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

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

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

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

Fertility Rates in Undeveloped Areas

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

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

Population age 0-14               16%                28%                40%

Maternal Mortality                0.01%            0.24%             0.44%

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

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

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

fertility vs mortality

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

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

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

Future Action: Jobs versus Contraception

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

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

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

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

Those are staggering figures for a small territory.

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

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

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

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


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

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

An Inconvenient Truth: Population Statistics in Israel/Palestine

Mad World of Palestinian Quality of Life Statistics

Arabs in Jerusalem

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UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

Munchausen syndrome is a mental illness in which a person considers himself to be sick even when they are actually fine. The person will act injured or sick and perhaps even harm themselves to elicit a sympathetic response from people around them.

WebMD notes that “People with Munchausen syndrome deliberately produce or exaggerate symptoms in several ways. They may lie about or fake symptoms, hurt themselves to bring on symptoms, or alter tests…. Although a person with Munchausen syndrome actively seeks treatment for the various disorders he or she invents, the person often is unwilling to admit to and seek treatment for the syndrome itself. This makes treating people with Munchausen syndrome very challenging, and the outlook for recovery poor.”

What a great description of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the Palestinians themselves.

Perpetuating the Status of the Refugees
Perpetuating a Temporary Agency

UNRWA was created in 1950 to be a temporary UN agency to assist refugees that left the newly reestablished Jewish state of Israel. The situation arose when the Arab countries that invaded Israel refused to make peace with Israel, and Israel never allowed the roughly 711,000 hostile refugees to return to their homes. As the Arabs continued to wage war against Israel over the years, UNRWA opted to redefine a “refugee” in several unique ways:

  • For Palestinians, a refugee is someone that left a house or town, while for every other refugee in the world, it means leaving a country;
  • For Palestinians, a refugee is anyone that had a parent, grandparent or great-grandparent that left their home many decades ago, while the definition for every other refugee is specifically only for those people who actually fled a country (not descendants)

A fake symptom (refugee status) has enabled a temporary agency to become permanent.

 

Tons of Money Wasted to Ask for More Money

UNRWA has been spending billions of dollars on the stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) for decades. Even though the schools and libraries have already been built, and the people are living in the same place with the same language as they have for decades, billions more is requested annually. The infrastructure has been paid for and the needs should be few. No matter.

UNRWA’s 2017 budget was $760 million serving 5.9 million registered people. That’s $129 per person on average. How many actual SAPs are there still alive from the 1948-9 war? Estimates are less than 30,000 people. That would mean that UNRWA is spending over $25,000 on average for actual refugees.

A fake definition of refugee produces a greater demand for money.

The ever-growing number of “refugees” and registered people asking for UNRWA assistance yields to an ever increasing number of staff. In 2017, there were 30,799 staff members on the ground in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza, and roughly 33,000 working at the agency globally. An estimated 98% of the 33,000 staff members – over 32,000 people – are SAPs themselves. There are more Palestinians working at UNRWA than there are actual Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA’s appeal for global contributions is simply a way to funnel money to thousands of Palestinian Arabs in fake jobs.

The Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, made an appeal to the world on January 17, 2018 stressing the need for more money for schools and hospitals. He barely mentioned the loans – tens of millions of dollars that UNRWA gives to Arabs for their businesses every year – now amounting to half a billion dollars overall.

The cries for money to help student and hospitals masks the reality of tens of millions of dollars going simply to make business loans.

As a benchmark to see how much money is needed for actual refugees with real housing, language and monetary needs, one can look at the UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2016, the UNHCR counted 16.5 million actual refugees, plus millions of others that were internally displaced and stateless to whom it provided services, 67.8 million people in all. It spent just shy of $4 billion on these people, or $59 per person. In June 2017, the total broad refugee count serviced by UNHCR was 65.6 million, treated by just under 11,000 staff members. That’s a staff to refugee ratio of one staff member to every 5963 refugees, spread all around the world.

UNHCR, a global agency that helps millions of desperate people get their lives together spends $59 per registered person and has one staff person for every 6000 people, while the bogus UNRWA spends $129 on fake refugees who already have complete infrastructure and provides a staff person for every 179 people. That means that UNRWA is over-staffing by roughly 33 times.

The obscene UNRWA waste of money produces the pleas for more aid.


UNRWA in Jerusalem

Undermining Dignity While Claiming the Status
of Defender of Dignity

In his remarks asking the world for money, Krahenbuhl mentioned Palestinian “dignity” four times, making the point that UNRWA is the agency that will protect the dignity of the Palestinian refugees that are at risk.

But how does keeping people in a continuous state of taking the world’s charity instill any sense of dignity?

