From: MK BEZALEL SMOTRICH, Member of the Israel Knesset Parliament.

Follow up on UNRWA POLICY FORUM: Time for a total overhaul and reform of UNRWA

On December 20, 2015, The UNRWA POLICY FORUM  convened at the Knesset and warned  donor nations that UNRWA schools educate  half a million students to take back villages that existed before 1948 by force of arms, contradicting the UNRWA motto: “Peace Starts Here.”

Diplomats present included representatives from Canada, Norway, Japan, Slovakia, Korea, Japan, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and the Red Cross. The December 20 session of the UNRWA Policy Forum presented a film of Mohammad Assaf, UNRWA Youth Ambassador who promotes violence, , followed by films of UNRWA education., followed by three experts:

Dr. Arnon Groiss, Member, Advisory Council on the Israeli-Palestinian schoolbook research project, who has translated and evaluated the school books now used in UNRWA schools.

Palestinian Human Rights Expert Bassem Eid, who grew up in the UNRWA refugee camp in Shuafat, presented a perspective for donor transparency and humanitarian resettlement of the descendants of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war.

Journalist Adi Schwartz, co-author, with Dr. Einat Wilf, former Israel Labor Party Member of the Knesset, of a forthcoming study:  “UNRWA Policies and the Plight of the Arab refugees”.

The UNRWA POLICY FORUM asks donor nations to request of UNRWA:

  1. Not to use teachers or school books which encourage violence.
  2. Not to employ members of terror organizations.
  3. Not to promote the “right of return”.
  4. To advance resettlement of the descendants of refugees from the 1948 war, in cooperation with UNHCR, the UN High Commissioner of Refugees. There is no reason for UNRWA refugee camp life to persist for one more day, let alone for another 67 years

The UNRWA POLICY FORUM envisages an overhaul of UNRWA policies.  Even if peace may not be achieved in the Middle East, the plight of refugees from 1948 must be addressed. Films and speakers at the UNRWA POLICY FORUM were organized by the Center for Near East Policy Research,, which has conducted inquiries into UNRWA policies for the past 28 years.

The UNRWA POLICY FORUM warmly endorses the initiative of Bassem Eid to visit the UNRWA facilities and to witness UNRWA policies that must be ameliorated.


Email: bezalels@KNESSET.GOV.IL
כנסת ישראל, ירושלים I The Knesset, Jerusalem 91950