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December 22, 2014 7:42 am

America’s Palestine Refugee Policy is Ludicrous

avatar by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe

Email a copy of "America’s Palestine Refugee Policy is Ludicrous" to a friend
Students at a UNRWA School in Gaza, in 2011. Photo: UN / Shareef Sarhan.

Students at a UNRWA School in Gaza, in 2011. Photo: UN / Shareef Sarhan.

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By any measurement, Western policy towards United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the internationally funded agency for Palestinian “refugees,” meets that definition. One example is the newly released 2015 State Department Framework for Cooperation Between UNRWA and the U.S.

This exercise in repetition occurred in the wake of a war that again exposed UNRWA’s unsavory and illegal activities, from being “shocked” that its schools were used to store Hamas’ rockets and rote condemnations of Israel, to its employees cheering the murder of Israelis. The framework nevertheless represents the American commitment to prolong the existence of UNRWA, established almost exactly 65 years ago.

The bulk of the document deals with UNRWA management. For example, there are the “15 objectives of the Medium Term Strategy” and the “Development of Strategic Response Plans for each of UNRWA’s five fields of operation through a consultative process.” The document also speaks of the “Continued implementation of ongoing management reforms, particularly in the areas of results-based management, resource mobilization, human resources, transition to and management of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) data management system, and internal communications.”

These reflect the professionalization of UNRWA from a temporary relief organization into a multifaceted international organization dealing with Palestinian “basic education, health, relief and social services, microcredit, camp improvement and infrastructure and other assistance,” and “human development of Palestinian refugees by improving living conditions, economic potential, livelihoods, access, and human rights.” In other words, all the things that a Palestinian state should be doing for its citizens at home and outside its borders.

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They also take for granted that UNRWA will not only continue to exist through at least 2021 (the end of the next five year planning cycle,) but will also grow in both scope and size, then and beyond. There is no talk about limiting UNRWA’s operations, or turning responsibilities over to the Palestinian Authority or to countries that host Palestinian “refugees.” In fact, the only talk about an end to UNRWA is the boilerplate statement that “The goal of U.S. support to UNRWA is to ensure that Palestinian refugees live in dignity with an enhanced human development potential until a comprehensive and just solution is secured.” Left unsaid is the fact that only the United Nations General Assembly can dissolve UNRWA, and that body’s definition of a “comprehensive and just solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict is unlikely to be realized anytime soon, if ever.

The Framework does make a sideways nod to the reality that the 2014 Gaza War generated some bad publicity for UNRWA, during the course of which American legislators demanded investigations into how Hamas weapons found their way into UNRWA schools. For the State Department the matter is pressing particularly given that Section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (amended) states that “No contributions by the United States shall be made to (UNRWA) except on the condition that (UNRWA) take all possible measures to assure than no part of the United States contribution shall be used to furnish assistance to any refugee who is receiving military training as a member of the so-called Palestine Liberation Army or any other guerilla-type organization or who has engaged in any act of terrorism.”

Thus the new Framework states:

“The United States and UNRWA share concerns about the threat of terrorism, including within the context of the United Nation’s firm commitment to counter terrorism and the conditions on U.S. contributions to UNRWA under section 301(c). To this end, UNRWA is committed to taking all possible measures to ensure that funding provided by the United States to support UNRWA is not used to provide assistance to, or otherwise support, terrorists or terrorist organizations.

The United States and UNRWA intend to continue to work together throughout 2015 to enhance collaboration and communication on issues related to conformance with conditions on U.S. contributions to UNRWA as detailed in section 301(c). The United States supports UNRWA’s policy to take all possible measures to ensure that staff members understand and fulfill their obligations, under Agency Rules and Regulations, to refrain from prohibited outside activities.”

This constitutes an UNRWA commitment to update its human resources manuals, nothing more. There is no mention of UNRWA’s refusal to use U.S. or Israeli terror watch lists to ensure any commitment to combat terrorism.

The unreality is compounded by the still more ludicrous statement that the U.S. “notes with appreciation efforts taken by UNRWA during the course of 2014 to strengthen the Agency’s neutrality compliance, including but not limited to the development of social media guidelines for official UNRWA communications…”

Whether the UNRWA spokesman crying on camera while being interviewed constitutes “neutrality compliance” is unclear, as is the celebration of the recent Jerusalem murders of rabbis on the Facebook pages of UNRWA teachers. Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect UNRWA employees, the vast majority of whom are Palestinian, to express neutrality. But if that is the case, then the Framework’s endorsement of “UNRWA’s human rights, conflict resolution, and tolerance education program” may also be questioned, or at least its implementation.

But a deeper look at the document and the background of the American commitment to UNRWA suggests another vast disconnect. The framework states “All U.S. foreign assistance programs are required to demonstrate performance and accountability, and clearly link programming and funding directly to U.S. policy goals.” How prolonging the Palestinian “refugee” issue through the permanent institutionalizing of UNRWA serves U.S. policy goals is mystifying.

