UNRWA shackles, the real Palestinian refugee problem, Re: ‘Refugees’ in name only, National Post, May 10, 2012

Refugee status usually begins and ends with the person involved and does not apply to their descendants. The vast majority of people who call themselves Palestinian refugees therefore aren’t refugees at all. They are refugees in name only.

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In the mid to late 1940’s approximately 750,000 people left the territory that would become Israel. These people, or those that remain, are Palestinian refugees. Their descendants aren’t., despite what the Palestinians and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency would have you believe.

UNRWA was set up in the 1940’s to deal exclusively with Palestinian refugees. Its definition of refugee is unique to itself and very much outside the norm. Only UNRWA and the Palestinians ascribe refugee status to a refugees descendants as well, both their immediate descendants and their descendants in perpetuity. That means that the number of people who call themselves Palestinian refugees is growing instead of declining and that the vast majority of them never actually lived in or left the land which eventually became Israel.

It also means that Palestinians are allowed and encouraged to wallow in ongoing feelings of victimhood and that they are allowed and encouraged to blame everyone else for their problems, especially Israelis and Jews. This in turn means that they always feel sorry for themselves and take out their misplaced anger and despair on Israel and Israelis. The violence and destruction that they perpetrate against Israel and Israelis can in many ways be traced to their unwarranted feelings of resentment at losing their land, unwarranted because the vast majority of them were never on the land in the first place and have no personal experience with it or attachment to it. They think of themselves as refugees even though they aren’t and this has profound negative consequences for them.

UNRWA is complicit in this because it has never done anything to disabuse Palestinians of these mistaken notions and has done nothing but reinforce them since it came into existence. That in turn means that UNRWA is complicit in keeping Palestinians poor, dependent and violent and also complicit in all the destruction, death and war that has occurred over the years and which will continue to occur until Palestinians change their attitudes.

They won’t get any help from UNRWA, that’s for sure. UNRWA is a huge bureaucracy which couldn’t exist without perpetuating Palestinian dependence and misery. UNRWA is going to keep on doing exactly that because if it did otherwise it would shrink and eventually cease to exist. Palestinian dependence and misery keeps UNRWA alive and UNWRA is simply not going to substantially change its ways on its own. Bureaucracies never do.

Palestinians are shackled by UNRWA and those shackles will have to be removed if they are ever going to improve their lives, if they are ever going to acquire their own state and make peace with Israel. They’ll have to remove them themselves because no one else will do it for them.

Palestinian refugees? Nonsense. The vast majority of people who call themselves Palestinian refugees aren’t really refugees at all. What they are are useful idiots who have been manipulated and taken advantage of by bureaucrats and ideologues who don’t care about them at all and keep them downtrodden for their own ends. UNRWA and its definition of refugee has been disastrous for the Palestinians and it is long past time for them to recognize and understand this and take remedial action, to get rid of the bureaucrats and ideologues who have done them so much harm.

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