In “UNRWA’s unsettling impact” (My Word, January 12), Liat Collins is mistaken in her suggestion to incorporate UNRWA into the UNHCR. It is not because her idea is illogical – it is not possible.

UNRWA operates under the United Nations General Assembly, whose automatic anti-Israel majority will never agree to any change in UNRWA status that would benefit Israel. Instead, the 68 UNRWA donor nations can be asked to adopt the URI (UNRWA Reform Initiative), with its six logical reforms in UNRWA policies that could encompass the conditions for further funding:

  • Ask for an audit of donor funds. This would address widespread documented reports of wasted resources, duplication of services and an undesired flow of cash to the Gaza-based terror groups that have controlled UNRWA operations there for the past 18 years.
  • Introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA to advance the resettlement of Palestinian refugees. These people have spent some seven decades relegated to refugee status. Current UNRWA policy is that any refugee resettlement would interfere with the “right of return” to pre-1948 Arab localities. By adopting the political stance of Palestinian maximalists, UNRWA flouts its own commitment to the welfare and future of Palestinian refugees.
  • Cancel the UNRWA curriculum, which is based on jihad, martyrdom and the right of return by force of arms.
  • Cease paramilitary training in all UNRWA schools. It is an absurdity that UNRWA, a UN agency with a purported commitment to “peace education,” allows such training on its premises.
  • Insist that UNRWA dismiss employees affiliated with Hamas in accordance with laws on the books in western nations that forbid aid to any agency that employs members of a terrorist organization.
  • UNRWA recently hired a “youth ambassador,” Muhammad Assaf, to travel the world and encourage insurrection and violence. This would be an appropriate time to demand that UNRWA cancel its contract with a promoter of war.

The writer is director of the Israel Resource News Agency.

SOURCEJerusalem Post
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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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