Beyond that, UNRWA officials at the top continue to defend the Palestinian “right of return,” in speeches as well as on official web pages, not to mention its pervasive promotion in UNRWA schools. How does promoting the Palestinian ideology that they are entitled to return to places once occupied by parents, grandparents and great-grandparents which are now in Israel, and in the process transform Israel into a Jewish minority state, serve U.S. policy, much less the cause of peace?

The new U.S.-UNRWA Framework is foreign policy by inertia. In 2013 that inertia cost $294,023,401, the amount of the U.S. contribution to UNRWA (in addition to $356,700,000 in aid to the Palestinian Authority). U.S. support to UNRWA kept Palestinians in stasis, promoted Palestinian rejectionism, and did not advance the cause of peace, or U.S. policy.

Asaf Romirowsky is an adjunct fellow at the Middle East Forum. Alexander Joffe is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow of the Middle East Forum. They are co-authors of the book Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief.

This article was originally published by The National Interest.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • charlie johnson

    Mister Hess posted this >> The comment by “sinn fein” is hate speech. It is telling that a “moderator” let it through. This is a hate site eh? I do not understand that this sinn fein guy posted anything I could identify as hate speech. has anyone got a rulebook?

  • charlie johnson

    If you read much of world history you begin to consider how many millions of human deaths are attributable to geography lessons.Defense industries give employment to many citizen of various nations because of the demand for tools to teach geography lessons with.I suspect that civilization will conclude with one final lesson.

  • I also want to address the true bigots, and that is not people like me, there are more than 400 Hess’s in the Israeli phone book, a very famous Zionist Hess and one illegal colonists named Hess that has been in front of the Israeli High Court.

    I am appalled yet even more by people that can’t make an argument based on facts and instead attack a surname. That behavior is in itself ludicrous.

    I read through these comments and I have found intellectual dishonesty, bigotry and complete nonsense. I am an American Indian in New Mexico. I have Jews in my family. At the dinner table it took years, but everyone is on the same page now after all this death starting with Cast Lead I.

    It is willful blindness to not stand up for what is right. The state of Israel is stealing land and resources OUTSIDE of Israel. The Palestinians and the wider Arab world have every right to be furious at this.

    It is illegal for a nation to steal land and resources OUTSIDE of its sovereign territory with military force. I do not understand what is so hard for some people to get about this fact. If some brutal occupier was stealing your land you would obviously fight back against the foreign occupier.

    And yet your deep-seated hatred of Palestinians blinds you to common sense, so much so that some of you choose to deny that millions of Palestinians exist. Can’t any of you see that this theft, OUTSIDE of the state of Israel, in another place, Palestine, is completely destroying ethical Judaism?

    Why do some Israeli “supporters” believe that this one country, above all others, can steal land and resources by military force? Oh well, Vladimir Putin thanks you, if Israel can do it he can do it. That’s what so many of you supporters of theft at the point of a gun have rendered Ethical Judaism.

  • Nigel Blumenthal

    It appears that Palestinians already have a state. Its name however is not “Palestine”, but “Unrwa”, not as easy to pronounce, but it appears to be undertaking most of the responsibilities of a state, with the exception of defence. I wonder how long it will take for that omission to be rectified.

    • Ludicrous! The Palestinians have their state in the remaining 22% of historic Palestine in the West Bank, The Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. This has been known since at least 1988 (really as far back as 1976) and is enshrined in UNSCR 1860. That’s one of the resolutions that also verifies that Israel still occupies Gaza.

      Stop trying to pretend that there is no Palestine. It is a ludicrous position in the face of international law and where David Ben-Gurion declared the borders under 181. If anything the Palestinians are being magnanimous in accepting the Green Line. Although I and many others are urging them to reconsider because the state of Israel obviously, over decades, cannot be trusted.

      Get real Nigel, Bibi brags about killing Oslo. See Haaretz and expand your knowledge of the facts of this conflict. The Palestinians are not going to give up the West Bank or East Jerusalem nor should they. The entire planet is behind a state of Palestine including the United States. Palestine is not going to go anywhere so wishing it away won’t help you.

  • Efram

    I do not get why Algemeiner continues to give voice to bigots, Jew haters, and terrorist supporters. Don’t they have enough places to vent their hate? Human excrement, such as the hess creep, need to find another place to vent their evil drivel.

    Algemeiner, PLEASE stop publishing the ‘voices’ of the Nazis of today!!