UNHCR helps refugees get settled in their new host country and learn skills to obtain jobs and become self-sufficient. But not UNRWA. In places like Syria, the SAPs are forbidden to get white collar jobs. In Lebanon and Jordan they are prohibited from obtaining citizenship (meanwhile in Jerusalem, Arabs are welcome to apply for Israeli citizenship). The SAPs are left to live off of UNRWA’s breast milk, never being weaned to become independent.

The very agency that keeps Palestinian Arabs as wards of the world, then claims that it is the protector of their “dignity.”

In short, like Munchausen syndrome, UNRWA created and has perpetuated a fake illness (millions of refugees). It then wastes hundreds of millions of dollars funneling money to these wards of the UN while convincing these SAPs that there was no other way to get homes or jobs. They became addicted to their refugee status and UNRWA money, and have let UNRWA beg for handouts to treat the disorder that it created and helped fester.

Treating Munchausen Syndrome

UNRWA is plagued with a terrible mental disease and it continues to lean on the world to treat its fake illness. It is time to break the fever.

WebMD proposes the following treatment for Munchausen:

“When treatment is sought, the first goal is to modify the person’s behavior and reduce his or her misuse or overuse of medical resources. Once this goal is met, treatment aims to work out any underlying psychological issues that may be causing the person’s behavior. Another key goal is to help patients avoid dangerous and unnecessary medical diagnostic or treatment procedures (such as surgeries), often sought from different doctors who may be unaware that physical symptoms are either being faked or self-inflicted.

As with other factitious disorders, the primary treatment for Munchausen syndrome is psychotherapy or talk therapy (a type of counseling). Treatment usually focuses on changing the thinking and behavior of the individual (cognitive-behavioral therapy). Family therapy may also be helpful in teaching family members not to reward or reinforce the behavior of the person with the disorder.”

Modify behavior: Stop pretending that there are over 5 million Palestinian refugees. Do not “misuse and overuse resources.” Modify the staffing and budget of UNRWA to accommodate the actual 30,000 refugees that are living just a few miles from where there grandparents once lived. Using the figures from UNHCR of $59 per person for the 30,000 people would yield an annual budget of $1.8 million, not $760 million.
Work out any underlying psychological issues: If acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is indicative of the fake history of both Palestinians (they are not Canaanites) and Jews (it IS their holy land), then the entire school curriculum that UNRWA is so proud of should be flushed down the toilet. Teaching basic facts and the ability to reason must be advanced.
Change thinking and behavior: According to the ADL, almost every single Palestinian Arab is an antisemite. When factoring in the inability to acknowledge basic facts and the perpetual reinforcement that Palestinians are victims for whom relief will only come at the hands of the United Nations is a cocktail for extremism and terrorism.
The United States withdrawal of some funds from UNRWA in January 2018 was a useful first step. Folding UNRWA into the UNHCR, moving tens of thousands of Palestinian UNRWA employees to service real refugees from Syria, Yemen and Somalia, and redoing the entire UNRWA school curricula are the added steps needed to break the UNRWA Munchausen Syndrome.

Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

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

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

A Response to Rashid Khalidi’s Distortions on the Balfour Declaration

First.One.Through videos:

The Hypocrisy of Queen Rania of Jordan

The Hamas Theme Song in the UNRWA Schools

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The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

On January 26, 2017, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) co-sponsored an event with the EU on the impact of the media in telling the stories of refugees. The High Representative of UNAOC Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser noted that while there was “solidarity towards refugees, we also witnessed a surge of xenophobic hate speech.” The symposium sought ways to change the negative perception that many people have about immigrants to combat growing xenophobia and distrust of “the other.”

01-26-2017abdulaziz

High Representative of UNAOC Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser

Al Nasser said:

“Social media provides a wide and open platform for hate speech, facilitating the rapid spread of negative narratives and ideas online.

“But we will do our utmost to tell the real stories of refugees, in order to protect communities’ interests and safeguard the rights of each individual. I think a balance must be found that protects the freedom of expression as well as the rights of migrants as human beings with human rights,”

What an interesting turn of events for the United Nations. The UN wanted to combat hate speech on social media from the people that did not want refugees, by sharing real stories of the refugees, in the hope that the humanity of the people and situation would cause the populace to not fear the stranger and incorporate them into society.

This is the exact OPPOSITE of what the United Nations has done for decades regarding Palestinian Arabs.

