Tuesday, September 27th | 2 Tishri 5783

September 2, 2018 11:58 am

At Last, Some Moral Clarity on UNRWA

avatar by Amnon Lord / JNS.org


Palestinian employees of UNRWA in Gaza City demonstrate against the US decision in Jan 2018 to cut contributions to the agency. Photo: Reuters/Mohammed Salem.

JNS.org – US President Donald Trump’s decision to end funding for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, brings some much-needed moral clarity to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Many have tried to claim that the roles have been reversed and the Jews have become the Germans and the Germans have become the Jews. Together with the Arabs, of course.

But the German government’s swift decision to increase spending on UNRWA in light of the US budget cuts brings us back to reality: In this performance, the Germans will be playing themselves. They will take care to fund the welfare state established by the United Nations 70 years ago. Never mind that, at the end of the UNRWA process, this same Palestinian UN state produces terrorism.

Trump is sticking to his policy of breaking the rules and adhering to the truth. While there are those who keep a running tally of the lies the president tells on a daily basis, Trump is able to correctly grasp the greater truths. UNRWA and the refugee story it supports serve to perpetuate the conflict by falsely claiming that there are more than 5 million Palestinian refugees.

According to the Middle East Forum, however, the number of refugees who fled Israel in 1948 and are still alive is closer to 20,000. UN mechanisms, together with Arab states and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, have prevented the absorption of these refugees in the countries to which they fled, thereby turning them into cannon fodder for the combative, vengeful policy they have adopted against the State of Israel.

In the initial stages, Trump’s move will likely contribute to regional instability.

But in the long run, it will force the Palestinians to undergo an internal and dramatic transformation that will see them invest in education instead of attack tunnels, terrorist activity, and missile production.

The American move asserts the exact opposite of what is accepted by the international community and some in the Israeli public: The Palestinians are responsible for the fact that there is no peace or settlement between Israel and the Palestinian side. It is the Palestinians who need to change their outlook and not the Israeli government, regardless of what former Pink Floyd singer and BDS activist Roger Waters or singer Lana Del Rey may think on the matter.

Amnon Lord is an Israeli journalist with the daily newspaper Makor Rishon.

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