    • charlie johnson

      They hate Christians too. What we see in the USA with the protest/riots is the beginning of warfare such as you contend with in Israel.Under a secret plan to bring revolutionary warfare to the streets of the USA.Socialist controlled by elements of powerful people who use the blacks for cannon fodder. You notice a lot of protestors wearing mask just like the Islamics.Even one was caught who was born in the Mid East.So in time we will be confronted by a Boko Haram in the USA.Mister Ferrikhan suggested that killing whites would solve all their problems.The communist revolution failed in the USA by the early seventies.The commies blamed black Christians for failing to support the revolution,Especially Southern black Christians.So they are working from a different angle today.The Godless communist and God fearing Islamics will jump in the bed together in their desire to destroy the Christians of the USA.Liberal socialist have made this a goal for a long time.Marx advised to destroy the white Christian moral ethics. If you look at the places destroyed by drugs you can see why Detroit became a trash pile.So,You folks in Israel are not an isolated case anymore. We will have the same enemies to contend with. The youth of the USA were prepared by experts in our Marxist education system.

  • Just as there are proposals for UN resolutions giving Israel a deadline to ‘end the occupation’ and disappear from the West Bank and Gaza, there should be a two year deadline for the UN and the Arab League to settle all Palestinian refugees in the 24 Arab countries. Where else are there third and fourth generation refugees? 800,000 Jews were pushed out of Arab countries post-1948, countries where Jews had lived for two millennia, but they made new lives in Israel, UK and France within one generation. Hundreds of thousandas of Jews left the Soviet Union; how many are in refugee camps? After WW 2 there were large numbers of displaced persons who survived the Holocaust. How many are still in refugee camps? The job of the UN and the Arab League is to resettle refugees, not perpetuate them.

    • Joseph, what a ludicrous proposal. Why would the Palestinians leave Palestine? Seriously? What kind of person would ask the people in their own state to simply leave it so another people can steal it? I mean have you even considered what you are asking?

      The Palestinians were already there when Israel was foisted upon them against their will in 1948. Why would you think that the indigenous people of Palestine should now give up even more land after the Ethnic Cleansing and all the crime perpetrated against them then and since?

      There is something about this conflict that makes some people take complete leave of their senses. It should be embarrassing for people to support these terrible crimes. But a lot of you absolutely revel in them.

      • Tom Tuey

        Mr. Hess…..the land is Israel’s….NOT the Pals…
        Please go back to Gaza…your Indian disguise
        doesn’t work…..

      • Sitting Bull

        Why should JEWS leave JUDEA? In the 30s the Michael Hess clones in Europe said “Jews to Palestine!” Now they say “Jews out of Palestine!” I think we can divine the hidden message there. Frankly, the Israelis should give the Arab squatters and colonists a 1 year deadline to clear out of the occupied East Bank, as well as Judea and Samaria. One year is much more generous than the 3 days most Jews got when they were expelled from the mideast countries by the Arab colonizers after living there for over 2500 years.

        • You are confused and obviously a bigot because you are making fun of my American Indian heritage. You are spouting pure nonsense. The state of Israel was created in Palestine. There were Palestinians there. They have rights to their land under international law and UN resolutions. Bigoted commentary on what I believe is a hate site will not change this fact.

          • tomm

            Judean Palestinians.

      • Sarah Blanchard

        Mr. Hess, you seem to be suffering under the ridiculous delusion that the “Palestinians” are actually from historical Palestine. They are not. They are descended from Armenians, Syrians, Egyptians, and other Arabs imported into Palestine in order to try to claim the land as Arab. They even brag about being from other countries. In the 1960s and 70s, Arab leaders bragged publicly that the newly-created “Palestinian” identity given to Arab residents in Palestine was nothing more than a political tool designed to drive the Jews out of their homeland. The true historical Palestinians are Jews and Christians. Arabs never gave a rat’s behind about Palestine until the Jews were given the right to govern themselves, which is abhorrent to them – no Dhimmi should ever be given the right to self-govern as far as they are concerned. So before you slam the educational levels of other posters, perhaps you should stop reading things like the Guardian and pick up an actually history book.

  • No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel –
    David Ben Gurion

    (David Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel and widely hailed as the State’s main founder).

    “No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel.
    No Jew has the authority to do so.
    No Jewish body has the authority to do so.
    Not even the entire Jewish People alive today has the right to yield any part of Israel.
    It is the right of the Jewish People over the generations, a right that under
    no conditions can be cancelled.
    Even if Jews during a specific period proclaim they are relinquishing this right, they have neither the power nor the authority to deny it to future generations.
    No concession of this type is binding or obligates the Jewish People. Our right to the country – the entire country – exists as an eternal right, and we shall not yield this historic right until its full and complete redemption is realized.”

    (David Ben Gurion, Zionist Congress, Basel, Switzerland, 1937.)

    “No country in the world exists today by virtue of its ‘right’.
    All countries exist today by virtue of their ability to defend themselves against those who seek their destruction.”

