This article, published at http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/320825-a-bold-common-sense-un-move-for-the-trump-administration in a publication on Capitol Hill in DC, advances the logical idea that the US should lead to way to “fold UNRWA into UNHCR”.

After all, UNRWA leaves five million people descended from Arab refugees in a state or refugee perpetuity, while UNHCR plants seeds of hope for refugees to one day live a life of dignity.

The Center For Near East Policy Research, which has studied, reported and filmed UNRWA for the past 29 years, has explored this option with the Congress, and has made presentations on this precise idea at the UN Press Club,12 years ago and 6 years ago.

However, the center has discerned that this idea, in the way in which it phrased, can go nowhere, because the UN will not allow any formal change to the UNRWA mandate.

This is not a matter of semantics.

Instead, donor nations can attach reasonable conditions to their funding of UNRWA and ask UNRWA to adopt UNHCR principles of operation , along with other policy demands, without formal requesting that UNRWA be folded into the UNHCR, a formal step which the UN will not allow.

There are six UNRWA policy reform policy principles which donors can pursue:

  1. Introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA, to advance the resettlement of Arab refugees, after 67 years. Current UNRWA policy is that refugee resettlement would interfere with the “right of return” to Arab villages that existed before 1948.
  2. Ask for an audit of donor funds that flow to UNRWA. This would address widespread documented reports of wasted resources, duplicity of services and the undesired flow of cash to Gaza-based terror groups, which gained control over UNRWA operations in Gaza over the past 18 years.
  3. Cancel the new UNRWA curriculum, which incorporate principles of Jihad, martyrdom and an “right of return” by force of arms, in UN schools which are supposed to promote the UNRWA slogan of “Peace Starts Here.”
  4. Cease paramilitary training in all UNRWA schools. Should UNRWA, as a UN agency, not demonstrate a renewed commitment to UN principles to “peace education”?
  5. Insist that UNRWA dismiss employees who are affiliated with Hamas, in accordance with laws on the books in western nations, which forbid aid to any agency that employs members of a terrorist organization.
  6. Since UNRWA has recently hired a “youth ambassador” Mohammad Assaf, to travel the world and encourage insurrection and violence, would this not be the appropriate time for donor nations to ask that UNRWA cancel that contract with a harbinger of war?

These UNRWA policy reforms are elucidated at:
http://israelbehindthenews.com/the-unrwa-reform-initiative/10658/

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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