Arabs De-Registering from UNRWA

UNRWA Anoints New Palestinian Wards

The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools

Enduring Peace versus Peace Now

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A Tale of Three Palestinian Refugees, With and Without UNRWA

The Biden Administration announced that it is going to send $150 million of American tax dollars to UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. This “temporary” agency was established after the Arab war to destroy Israel in 1948-9, to care for “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.” It has continued to extend its mandate for decades, now caring for grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those “persons.”

Several parties voiced their disapproval with the United States’ UNRWA donation. Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said “UNRWA, is among the most corrupt and counterproductive of all UN agencies. President Trump was right to abandon it.” Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan added “We believe that this UN agency for so-called ‘refugees’ should not exist in its current format.

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

To consider how the U.N. has handled “so-called ‘refugees'” in this “counterproductive” agency, imagine two Arabs leaving Palestine during the 1948-9 Arab-Israeli War. One had come to Palestine from Iraq in 1925 and the other from Syria in 1935, both settling in Jaffa. The Iraqi-Palestinian owned his home and his business and was reluctant to leave everything he had built but concluded that the war zone was too risky and returned to Iraq in 1949. The Syrian-Palestinian was renting his home and worked on a farm outside of town. He returned to Syria early in the war, assuming that the five invading Arab armies would finish the Zionists in short order and he could return to a Jew-free city, maybe even under the flag of Syria.

At war’s end, the Zionists were able to hold onto land – more than suggested under the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan and less than allocated under the British Palestine Mandate – and had no interest in allowing the return of those Arabs which wanted to see Israel destroyed.

The Iraqi-Palestinian Arab decided to abandon his Jaffa home and business and started life anew among his cousins in Iraq. However, the Syrian-Palestinian opted to not start again in his old neighborhood where he lived fifteen years earlier, and instead decided to take the free housing, food, education and medical services offered by the United Nations as part of its UNRWA initiative. His grandchildren continue to live as wards of the world because of that decision.

Another person impacted by the Arab-Israeli War was not an Arab but a Jew. He came to Palestine from Yemen at the end of the 19th century and moved to Jerusalem. The Jordanian army routed him from his home during the war and he returned to Yemen. Not long after, the anti-Semitism in Yemen became intolerable and he and his family moved to Canada.

All three of these individuals were “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,” but only one got services from UNRWA. The Palestinian Jew and Iraqi-Palestinian Arab each lost their homes and livelihood and were offered nothing from the United Nations. Only the Syrian-Palestinian Arab who chose to not move to his hometown in Syria, became a special grantee class. As long as he and his descendants remained a grantee, there was a U.N. promise that they would get property and/or money from the country which was transforming Jaffa and the surrounding region it controlled into an economic and technological miracle.

Today, the grandchildren of that Palestinian Jew and the Iraqi-Palestinian Arab are both successful businessmen and pay less attention to politics than they do to football. They think about the United Nations as much as they contemplate a hangnail from five years ago.

But the grandchildren of the Syrian-Palestinian have built their entire way of life around the largess of the United Nations and its promise that it will force Israel to hand them money or land as long as they continue to take UNRWA’s free education, medical services and housing. The U.N. is mother’s milk, a teat which has fed their entire family for generations with more gifts to come.

Watching these three “refugees” is an elderly fifth generation Palestinian Arab who had participated in the 1936-9 riots to keep the Jews out of Palestine and lobbied the British to halt their immigration as the Holocaust started in Europe. He headed to Gaza as the first tanks from five Arab armies invaded Israel. His roughly 60km trip from Jaffa to Gaza is about the same as from Manhattan to Stamford, CT. Had there never been a war and he had decided to relocate to Gaza (as several cousins did before the 1948-9 War), he would receive neither cries of empathy nor charity, but today he has over 100 descendants living for free in UNRWA housing around Gaza.

If the U.N. is attempting to resolve the lost property of people who fled the war zone, why should it matter whether they are registered as “refugees” and take services from UNRWA? Shouldn’t the Iraqi-Palestinian Arab and Palestinian Jew be entitled to consideration? Why should the Syrian-Palestinian get so much compensation when he never owned property?

The UNRWA policy leads one to conclude that its goal is not about money and property but to physically relocate a select sub-segment of the persons impacted by the war – only Arabs – into the Jewish State. Such UNRWA policy is in direct conflict with the stated U.N. goal of a two-state solution, one Arab and one Jewish, by injecting nearly 6 million Arabs into the Jewish State. One cannot be simultaneously in favor of two states and maintaining UNRWA.

There are significant issues to consider in the Arab-Israeli Conflict but the matter of Palestinian “refugees” has long been artificially manufactured. It is well past time to shut it down.


Related First One Through articles:

UNRWA Artificially Extends Its Mandate

New Head of UNRWA is Another Hamas-Sympathizer Politician

Palestinian Arabs De-Registering from UNRWA

UNRWA’s Fake Students, Curriculum and Shortfall

The Growth of UNRWA’s “Other” Wards

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

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For the Sins of 5780…

… for supporting the antisemitic and racist Black Lives Matter group

… for apologizing to Blacks when Blacks kill Jews

… for pretending that only White people are anti-Semites and that there hasn’t been a spike in Blacks murdering Jews

… for defending rioters attempting to destroy America’s founding principles

… for enabling the Progressive war on Israel

… for believing the news from CNN and The New York Times

… for pretending that the problem is all in social media and not the mainstream media

… for voting for Socialists

… for contributing to alma maters which promote antisemitism

… for donating to J Street

… for using J Street’s tagline “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” when it is nothing of the sort

… for giving cover to politicians who slam Jews

… for inviting anti-Israel speakers into our synagogues

… for being silent when liberal politicians sought to funnel money into Gaza

… for considering qualifying or reducing investments in Israel

… for not clearly identifying Hamas as an antisemitic terrorist organization

… for not holding Palestinian Arabs accountable for their actions and statements

… for not advocating for Jewish prayer on the Jewish Temple Mount

… for still referring to a place called “East Jerusalem” which only existed for less than two decades in the 1950’s and 1960’s

… for the cultural appropriation of the term “promised land” and not ascribing it to Jews and Israel

… for saying Donald Trump has done nothing positive for Israel

… for dismissing antisemitism while being particularly sensitive to racism

… for demanding nothing from Jewish leadership

… for fighting against funding police for Jewish institutions

… for pretending that something that makes you feel spiritual is Tikkun Olam and the essence of Judaism

… for not articulating clearly the difference and inter-relationships between Jews, Judaism and Israel

… for not advocating for the dismantling of UNRWA

… for being silent as European countries banned kosher meat

… for not taking COVID-19 seriously

For all these things, please pardon us.


Related First One Through article:

For the Sins of 5777 of…

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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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