    “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope”

    • David Ben-Gurion declared the state of Israel within the borders as suggested under UNGA 181. The state of Israel is outside of its borders. The colonists are illegal under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions. The 600,000 of them are not inside of Israel, they are OUTSIDE OF ISRAEL, in Palestine. Anyone can easily verify this fact and yet some people insist otherwise.

      My question is why are some people completely oblivious to facts when it comes to this conflict? The state of Israel Ethically Cleansed a million Palestinians at it’s birth. And yet still the Palestinians are being quite magnanimous to accept the Green Line as the border and still that’s not good enough for right wing Israelis and their “supporters”.

      It’s astonishing to me to see the moral breakdown amongst the remaining supporters of this clearly illegal theft of land and resources by an alien state against another.

      • Sitting Bull

        You would think a so-called American Indian would realize that UNGA 181 is no more than a piece of paper which was completely rejected by one side to the agreement and has no more force than all the treaties signed by the American government with the natives. Frankly, Israel is being extremely magnanimous in letting a single Arab colonist stay in Judea and Samaria as well the Occupied East Bank.

        • One would not think that a bigot who slurs American Indians has a clue about UNGA 181. I do however, let me clue you in. David Ben-Gurion declared the state of Israel within the borders as suggested by UNGA 181 and that is what President Truman recognized. Indeed Ben-Gurion even promised to not steal territory outside of those borders. See Eliahu Epstein and the Truman Library and get some facts. By daring to call into question 181, you are calling Israel’s very existence into question.

  • David klein

    First of all a bit of history has tone reviewed. The so-called refugee camps of a people of non Jewish decent were started before the state of Israel was born. They were not the cause of the Israeli state. Second point, the name Palestine was always connected with a Jewish character. Biblical and political documents such as the white paper would make that clear. This region was a barren wasteland that no one wanted for thousands of years. A simple quote from Mark Twain in 1867 would underscore that fact. It was the Jewish entrepreneurial spirit which built the basic foundation and infrastructure on which modern day Israel sits. There was no gentile roots recorded in this region but was usurped by Syrian arabs acting as absentee landlords who viewed as something of a backwater of the state. In otherworldly it was disdained and never looked as having any value. Just read The Rape of Palestine by William Ziff 1938. The accusations of an occupation by a state that has every right to be there both historically and with political documentation can be defined in the mildest term as ignorance. However in today’s world of a highly educated society one would tend to conclude the over riding motives to be hate and Jealousy.

  • Michael. you seem to have an issue with truth and facts – so here are a couple. Not even the UN used 1 million as a refugee figure for the Arabs – between 400,00 and a high of 850,000 which is more than matched by the Jewish refugees. Next, many of the Arabs were not refugees because they were immigrants from other Arab countries who could return to their homes but the Arab nations blocked their return in order to create a “situation” they could control. One British charity that has continued to profit from the Palestine refugee issue is the Friends – when they began work in looking after the refugees they had to admit there was no proof that they were caring for 25,000 people let alone the 250,000 they received funds to support. And they continue to abide by this dishonest policy. I could discuss this at length with you but clearly you are a propagandist for the other side. Are you an uncle tom or just someone who has a cavalier attitude to the truth? Define your 600,000 illegal colonists. Does that include the Jews of Jerusalem (ethnically cleansed of its Jews in 1948) or the Jews of the Etzion Bloc (murdered by the Arab League – ethnically cleansed – slaughtered with an Arab family who lived in peace with their Jewish friends in 1948 as a warning to the Jews of what awaited them should they seek self-determination).

    • Maurice, don’t try and play me with Hasbara. Simply look at Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, note that last part there, and then get back to me.

      Each and every colonist who is outside of Israel in Palestine is there illegally. This is not debatable. I urge you to look at the meeting in Geneva several days ago with ten points of contention with the state of Israel. You can find a copy at BBSNews. From #4:

      “The participating High Contracting Parties emphasize the continued applicability and relevance of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which all High Contracting Parties have undertaken to respect and to ensure respect for in all circumstances. As such, they call on the Occupying Power to fully and effectively respect the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. They also remind the Occupying Power of its obligation to administer the Occupied Palestinian Territory in a way which fully takes into account the needs of the civilian population while safeguarding its own security, and notably preserve its demographic characteristics.”

      But feel free to ignore actual facts as opposed to Hasbara.

  • It is totally unacceptable that our scarce tax dollars are being sent to entities that the state Department has judged terrorists! Ok, so the President is an Anti-Semite, he has demonstrated that many times and especially in his embarrassingly rude treatment of the Prime Minister of Israel who has served most honorably and courageously in the armed forces of his country, which is more than can be said of Mr. Obama. But where is the State Department, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee?? Is anyone minding the store, while our tax dollars leave by the back door,
    to fund terrorists?? Or have we returned to a state of tyranny under King Obama? I am appalled. They should all be sent packing.

