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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- Cease paramilitary training in all UNRWA schools. Should UNRWA, as a UN agency, not demonstrate a renewed commitment to UN principles to “peace education”?
- 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.
- 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: