U.S. Defunds UNRWA

This is good news that I missed a few days ago: U.S. halts funding to U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees. I would say that headline is wrong in two respects.

The United States on Friday halted all funding to a U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees in a decision further heightening tensions between the Palestinian leadership and the Trump administration.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the decision as “a flagrant assault against the Palestinian people and a defiance of U.N. resolutions.”

This is a theme that recurs throughout the Reuters article. The Palestinians think we have an obligation to support them:

In Gaza, the Islamist group Hamas condemned the U.S move as a “grave escalation against the Palestinian people.”

“The American decision aims to wipe out the right of return and is a grave U.S escalation against the Palestinian people,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

Yes, I hope that President Trump intends to wipe out the fictitious “right of return” once and for all. UNRWA has been a key player preserving the myth that millions of Palestinians are “refugees.”

The Trump administration explained its decision:

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the business model and fiscal practices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) made it an “irredeemably flawed operation.”

“The administration has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to UNRWA,” she said in a statement.

Nauert said the agency’s “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years.”

At PJ Media, David Goldman hailed the administration’s action:

President Trump appears to have undertaken a revolution in Middle Eastern diplomacy. Reportedly, the United States will eliminate refugee status for the descendants of Palestinian refugees of 1948, the only group of people anywhere in the world to inherit refugee status. The U.S. also reportedly will eliminate funding for UNRWA, the only UN agency dedicated to a single group of refugees, namely the Palestinian Arabs.
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This is long overdue. …

Roughly equal numbers of Arabs and Jews were displaced as Arab states expelled Jewish populations that in some cases, e.g. Iraq, had lived there for 2,500 years, long before the Arabs. The young Jewish state absorbed almost a million Jewish refugees from Muslim countries while the displaced Arabs were kept in permanent refugee status as a bargaining chip. “Right of return” simply meant Muslim refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state.

Exactly. This is the sort of sound policy the Trump administration is steadily carrying out, while journalists obsess on the president’s tweets.

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