    • Ludicrous. The President of the United States is not an anti-Semite. It’s amazing that anyone can even write such trash and get away with it. Under the Obama administration the state of Israel has received more help and more dollars than any other US President. Who do you think paid for Iron Dome? And you have the cheer chutzpah to claim that President Obama is antisemitic?

      How dare you. You should be ashamed. It’s nonsense like that that are turning people away from extremists like you and the current leadership in Israel.

  • Re: Israel – To whom it may concern in Europe, Asia, Far East, the US and elsewhere:
    We are tired of hearing that withdrawal from Judea and Samaria will bring peace. We know and you know that it would bring another Gaza. So stop saying it and promoting this fallacy. Past experience has proven that concessions, appeasement and land for peace only increased terror, violence and more conflict and hostilities.

    We are tired of hearing that land beyond the Green Line is ‘Arab-Palestinian land’. The Green Line is simply an armistice line that has no political significance. You know this too. The San Remo Treaty of 1920 Granted the Mandate for Palestine to the Jewish people, the same Allied powers also established 21 Arab States and one Jewish State – The Arabs are not willing to give up any part of the 21 Arab States and the Jews are not willing to give up any part of the Jewish State.

    We are tired of hearing about the “Arab-Palestinian people.” They are no different from the Arabs of Syria or Egypt, from which most of their ancestors migrated in the last 150 years or so. There is no Palestinian language or religion, and until very recently they considered themselves simply ‘Arabs’. Their culture is almost entirely defined by their opposition to the Jewish State. Teaching hate, violence and terror to their children. There never was an Arab-Palestinian State or people in History. The Arab Palestinians have a State in Jordan which is 80% of the land originally allocated to the Jewish people under the San Remo Treaty of 1920.

    We are tired of hearing that “the Arab-Palestinians deserve a state.” We are indigenous here, not them, and their behavior entitles them more to a trial at The Hague than to a State. The Arab- Palestinians have a State it is called Jordan which was carved out of Jewish allocated land in 1922, in violation of the treaty of 1920.

    And they certainly don’t deserve our Jewish State, which is the only State they want. They already took 80% of Jewish allocated land which is Jordan, a country that never existed in history before WWI. Israel also gave them the Gaza Strip.

    We are tired of hearing about ‘The Occupation’, it is “Liberated Jewish Land”. As Minister Naftali Bennett said the other day, you can’t be an occupier in your own land. The Arabs are the occupiers, Greater Israel has been a Jewish State for 4,000 years even if it was temporarily conquered and occupied by various nations over the centuries.

    We are tired of hearing that “settlements are illegal under international law.” They are not. The San Remo Treaty of 1920 explicitly stated that Jewish people can reside anywhere in the Mandate for Palestine, those terms have not been abrogated and are set in perpetuity.

    We are tired of hearing that “settlement construction is an obstacle to peace.” Arab rejectionism, destruction, violence, terrorism and suicide bombing is the reason there is no peace. When the Arab-Palestinians teach and preach hate, terror and destruction to their children, this is definitely not a road to peace and coexistence.
    By the way, we are pro-peace. We are just not pro-suicide and self destruction.

    We are tired of hearing about the 5 million (or whatever ridiculous number there are alleged to be) ‘Arab-Palestinian refugees’ or the ‘Arab-Palestinian Diaspora’. There were about 600,000 Arabs that left their homes in 1948, mostly of their own volition, more or less at the same time as the over 990,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, of which the Arabs confiscated their homes and land (which is 4 times the size of Israel) and assets totaling over 15 trillion dollars. We resettled ours with limited land and resources — resettle yours (on the land and homes you confiscated from the Jewish people), the 21 Arab states have more land and resources. The Arab dis-information must be ignored and countered.

    We are tired of hearing anything from anyone associated with the U.N. The U.N. is a parasitic and criminal enterprise dominated by our mortal enemies. The U.N. cannot create states, it can only recommend and so can other nations only recommend and not create a state that never existed before in history. If they want an Arab-Palestinian state, it already exists, it is Jordan which has taken 80% of Jewish allocated land. They also have the land the Arabs Countries confiscated from the Jewish people which is 4 times the size of Israel.

    We are tired of stupid post-colonialist rhetoric. We are not ‘colonists’ and Arabs do not have the right to murder us in the name of ‘resistance’ or beheading Jewish Rabbi’s in Jerusalem’s Har Nof Synagogue. Talking this way reveals you as moral imbeciles. They train their children to be suicide bombers and terrorists. The Arabs are the colonialists, they have colonized the whole Middle East.

    You can not recognize a State and people that never existed and that has no borders, no single government, and no economy. They are not even trusted by the Arab states either.

    We know we can not depend on any kind of security guarantee from anyone except the Israel Defense Forces. So stop being insulted because we do not trust you. And do not ask us to give up any nuclear weapons we might or might not have or any other method and technology that could help protect us.

