Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UNRWA Reform Initiative 2014

From Israel Behind the News, 25 August 2014, by The Center for Near East Policy Research:

The Center for Near East Policy Research (CNEPR) has launched a campaign aimed at reforming the United Nation Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA), to ensure that Western taxpayer money does not aid and abet the growing phenomenon of war education and terror advocacy that we have documented in our research. 

In these most trying times for Israel, during the ‘Protective Edge’ War this summer, we have further witnessed the misuse of UNRWA facilities callously taken over by Hamas’ in its’ campaign against Israel. This crime effects those that need UNRWA the most, as what was once a safe haven for Palestinian refugees has become a hotspot for terrorism, in an immoral and illegal occupation of UN property for dubious purposes.

It is with great urgency that we continue to investigate and document the misuse of UNRWA resources and take our findings to the 38 Western countries that fund UNRWA using your tax money, demanding transparency and serious reforms, so that UNRWA can continue the important services it was established to do. The question must be asked – how is it that after 64 years, Gaza remains unchanged and to this very day, is in a worse humanitarian situation than it has ever been in before?...
In parallel, UNRWA has suffered from three main problems, in which it has been led astray from its own mandate:
  1. The agency will never re-settle any of its’ constituents, as it promotes a ‘right of return’ to villages in Israel, many of which no longer exist. 
  2. The commitment to liberate all of Palestine through Jihad and martyrdom. 
  3. Denial of the legitimacy of the State of Israel and demonization of Jews, with a war-based curriculum in UNRWA schools and youth camps
We believe it is necessary to fix these burgeoning problems for a true and lasting peace that our children and grandchildren will benefit from, for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.
UNRWA was established in 1950 as a humanitarian agency for those who fit the UNRWA definition of “people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab -Israeli conflict.” 
In 1965, UNRWA did what no other refugee aid agency has ever done, they extended refugee status to the descendants of those refugees from 1948, and today we have an estimated 8.1 million refugees around the world (5.1 millions living under the auspices of UNRWA), who are kept in perpetual limbo, poised and taught that they will return to Israel through force of arms.
Today, there are 29,000 workers staffing UNRWA, with an annual budget that tops $ 1.2 billion. 38 Western, democratic countries are main source of funding for UNRWA and its’ taxpayers bear the burden of this expense. UNRWA has no governing board or oversight whatsoever, never been audited or under any review.
Here is the breakdown of UNRWA’s top donors: 8
- United States (top donor)$294,023,401
- European Commission$216,386,867
- United Kingdom$93,737,454
- Norway$34,595,162

People may ask what UNRWA has to do with the current war with Hamas in Gaza? How many people realize that 75% of the people of Gaza dwell in “temporary” UNRWA refugee camps in Gaza for 66 years, under the specious premise and promise of the “right of return” by force of arms and ‘jihad’ to Arab villages that existed before 1948. How many people realize that UNRWA schools and youth clubs train 492,000 students in Gaza to prepare themselves to kill and die in a war with Israel, under the slogan of “right of return” to Jaffa, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beer Sheva and Haifa, which replaced Arab villages from before 1948?
The CNEPR has documented the takeover of UNRWA by Hamas and the danger it poses to Israel as the number one obstacle to peace in the region. 9 As long as this refugee agency keeps the people in a life of limbo, with promises of a ‘right’ of return’ and demonization of the Jewish people, we will never see peace in the land.
Our mission under the UNRWA Reform Initiative is to demand a complete overhaul of the educational system, a new peace curriculum to be used in place of the current war curriculum, an official audit of its’ finances and a humane and just solution in resettling the refugees once and for all.
Our research, reports, monographs, articles, books and several documentary films span over 25 years of work in investigating UNRWA policies and practices. We take our findings to the governments of those donor nations that fund UNRWA and demand reform of their dangerous policies. Please review the ‘Scope of our work’ document attached to learn more about the UNRWA Reform Initiative.

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