  1. The count of millions of Palestinian “refugees” that the UN touts is fiction. There are only about 30,000 Palestinian Arab refugees alive from the 1948 war. The millions of descendants from the 700,000 Palestinians that left Israel are not real refugees at all. Refugee status cannot be handed down like inheritance. The UN has perpetuated this myth just for Palestinian Arabs as if they were doing them a favor.
  2. Many of these fake UN refugees are taken care of by a dedicated UN agency called UNRWA. UNRWA does not try to settle people into their surroundings as the UN does with refugees everywhere else. Instead, it tells the fake refugees that -with UNRWA’s help – they will leave their current location and move into Israel.
  3.  UNRWA doesn’t try to calm the situation by telling “real stories.” It allows negative propaganda about Israel and Jews to permeate UNRWA classrooms and textbooks that deny Israel’s existence and legitimacy.
  4. Beyond the UNRWA textbooks, many UNRWA staffers called out on social media to “stab Zionist dogs.” Social media hate speech by the UN itself.
  5. Just to clarify that last point again, the UN staffers called Jews “dogs” that should be killed. Quite a far cry from the current UNAOC plan to treat “human beings with human rights.”

The United Nations AOC is moving in a positive direction in calling for peace and co-existence. The action further highlights the illegitimacy of the stale evil farse that is UNRWA that spreads “negative narratives” about Israel.

UN: Don’t just tell real stories about refugees. Tell stories about “REAL refugees.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

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The Liberals in Canada are Following Obama in Turning on Israel

It was just a year ago, in October 2015, that liberals swept to power in Canada.  It was a continuation of a spate of wins in North America, which included a mayoral race in New York City in 2013, and, of course, eight years of US President Barack Obama winning in 2008 and 2012.

The rush in liberal wins produced a retreat from several conservatives values.  Will the liberal Canadian Prime Minister similarly back away from Israel the way Obama did in the US?

Possibly.

The treatment of Israel by President Obama was atrocious from the very beginning.  It started with his complete disregard of the April 2004 letter from President George W. Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon which assured Israel that it would not return to the 1949 Armistice Lines / the “1967 border.” The treatment of Israel devolved from there, including Obama’s leading a Democratic boycott of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of congress in 2015.

In sharp contrast to Obama, the new Canadian Prime Minister showed early support of Israel, backing the conservative party’s measure in February 2016 to ban the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) Movement against Israel in schools. Trudeau commented The BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses.

A month later, in March 2016, Trudeau said Israel is a friend, Israel is an ally, Israel is a country that has values and an approach on many, many issues that are very much aligned with Canadians values. But, at the same time… we won’t hesitate from talking about unhelpful steps like the continued illegal settlements. We will point that out.”  He continued his general support of Israel saying that “the demonization, the de-legitimization or the double standard that’s often applied to Israel [at the United Nations]is not helping reach the two-state solution of a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state alongside a peaceful, democratic Israel.

The early comments from the liberal leader seemed promising, almost in tune with his conservative predecessor, Stephen Harper, a strong ally and supporter of Israel.

But Trudeau’s pivot to the darker forces – and in particular those parties that seek to actively harm Israel – would soon surface.

trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama
(Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

First, in January 2016, Trudeau stated that Canada sought to restart relations with Iran, a country which promised to wipe Israel from the map. By June 2016, it became public that official dialogue with the official state-sponsor of terrorism had begun.

Second, on November 16, 2016, the Canadian liberal government announced that it was resuming funding of UNRWA, the UN relief agency that supports the descendants of displaced Palestinian Arabs. The previous conservative Canadian government had cut off funding to UNRWA in 2010, after it became known that the organization was closely tied to the terrorist group Hamas. Needless to say, the United Nations was very pleased with the C$25 million donation to assist “5.3 million Palestine refugees.” (Note that there are really only an estimated 30,000 Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war.)

As detailed in “UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews,” UNRWA undermines the possibility of peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs at its core. It fosters a festering Israeli-Arab war, while the organization robs funding from actual refugees from around the world in need of real relief.

bibeau
International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says
the Liberals are refunding UNRWA
(Photo: Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Lastly, Trudeau has followed Obama’s lead in never condemning “radical Islamic terrorism,” but only a generic form of terrorism. This was true regarding his comments about terrorism in Orlando, Nice, Paris, Brussels, and those targeting Canadian citizens in the Philippines.


The Canadian Liberals’ resumption of funding UNRWA, and its move to reestablish ties with Iran are disturbing moves against Israel and a reversal of the policies instituted by the previous conservative government. Time will tell whether Canadian liberals follow the US in The Democrats’ Slide on Israel.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

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

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

Is Hillary Clinton as Pro-Israel as George W Bush?

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

Pride. Jewish and Gay

Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

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UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

The United Nations is gathering this week for a summit in New York to discuss ways of helping refugees and migrants.  The various roundtables will review the difficult situation facing millions of people due to a number of wars, principally in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) as well as in Afghanistan.

The UN will then ask for countries of the world – principally the United States and Canada – to contribute money and homes to settle these refugees.