    If you hate us so much, give us back all our Medical technology that saved your lives. Give us back all our technology development that helped you advance economically and the list goes on and on.

    We know that the left-wing parties in Israel are bankrupt of ideas. We are not going to vote for them, no matter how much you would like us to. So do not bother trying to influence our election. We will only vote for a government that protects its people and cares about the Jewish heritage, more than it cares for world opinion.

    Don’t believe what you read in Ha’aretz newspaper, they represent a minority that has no allegiance to the Jewish heritage.

    Jerusalem, undivided, is the capital of the Jewish State of Israel. Get used to it, because you can’t change it, the Jewish temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. It was never a Capital of any other nation.

    Sincerely,

    Ordinary Israelis who care about their heritage and ancestry.

  • steven L

    Therefore a majority of Jews in the US and IL is INSANE. Their argument has been that if UNRWA is eliminates IL will be responsible for the Palestinians.
    This is absurd.

    • No Steven that’s the law. The occupier country is wholly responsible for the welfare of the occupied under international law. This does not change for the state of Israel. It’s simply the rule of law.

  • Max Cohen

    Mr. Hess: You are fooling no one with your delusion of Palestine as the homeland of people you call, Palestinians. There never was such a nation, but even if there was it would be irrelevant to the ongoing source of hostility. Instead of settling the forebears of present Gazans in Jordan territory in 1948, or in Iraq, or Syria, or Egypt, or Iran,or Arabia, or Lebanon, they were forced by Arab powers to remain hostage in Gaza.
    Apparently, Mr. Hess (any relation to Rudy?) you are not aware of the threat to Israeli life which is broadcast daily by Hamas. I refer to their intention to render Israel indefensible and then drive the people into the sea. UNRWA was not there to help defend Israel when attacked in the Six Day War or the Yom Kipper War. Its presence now conveys hostility just as you do.
    Do you pretend to bring justice to the people of Israel while sentencing them to execution?

    • Max, you are being ludicrous. 138 nations around the planet and counting recognize Palestine. Who is it you are trying to fool? Yourself? Palestine exists, Palestinians exist, get over it. It is patently crazy to argue otherwise.

      As far as your insults. I am an American Indian in New Mexico with Jewish family members. Do not presume to me that you even have a clue.

      This Web site is bordering on a hate Web site letting comments like yours go through. The state of Israel cannot go on as an illegal occupier of another people. Indeed the other people were there first before the grand “ingathering” called for in the Israeli declaration of independence brought in people from Europe and everywhere else to take over land that was already populated.

      Even young Jews are turning away from this notion. Certainly young people all over the world. It is impossible for Israel to survive while it is subjugating an entire people. Do you commonly build your fences over on your neighbors line and then call that land your own?

      This illogical pursuit of highly illegal military colonization cannot stand. It’s amazing to see anyone try and defend it. It (the illegal colonies) is dangerous to Israel’s very existence as countless Israelis will tell you.

  • Sinn Fein

    Apparently, Mr. Hess is itching to continue the legacy of his father Rudolph. Too bad he won’t get the chance. Strange that 6 million Jews murdered and then another million ethnically cleansed from Arab countries doesn’t seem to merit a UN organization dedicated to a “just” solution.

    • The comment by “sinn fein” is hate speech. It is telling that a “moderator” let it through. This is a hate site eh?

    • The comment by “sinn fein” is hate speech. The moderator apparently decided that Algemeiner is a hate site.

  • IT IS ASTONISHING HOW THE OLD PROPAGANDISTS, APING GOEBBELS, HOWEVER HE WAS MUCH MORE INTELLIGENT THAT PRESENT DAY’S FOLLOWERS, AS MR HESS ABOVE. PLEASE AT LEAST TRY TO REFER SOMEWHAT TO HISTORY. SO-CALLED ARABS NOW NAMED PALESTINIANS ARE NOT REFUGEES BUT REJECTED PEOPLE BY THEIR BRETHREN. WHAT NATIONS ARE RECOGNIZING ‘PALESTINIAN’ STATE? BUT THEY DO NOT WANT THEM. ISRAEL’S LEADERS AND HER PEOPLE WOULD NOT COMMIT SUICIDE FOR THE SAJE OF ISLAM.

    • I am constantly amazed at people who make comments like yours. The rule of law is not propaganda. You simply cannot swipe away Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. You cannot ignore Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter, nor can you dismiss the numerous UN resolutions that outline the full rights of the Palestinians notably UNSCR 1860. There’s more, but as I can see from the moderator they let hate speech through and a lot of you are apparently not interested in reality and why the world feels the way it does about the state of Israel.

      My interest in this is two-fold, I have argued this with the Jews in my family for many years, and as an American Indian I know a little bit about a violent colonialism that tries to kill off an entire people.

