UNRWA Status Update on Capitol Hill

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A war is brewing on Capitol Hill. And while wars tend to create refugees, this one may result in fewer of them.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is trying to get a handle on the real number of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East — a move that could result in a change of status for millions of Palestinians. His proposed language for the 2013 foreign appropriations bill would require the U.S. government to confirm just how many Palestinians currently served by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) — the body tasked with providing assistance, protection, and advocacy for Palestinian refugees — are actually refugees. The bill, slated for markup on May 22, would challenge the status of the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Palestinian refugees — a great many of whom claim to be refugees despite the fact that they were never personally displaced in the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israeli wars.


  1. The funny thing is that as some people try to clear up this UNRWA mess, there is another one building up as up to 500 Africans claiming refugee status are allowed into Israel every day.

    Perhaps Israel could suggest UNRWA a deal to save some of their jobs: stop clinging to Arab "refugees" and start looking after African "refugees" in UNRWA camps in Egypt instead.

    More seriously, though, what’s the political elite’s excuse for years of inaction regarding this African invasion? Has anyone done the math? Three to five hundred a day?

    Once they have spent years in Israel and have cute little children speaking Hebrew and waving Israeli flags, it will be next to impossible to deport them.

    It seems that the only practical solution that would keep the international community from pouncing on Israel is to get either UNRWA or UNHCR to take all African infiltrators into refugee camps in Egypt. Neither a fence nor incarceration will work in the long term.

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