There are three principle flaws with the UN approach:

  1. There are billions of dollars already allocated to refugees at the UN, but not used for them, due to bias at the global body
  2. Key related parties are not taking their share of refugees
  3. The response of stopping the flow of refugees at the source is not properly addressed

un
The United Nations headquarters in New York City

 

The UN Wastes the World’s Money on Non-Refugees

The United Nations currently spends billions of dollars that are earmarked for refugees, to people that are NOT refugees.

As described in “Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA and Fund the UNHCR,” the United Nations created the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and tasked it with helping millions of people from around the globe who are fleeing conflict.  The UNHCR helps these refugees find safety in new countries and establishes some infrastructure (temporary homes, hospitals and schools), far from their homes, where they have little support.

However, the UN also created a distinct agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) just for a single group of people – Palestinian Arabs. These Arabs are NOT refugees, but descendants of people who fled their homes and settled a few miles away in the exact same region. Refugee status does not pass down through the generations, and has absolutely nothing to do with people leaving a certain house to a location nearby.

Despite this, the UN has a larger staff and spends significantly more money on these non-refugees.

As the world is facing a true refugee problem, with actual refugees fleeing harm to find protection in lands where they know no one and have no infrastructure at all, it is well past time to shut down the farce of UNRWA which exists solely to perpetuate the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and devote those resources to actual refugees.

Muslim World Must Take in Refugees

The European Union is pushing the US and Canada to accept more refugees, particularly those fleeing the civil war in Syria. The EU argues that it has already accepted the lion’s share of the refugees, and many Europeans have become uneasy with the large influx of foreigners.

But where is the push for Muslim countries to accept more of these Muslim refugees? Aside from Turkey and Jordan, most Muslim countries have not taken any refugees. These refugees fleeing Arab countries like Sudan, Yemen and Libya, and Muslim countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, could more easily adapt to countries where they share language, culture and religion.  The very wealthy Gulf states could easily take in these refugees.

But the 57 Islamic states will vote at the UN to make the non-Islamic countries take in the refugees, to an unfamiliar environment. Why are so many Muslim countries only making refugees and not helping them? Why does the world enable the situation?

Stop the Flow of Refugees

The biggest causes of the refugee crisis is the civil war in Syria and the growth of ISIS in Iraq. Trailing these are the wars in Afghanistan and Libya, the civil war in Yemen, and the failed state of South Sudan.  These are problems that erupted and spread under the hands-off approach of the Obama administration in the Middle East, and its active involvement in Afghanistan.

The ramifications have spread to the entire world.

Obama did little to nothing when Syria’s President Assad dropped barrel bombs and chemical weapons on his own people. Obama vacated Iraq to allow a vacuum to be filled by ISIS.  After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toppled the regime in Libya, the US left the country in shambles.  Those decisions allowed terrorists to penetrate Europe.

obama-red-line

It is time to reverse that inaction.

A no-fly zone must be established in Syria to give a safe haven to refugees within their own borders. A real ceasefire must be established to allow the millions of refugees to return to their country.

ISIS must be defeated and the US must remain in Iraq to help the country stabilize.   Active involvement in Libya must happen immediately, before Libya becomes another Iraq.

The only country that has become more powerful under Obama is the state sponsor of terrorism, Iran.

The implementation of Obama’s poor decisions must stop, and refugees should be encouraged to return to their countries as soon as practical.

The United Nations Farce

Over September 19 and 20, the world will witness the dictatorships and human rights abusing-countries dictate to the western world that the West must take responsibility for the failed Islamic states.  The perpetrators will claim victim status, and insist that Europe and North America must both pay for the MENA refugees and shelter them, while the Muslim world itself does nothing.

Well, in fairness, the Muslim world won’t do nothing; it will dictate its demands.

One of the speakers at the summit will be the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.  Hamdallah is well known to viewers of Palwatch and MEMRI for calling on the Islamic world to attack Israel for chasing the Muslim agitators who curse and throw stones at non-Muslims visitors to the Jewish Temple Mount.  He often asserts that Israel is “Judaizing” their holy city of Jerusalem.  Most significantly, he actively promotes the families of terrorists killed while attacking Jews, ensuring that they receive monies from global agencies.

Yes, that’s illegal, but Hamdallah gets diplomatic immunity while visiting NY.  What a great choice for a speaker!

Another speaker is Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, the agency that has waged a multi-decade war against the only democracy in the Middle East. Krähenbühl ignores the role that UNRWA played in storing weapons for Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza.  He focuses on asking the world for yet more money for the non-refugees that live in a land that they already control in Gaza!

dsc_0108
UNRWA office in Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)

While listening to the sad state of refugees, sympathize with their plight, but don’t be fooled by the UN’s recommended courses of action.  Stop the UN farce of perpetuating conflicts and wasting the world’s money, while never demanding accountability from the Islamic countries and entities.