      If you care about Israel you should encourage them to follow the law and international norms and join the family of nations. Billions across the world have had enough of the illegal occupations and this is going to get far worse s long as the illegal and brutal occupations continue.

  • NCS

    American tax dollars….We the people need to demand of our congressmen that they refuse to use our tax dollars to support Palestinian terrorists. We must never forget that these people put their most vulnerable in harms way for public disapproval of Israel protecting its citizens. Truth will win out.

  • JerusalemIsIsrael

    The people that Michael Hess falsely labels “illegal colonists” are actually the true owners of the land. This is according to to 1937 Peel Commission Report which proved Jewish purchases of large tracts of land from Arab owners. Much of this Jewish-owned land was stolen and illegally occupied by the ARABS after 1948. Jewish Israelis took back their rightfully-owned property after 1967. They also restored full religious rights to all in Jerusalem instead of keeping it like the Islamic supremacists who occupied the city from 1948-1967

    How can someone be a refugee if they live in the country that they allegedly came from?

    If “Palestinian” Arabs are refugees, I ask where from?

    Why do they live on the land they claim to be pushed out of?

    Why do they live in refugee camps in “Palestine”.

    Why are they the only “refugees” that have never been re-settled?

    The truth is that these “refugees” came from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and elsewhere. From WW1 through 1946 more than 500,000 Arabs from surrounding areas immigrated into Israel.

    • That is simply incorrect gibberish with no basis in fact.

      For anyone actually interested see United Nations Security Council resolution 1860, and the text of all the other resolution going back to 181, 194, 242, and 338 and learn the facts. There is a valid reason why the “settlements” (colonies) are called illegal that is because they are. Period. There is simply no debate about this it is the position of the entire Western world including the United States.

      I am amazed to see anyone trying to promote such nonsense in the face of verifiable and undeniable facts.

  • Gee

    Michael Hess – wow can you get anymore stupid or more lies in a shorter space.

    You have lied from the beginning to the end. Terrorist supporters like you should be treated exactly as the supporters of fascism were treated.

    The Islamofascists needs to get out of Israeli lands. They have already stolen over 99.99% of the Middle East, robbed, raped, enslaved, force converted and murdered the natives.

    • “gee”, you are a comment troll. Since this Web site is heavily moderated I can discern a pattern here. Apparently Algemeiner is a hate site that attracts trolls. The Palestinians have full legal and moral rights to the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This is enshrined in international law just like the legality of the state of Israel.

      Judging by Algemeiner letting through Islamophia like yours, I really don’t see the point in trying to explain to readers WHY the entire planet regards the colonies as illegal, and so they are.

      You should drop the hate and pick up a book. You appear to know absolutely nothing about this subject.

  • “The goal of U.S. support to UNRWA is to ensure that Palestinian refugees live in dignity with an enhanced human development potential until a comprehensive and just solution is secured.”

    What part of that statement don’t you get? Oh, it’s a “National Interest” piece… It’s very simple, if you don’t like UNRWA then get the 600,000 illegal colonists out of Palestine, take them back home to Israel, and stop stealing land and resources from a people held captive, subjugated, and occupied by the state of Israel.

    It’s not rocket science. Indeed without the damnable illegal occupation there would be no more resistance. This type f article that does not even mention the reason why there is a UNRWA is ludicrous.

    The origins of refugee relief with respect to the Palestinians is because the state of Israel Ethnically Cleansed a million of them at Israel’s birth. Justice is slow but it will come. There’s no excuse for stealing land and resources OUTSIDE of the state of Israel, in Palestine, at the point of a gun. 138 nations around the planet recognize Palestine within the Green Line. It’s high time the state of Israel does so as well, and removes its illegal colonists. That is where the problem lies.

    • jjs110

      Mr. Hess seems to be somewhat geographically challenged: he talks about 600,000 “illegal colonists” (note the loaded terminology, if you can ignore the fact that in addition he is completely wrong since they are neither illegal nor colonists, but that’s for another debate), which happen to be in Judea and Samaria, not in Gaza, where a) there is not a single Israeli Jew left, and b) the overwhelming majority of UNRWA activities take place. Israel vacated Gaza in 2005, but that never stopped Hamas from launching rockets ever since. Hess is also historically challenged: the reason UNRWA was created in the first place was because the Arabs tried to eradicate Israel… and failed miserably. It was supposed to be a temporary organization (to be replaced by UNHCR, the other and only UN organization that takes care of all the other refugees in the entire world combined!), but since no one wanted to take care of the Palestinians, UNRWA remained the only solution. It remains also the biggest problem: by taking care of the Palestinians the way it does, it both infantilizes them and demotivates them from taking care of their own needs (which among others would bring them to the negotiation table with better dispositions than they have shown so far). In other words, UNRWA is a major contribution to the continuation of the conflict. It needs to be disbanded, its staff fired, and its responsbilities handed over to UNHCR. America is not helping the Palestinians by keeping UNRWA afloat. it’s time to pull the plug.

