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May 30, 2012 11:22 am

U.S. State Department Affirms Support for 5 Million ‘Palestinian Refugees’

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U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois. Photo: wiki commons.

In the wake of a Senate amendment requiring the United States to quantify how many Palestinians receiving U.S. aid were displaced after the Israeli War of Independence and how many are only descendants of such refugees, a State Department official told The Cable that the U.S. considers the descendants to be actual refugees.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s amendment, which unanimously passed the Senate Appropriations Committee May 24, has been strongly opposed by the State Department. Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides, in a letter to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), said Kirk’s amendment “would be viewed around the world as the United States acting to prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue.”

Nides affirmed the State Department’s view on the number of Palestinian refugees by emphasizing in his letter that the UN and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “provides essential services for approximately 5 million refugees,” The Cable reported.

Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes recently noted in an op-ed for Israel Hayom that only 1 percent of the refugees served by UNRWA fit the agency’s definition of “people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.” The other 99 percent are descendants of refugees

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  • Sam

    Keeping this refugee issue only perpetuates the conflict and in trying to help resolve the conflict, US taxpayers have to pay this extra tax that just keeps growing and growing as their population keeps growing and growing. It’s a tax that is not sustainable while Abbas makes no effort to “re-start” negotiations and on the contrary continues to avoid negotiations. Abbas received his UN bid for non member state, he should now take on the responsibility to support these people. Why continue to burden tax payers when the money is needed for paying off the debt?

  • A REAL American

    The Palestinians are the world’s longest served “refugee” population sucking up more international aid under the claim of “refugee” status than any other group in the history of the world.

    Most groups are refugees for a year or two and are resettled. There is a major problem with you if you claim to be a refugee sucking welfare out of the UN and the US like it is your rightful inheritance for SIXTY FOUR YEARS!!

    Zero fund the palestinians immediately. There is no reason to keep them on US funded welfare any longer.

  • HY GERSHON

    OUR STATE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO PERPETUATE THE MYTH OF “PALESTINIAN REFUGEES”. ISRAEL ELIMINATED HER REFUGEE PROBLEM LONG AGO. WE KNOW THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT SUPPORTS A PALESTINIAN STATE CONSISTING OF A MULTITUDE OF “REFUGEES” THAT WOULD INUNDATE ISRAEL AND RENDER HER NON-EXISTENT. DOES ARAB OIL MEAN THAT MUCH TO OUR COUNTRY?

  • dantes76

    Only a bmw not enough for the refugees, then the State Department wants to help these poor refugees..

  • dantes76

    Humanitarian aid to Gaza
    http://imm.io/r3KN

  • How do we put pressure on our US State Department to better reflect how most Americans view the bogus Palestinian refugees astronomical numbers? Perhaps, Algemeiner could circulate a petition to be signed online by Americans calling on our State Department to recognize a definition of Palestinian refugee that is consistent with UNRWA’s own definition!

    • Liz

      Maybe some kind of petition would be useful. Or a statement of the facts people could sign in support? I considered writing a letter to the State Department, but it seemed pointless. Still, I’m sure other Americans would want to know, if they don’t already, that the Palestinians are the only refugees whose descendants inherit refugee status. They’re also the only refugees to have their own U.N. agency (the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA), exclusively devoted to them and their needs and funded by U.S. taxpayers to the tune of over 4 billion dollars since it was established. Of course, it’s because of these exceptions that the Palestinians have been able to keep the conflict going all these years. I’m surprised the leaders of Jewish organizations haven’t used this as an opportunity to remind the world how high the deck is stacked against Israel and how deeply anti-Semitic the U.N. is at its core.

  • The only place more antisemetic than the US State Dept is a meeting in hell between Hitler and Eichmann.

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