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

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

A Logical Approach to Immigration from Personal History

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

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

A “Viable” Palestinian State

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

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UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

On October 27, 2015, US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-R) blasted the United Nations group that works for the Palestinians.

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, has a stated mission of helping over 5 million “Palestine refugees.” That unique and bizarre definition of “refugees” includes second, third and even fourth generation descendants of people who used to live in Palestine, even though refugee status cannot be handed down through the generations like an inheritance, and refugees are defined as people who flee from a country, not a house or a region.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) UN Watch, which monitors various UN bodies, reported on October 16 that “at least ten different UN staffers are using the imprimatur of their official positions to incite Palestinian stabbing and shooting attacks against Israeli Jews, with one calling on Facebook to “stab Zionist dogs.” That revelation led US Rep. Ros-Lehtinen to attack UNRWA from the House floor and question whether US taxpayers should continue to fund an organization that has close ties to Hamas.

In addition to the various UNRWA workers who posted on social media support for the killing of Jews, UNRWA has a long history which is not about supporting Palestinians, but about attacking Israel and Jews.

UNRWA stockpiled rockets to fire at Israel.  There were at least three occasions in 2014 when Hamas stored weapons at UNRWA schools during its war against Israel.

Hamas fired rockets from the UNRWA schools.  According to a UN report, “The area behind the [Gaza] school wall was known at the time for being used by militants, including for the firing of projectiles.

UNRWA School Headmaster made bombs and rockets to fire at Israel. The Rafah Prep Boys School was administered by UNRWA, and its headmaster developed rockets for Islamic Jihad to fire into Israel.

UNRWA schools refuse to teach the Holocaust.  Even though the teaching of the Holocaust is suppose to be a standard part of the curriculum, UNRWA caved to the wishes of Hamas in striking the program.

UNRWA Promises that the Agency will be the gateway for 5 million refugees to move to Israel.  While UN resolutions have discussed finding an appropriate solution for refugees, UNRWA has taken a lead in promising Arabs in Gaza that they will all be allowed to move to Israel, as described in Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys.

In light of the disgraceful actions of UNRWA, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.R.3829 which intends to enforce changes to UNRWA.  It includes stopping the US funding of UNRWA unless and until certain conditions are met:

  • no UNRWA official, employee, representative, or affiliate is a member of a foreign terrorist organization, has propagated anti-American, anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic rhetoric, or has used UNRWA resources to propagate political materials regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
  • no UNRWA facility is used by a foreign terrorist organization;
  • no UNRWA school uses educational materials that propagates anti-American, anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic rhetoric;
  • no recipient of UNRWA funds or loans is a member of a foreign terrorist organization;
  • UNRWA is subject to auditing oversight; and
  • UNRWA holds no accounts or other affiliations with financial institutions deemed by the United States to be complicit in money laundering and terror financing.

Write your senator and congressperson and include the link to this article, telling them to support this legislation.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

Considering a Failed Palestinian State

Educating the New York Times: Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood

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ilena ros leicthten

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Summary: Imagine perceiving the future when you cannot see the present nor recognize the past.

One of the most famous paintings in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is by Pietro Perugino, entitled “Christ Handing the Keys of the Kingdom to St. Peter.” The painting itself is notable for several important contributions to the world of art such as displaying three dimensions using linear perspective and a vanishing point. The subject matter is also an interesting metaphor for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today.

keys

The Painting

The subject of the painting reflects the establishment of the role of the pope in Catholicism. Jesus’s handing of the “keys of heaven” to his disciple Peter was considered establishing a connection between earth and the heavenly realm.

The center of the painting focuses on the actual handing of the keys: one key is held by Jesus, while a second key remains dangling in the foreground. The viewer does not really notice two keys, but the single dangling key. From that key, eyes are drawn up towards the open doors of the Temple of Solomon, displayed as an interpretation of the eight-sided Dome of the Rock. This is a metaphor of the connection between the divine to the physical and up again to the divine: the keys connecting Jesus and Peter, and then the dangling key from Peter to the Temple.

In the painting, the Temple of Solomon is sitting on a plaza surrounded by people and triumphal arches of Constantine. It was the emperor Constantine that welcomed Christianity to the Roman Empire in 325CE. While the Temple of Solomon sat in Jerusalem, these arches were in Rome, near the Vatican.  By integrating these themes, Perugino brought Jerusalem to Rome and had Christianity flanking the holy Temple.