      • “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

        Period. Full stop. You cannot argue with the facts, and the above from Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention is undeniable. I am always amazed to see people post nonsense such as yours that is so easily disprovable.

        See: The International of the Committee for the Red Cross. https://www.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/380-600056

    • Susan Davis

      A comment worthy of Rudolph Hess.

      • A comment worthy of a hate site that let’s Internet trolls in and make nonsense comments. There are more than 400 Hess’s in the Israeli phone book, there is a famous Zionist by the name of Hess, and there has been a Hess (illegal settler) who has been brought before the Israeli High Court.

        My time here has taught me that Algemeiner is a hate site that lets hate speech about others be posted on a supposedly moderated Web site.

    • Tim

      What “illegal colonists” are you referring to? You mean the Arab invaders of the 7th century? Those illegal colonists?

      You’re a typical Jew-hater wrapped in the “Palestinian” lie that you have a problem with Israel, not Jews.

      You’re a fool.

      • No, I have Jews in my family and none of us support the Crimes Against Humanity that the state of Israel is committing and has been committing against the Palestinians. It’s not rocket science. The only time I come across people who support Crimes Against Humanity is on a hate Web site like Algemeiner.

        Ethical people look for the root cause of conflict. It is patently obvious that 600,000 illegal colonists and a brutal occupation army to “protect” them, plus an illegal Apartheid Wall to separate even more Palestinians form their own land, is going to cause conflict.

        It’s amazing that the Palestinians have been as patient as they have been. I would suggest Israel get its act together and throw out the extremist right wing wingnuts in this upcoming election or face sanctions.

        But Vladimir Putin thanks you for legalizing his stealing of land and territory at the point of a gun. Oh wait a minute, Russia is under sanctions for breaking the very same laws that Israel does, Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter…

    • steven L

      Your ignorance is nothing but arrogance.

    • Ian Smolowitz

      Any relation of Rudolf Hoess?
      Sounds like he is!

    • Efram

      I tell you what part I do not get. US support for an actively pro-terrorist organization. To cheer the murder of holy men praying in a house of worship is savage behavior, and that organization did that. They also PERMITTED weapons being stored in their schools. There is absolutely, 0% dedication to any human rights, but definitely an agenda which supports genocide against the Jews. There are many refugees around the world, but the Jew hating world is obsessed only with the Palestinians, assisting them in remaining permanent victims, while stoking their beliefs that Jews and Israel are inherently evil.

    • Emmett

      Michael Hess, you should learn to tell the difference between fact & fiction before you embarrass yourself further with your comments. Then again, you leftists never let dignity or truth get in the way of your agenda

    • Nigel Blumenthal

      No, Michael, the real problem is that the palestinians don’t recognise Israel. How many times does the world have to tell you intellectually and politically challenged fools, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “PALESTINIAN LAND” Pals were invented, after 1967, as a back-door means of trying to get back land that Arab governments lost in 1956 and 1967 after attacking Israel and losing. As proof that the Pals don’t exist, just look at the amount of effort their supposed compatriots and co-religionists expend on actually benefitting them. And even their alleged governments steal from the aid the world sends them. No, it’s quite clear that they are an incredibly expensive fiction, maintained by UN bureaucrats who simply want to maintain their well-paid sinecures.

    • Lynne T

      I suggest you familiarize yourself with both Benny Morris’s definitive research into the “ethnic cleansing” claim you make and also Eugene Rostow’s definitive legal opinion as to whether or not any of the land west of the Jordan River can really be considered “occupied”. If Israel cedes any of Judea and Sumaria to a second Palestinian state located west of the country of Jordan, it is a very generous concession to the Palestinians, who under the Partition Plan were given 78% of Mandatory Palestine.

      The trouble, actually, is that Britain decided it could assuage the Hashemites by giving them rule over Jordan in exchange for handing Arabia to the Saud family.

      • I suggest you to actually research Benny Morris. He was one of the first New Israel Historians that I had on my shelf. And I follow him especially after his turn to the dark side. Morris put the Ethnic Cleansing numbers at 600-750,000 people. And what’s more he supports the Ethnic Cleansing done under David Ben-Gurion. When you read ALL of the New Israel Historians including Tom Segev editor emeritus of Haaretz, and Ilan Pappe, the numbers are closer to a million Ethnically Cleansed because as Morris says it was justified because “to make an omelet you must break some eggs.”

        And when people make that stupid “Jordan is Palestine” argument I know they are too ignorant to argue the facts and instead retreating into fantasy. The Kingdom of Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel since 1994 under President Clinton and that treaty is in jeopardy right now due to the nonsense by extremist Israelis like Moshe Feiglin at Haram al-Sharif.

        Palestine has it’s own state, see UNSCR 1860.

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