Thursday, September 18, 2014

UNRWA Guilty Again


September 18, 2014


Recent reports about shipwrecks that killed hundreds of refugees, many of them Palestinians fleeing Gaza, have focused attention on the desperate efforts of some Palestinians to get out of the economic and political hell of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

People pay about $4000 each to be smuggled through tunnels from the Gazan side of Rafah into Egypt and then to the Egyptian coast, where they are crowded onto boats bound for Europe (often to Italy). Once off the coast of Italy or its islands, the refugees are picked up by Italian authorities or the Red Cross.

Last week some 500 people, mostly Palestinians, drowned when a human smuggling ship off Malta was rammed by rival smugglers. On Saturday, another 15 Palestinians died in a shipwreck off the Egyptian coast. 

Evelyn Gordon, writing at Commentary, points the finger of blame for this human tragedy at the U.N. and the international community:

[T]he "international community" has designated two-thirds of all Gaza residents as bona fide refugees, even though the vast majority of them were born in Gaza and have lived there all their lives. And as bona fide refugees, they shouldn't have had to board rickety smugglers' boats in a desperate attempt to reach Europe; they should have been able to apply to the UN for orderly resettlement right from their refugee camps, just as thousands of other refugees do every year. But they can't, because
Palestinians are the only refugees in the world who are denied the basic right of resettlement.

...Whereas UNHCR resettles tens of thousands of refugees every year, UNRWA hasn't resettled a single refugee in its 65 years of existence. On the contrary, the schools it runs for Palestinian refugees indoctrinate them from kindergarten on that there is one, and only one, way for them to end their refugee status: by
"returning" to the towns or villages in Israel that their ancestors fled-which most of them have never seen, and some of which no longer even exist. In short, since Israel would never voluntarily accept all five million "refugees" on UNRWA's rolls, it's telling them that the
only solution to their refugeehood is Israel's destruction.

[T]o continue defining Palestinians as refugees while denying them the basic right to resettlement is unconscionable. And all those Westerners who claim to be so concerned over Palestinian rights should be the first to protest this hypocritical and discriminatory practice.


Robin Ticker
Activist emails sent to my list  are L'Ilui Nishmat Yisrael ben David Aryeh ob"m (Izzy - Kaplan) and Howard Chaim Grief great activists and lovers of Eretz Yisroel, Am Yisroel and the Torah. Yehi Zichronum Baruch.  May their memories serve as a blessing.

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