 The Metaphor of Keys

Keys are often used as metaphors in art and poetry. Keys are not only tools for gaining access, but connote ownership. The holder of the key is considered both the rightful owner of whatever is locked, and is the sole person who has the means of gaining access to whatever the lock has sealed. In the case of this famous painting, Jesus holds the heavenly key in gold, which is paired with a darker key for Peter. The twining is a partnership bridging heaven and earth, with Peter as the rightful owner of the earthly key. The key itself opens the Temple in Jerusalem, the physical gateway back to heaven.

The brilliance of the painting lies in the suspension of the dark key. Set against a plain background in the center of the painting, a viewer has no choice but to be drawn to it. The key anchors the focus, and the story is built around it.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Middle East has a long history of using keys, both physical and metaphorical. In 1917, the Mayor of Jerusalem handed over “keys of Jerusalem” to British General Allenby as a sign of surrender, and in 1841, the Ottomans handed the keys to Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem to Jews as a symbol of their control of the holy site. Even today, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has a key that is held by a Muslim family as was the tradition dating back to 1246, even though the church has no religious significance to Islam.

Many Palestinians carry their own physical keys with symbolic messages today: that they are the rightful owners to homes in Israel and are waiting to move there.

keyboy

The skeleton keys are not the actual keys to homes that grandparents abandoned in 1948 while they waited for Arab armies to destroy the nascent Jewish State.  These Palestinian keys are representational of their quest to a “right of return” to homes in Israel. It has become a physical manifestation of their view of themselves as refugees. However, both the keys and status are manufactured.

As detailed in “Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”?” there are only about 30,000 refugees (or more accurately, Internally Displaced Persons) alive from 1948, as refugee status cannot be handed down like an inheritance. Further, a refugee is someone who left a country, not a house. International law covers refugees return to a country, not an abandoned building (and Palestine was never a country).

Regardless, the acting President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, continues to put the “refugees” as a key issue in negotiations with Israelis. He does this with the blessings of the United Nations which is complicit in misleading the Palestinians.

The United Nations not only created a unique agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) separate from the organization that handles all other refugees in the world (UNHCR), but uniquely enables the descendants of Palestinian refugees to get services from the UN.  As elaborated in “Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, fund the UNHCR” the staffing of the UNRWA now exceeds the total number of Palestinian refugees.

The larger issue with UNRWA is not their giving extended services to millions of Palestinians who are not refugees, but the UN agency’s active encouragement of Palestinians to seek to move to, and delegitimize Israel.

key doorway
Entryway to UNRWA camp in Bethlehem with a large key atop

Both the United Nations and Palestinians have manufactured a particular narrative:

  • Palestine was an Arab country in 1948
  • Palestinian Arabs were the only indigenous people who had lived there for centuries
  • Jews ethnically cleansed Palestine of its Arab inhabitants
  • Per the points above, Israel is not a legitimate state as the Jews are interlopers who stole the native Arab land

Such story stands in stark contrast to basic facts:

  • Palestine was never an independent country
  • The region and Mandate of Palestine had a mixture of Jews and Arabs, with Jews accounting for over 30% of the population in 1948
  • More Arabs than Jews moved to Palestine under the British Mandate 1922-1948
  • Many Palestinian Arabs were not land owners but tenants in the land
  • Most Arabs fled from their homes in 1948, while they hoped and waited for Arab armies from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Egypt to destroy Israel
  • Israel welcomed non-Jews, giving 160,000 non-Jews citizenship in 1948, in sharp contrast to the Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs who expelled all Jews from Judea and Samaria

As in the painting “Delivery of the Keys,” UNRWA has  handed Palestinians a narrative and claim to Israel: the Arabs are the rightful owners of Israel. The United Nations paints these “refugees” against a bleak background (like the key in the painting) to emphasize their stateless position. The key above the portal at the UNRWA camp is a potent symbol to all Palestinians, that it is through the United Nations that millions of Arabs will migrate to Israel. UNRWA and the Palestinians have established a pairing of keys like Jesus and Peter in the painting above: Palestinian Arabs are the owners of Israel, and the gateway to getting that land is through the United Nations.

The Vanishing Point

The vanishing point is where eyes are drawn to in the horizon.  It is a place where parallel lines converge giving depth to a two dimensional painting.  It is also the point where things become increasingly smaller and faint, disappearing altogether.

In the Perugino painting, the vanishing point is the open door to the Temple of Solomon. It is this worldly portal to the heavens, where man’s prayers ascend to ethereal songs.  The viewer of the painting is pulled to the very spot where the material world melts – indeed, the vanishing point.

Today, a person could look at the artwork with another perspective.

The Temple of Solomon, the most holy place on earth for Jews, is replaced with an Islamic shrine.  The Temple, and Jewish presence has seemingly disappeared.  In this Christian piece of art, the flanking of Constantian arches and Jesus and Peter in the foreground are meant to underscore that the pope and Christianity are the proper pathways to God. Judaism has faded to Islam, and both are replaced by Jesus’s emissary.

Over Jerusalem Day 2015, the vanishing point added an additional dimension.

The current pope, Pope Francis, canonized two nuns who were born in the holy land in the 1840s, while it was part of the Ottoman Empire. One nun was born in Jerusalem and another was born in the Galilee.  Yet the pope decided to refer to these nuns as “Palestinians,” not Ottomans and not Israeli (while the status of Jerusalem is under debate, the only people that consider the Galilee part of Palestine are Hamas-supporters who seek the destruction of Israel).  If one chooses to be generous and argue that the region was called Palestine in the 1840s, does the pope refer to people from regions like the Sahara (Saharans?), the Rockies (Rockies?) or Patagonia (Patagonians?), or does he call them Libyans, Americans and Chileans?

Is the pope seeking a new replacement theology, where not only has the Vatican replaced Jerusalem as the center of divine revelation, but history itself can be updated? Is Israel being supplanted today the way the painting at the Vatican shows Judaism being replaced?

The news media has certainly rallied to such vision.  The New York Times decided to cover the celebrations of Jerusalem Day on May 17, 2015 from a purely Arab point of view.  The day in which Israelis celebrate the reunification of their holiest city from which they were expelled and barred from reentry was characterized as a moment of protest. The atrocities committed by Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs during 1949-1967 vanished and this year’s celebration was mocked.

The Times questioned the very essence of Israeli rights to Jerusalem as it quoted a Palestinian man ““How would you feel if somebody marched through your living room, without your permission?””  Whose house is this anyway?

 


A Vanishing Point has interesting features: our eyes are drawn there; but the subject matter blurs and disappears.

The world’s attention is focused on the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Jews and Palestinian Arabs are focused on Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.  As they do, Palestinians grab hold of the dangling key and Israelis don’t see the golden key in their hand. Everyone wonders what the future will bring and ventures predictions as they gaze into the distance.

And as they do so, all reality disappears.


Related First One Through articles:

In Israel, Everybody’s New

The Holocaust and the Nakba

The Arguments over Jerusalem

“Arab” Land

The United Nations Audit of Israel

The obsession of the United Nations with Israel is well documented.prosor

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor

Various UN bodies sanction Israel in every session over any real or perceived issue. Meanwhile, the organization ignores mass slaughters and human rights abuses that occur daily throughout the world. When well-meaning people point out the singular focus on Israel, the Israel-bashers contend that such complaint is not a defense- it is just “whataboutary”.

Really?

If black people in Missouri were pulled over by police at 70 times the rate of white people, the police department would come under attack for abusive and discriminatory behavior.

If a particular person with financials similar to other people, was audited by the IRS every year, the agency and government would be investigated.

Just a few examples of UN uniquely targeting Israel:

A First One Through video about the many actions and sanctions against Israel, “I hate Israel – the UN told me so”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMb4oofyVgo

 


Source:

UN Human Rights Council: 56 out of 103 resolutions against Israel. http://time.com/3060203/united-nations-human-rights-council-israel/

http://www.unwatch.org/site/c.bdKKISNqEmG/b.3820041/

UN interpreter surprised by number of anti-Israel resolutions: http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/.premium-1.558302

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

The Fleeing Refugees

There is a mass migration occurring in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). People are fleeing their home countries due to turmoil and are crossing land and sea to escape to more stable societies.

  • Fleeing Syria: Over 3 million people have poured into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt;
  • Fleeing Libya: 100,000 have crossed the Mediterranean towards Italy and southern Europe;
  • Fleeing Iraq: Iraq is now hosting people fleeing Syria, while simultaneously, watching thousands of its own citizens flee from ISIS

The new host countries are attempting to find solutions for the flood of new people, many which do not speak the language and lack professional skills. The United Nations is working to assist these countries handle the millions of new people who need shelter, food, clothing and education for an indeterminate amount of time.

The UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is currently staffed with 8600 people handling 34 million refugees from 125 countries. The number of refugees continues to swell each day and hundreds of others die before they even reach safety. In 2014 alone, an estimated 2900 refugees died in transit. In 2014, UNHCR estimates that it will assist over 41 million people. Its biennial budget is $5.3 billion.

The Swell and Permanence of UNRWA

Meanwhile, the UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, has continued to stretch its “temporary” existence for 66 years. This distinct refugee agency for Palestinians manages virtually no refugees anymore, but instead handles services for 5.4 million children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of people who left Palestine in 1948.

The UNRWA staff stands at 30,000, or 3.5 times the staff that the rest of the world gets for actual refugees. It services only 13% of the people that UNHCR assists.

Unlike the refugees serviced by UNHCR, the Palestinians speak the language and have skills. The UNRWA infrastructure and systems have been established for decades. Yet, the UNRWA biennial budget is over $2 billion, or $370 per person serviced compared to $130 for each UNHCR refugee who needs real and immediate services and infrastructure such as shelters, medical facilities and schools.

Almost every UNRWA worker is a Palestinian. The few Europeans that occupy the senior positions and act as the face of the organization mask the reality that the organization is simply an employment agency for Palestinians that runs schools and medical facilities in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. As UNRWA writesStaff costs constitute the bulk of UNRWA’s budget. This is because the day to day direct delivery of services requires a large number of staff (some 29,000). Efforts to maintain parity with host authorities’ public sector salaries render the Agency’s financial sustainability susceptible to economic volatility”. (In other words, when Jordan gives its public sector unions a 5% raise, the entire world gives the Palestinian UNRWA workers a raise too.)

UNRWA continues to extend its life and grow its mission. Per the UNRWA documents, the agency “has evolved over time in response to developments in the operational context, extends at present to providing education; health; relief and social services; microfinance and emergency assistance to refugees; infrastructure and camp improvement within refugee camps; and protection.”

The mission of the agency, in short, is no longer to have temporary workers in temporary hospitals assist a defined number of people for a temporary period of time. It has become a conduit for the global community to pay generations of Palestinians to care for themselves.  As Queen Rania of Jordan put it elegantly “UNRWA is a way of living.

DSC_0109
UNRWA Office just south of the Temple Mount

The Abuse of UNRWA

UNRWA’s evolving mission has distanced itself from core relief operations (as offered by the UNHCR) and the tone and tenor of the organization has come to mimic Palestinian society at large.  For example, UNRWA has come under repeated fire for its actions related to Jews and Israel.

During Operation Protective Edge, UNRWA schools extended the meaning of their new mission of “protection”.

  • UNRWA housed Hamas missiles in its schools;
  • It handed those missiles to Hamas while it was in active combat;
  • It watched as Hamas fired rockets into Israeli civilian areas from its courtyards.

Long ago, UNRWA stopped being an independent relief agency, but has morphed into a Palestinian agency with its own agenda, courtesy of funding by the global community.

Ending UNRWA

The Palestinians and the global community have been co-conspirators in a permanent welfare situation for over six decades. Meanwhile, there is a true humanitarian crisis around the MENA region which is underfunded and understaffed. It is time to transition to a new paradigm for each area in which UNRWA operates.

Lebanon and Jordan: Each country has been over-run with actual refugees from Syria and Iraq. These refugees sit in squalor and receive a fraction of the aid that the Palestinian permanent residents receive. It is unfair and outrageous. The UNRWA should hand over all of its operations to the host countries of Lebanon and Jordan. The incremental cost of carrying these facilities should be carried by each country, with a UN contribution made at the country-level which declines over time. At the same time, additional monies should go towards infrastructure for the new actual refugees.

Syria: As the country is still engaged in a civil war, the UN should still maintain operations until hostilities end.

West Bank and Gaza: If the UN truly considers Palestine a country, by definition there can be no Palestinian refugees or SAPs (Stateless Arabs from Palestine) in Palestine. And whether it is or isn’t, all UNRWA facilities should be handed over to the government. The UN will likely give monies to the government as part of establishing and stabilizing the country, which would help cover the cost of the former UNRWA facilities.

 

The world’s focus on the descendants of Palestinians who left their homes 66 years ago has hurt millions of refugees from around the world. In today’s particularly violent and unstable situation in dozens of countries, the United Nations must transition from spending billions of dollars in welfare checks to capable young SAPs, and direct funds to the millions who are fleeing their home countries due to war and violence.


 

Sources:

Dying in transit: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/17/how-smugglers-bring-desperate-migrants-across-the-mediterranean-only-for-thousands-to-die-at-sea/

Syria refugee count: http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php

Libya refugees: http://www.voanews.com/content/thousands-of-refugees-coming-on-boats-from-libya-italian-navy/1960126.html

UNHCR staffing: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c2.html

UNHCR budget: http://www.unhcr.org/523ab6bd9.html

UNRWA: http://www.unrwa.org/resources

UNRWA budget and mission: http://www.unhcr.org/523ab6bd9.html

Queen Rania on UNRWA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N1mfw4PKg4

Missiles in UNRWA schools: http://www.timesofisrael.com/rockets-found-in-unrwa-school-for-third-time/


Related First One Through articles:

Palestinian “Refugees” or “SAPs”

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

“Please Sir, May I have Some More?”