Saturday, June 2, 2012

UNWRA: The Real Story

The subject of US Government funding for UNRWA has recently been addressed  in the news media following Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) attempt to have an amendment attached to the funding bill for the State Department, for fiscal year 2013, that would require the State Department to provide to Congress: 1) the number of Palestinians physically displaced from their homes in what became Israel in 1948, and 2) the number of their descendants administered by UNRWA (that is, on UNRWA's rolls today as refugees).

UNRWA is the only international refugee agency in the world dedicated to one group of refugees, the Arab "refugees" of the League of Nations Mandated Territory of “Palestine”.  As stated on their web site:
  • UNRWA is the main provider of basic services – education, health, relief and social services – to 5 million registered Palestine refugees in the Middle East.
  • When the Agency started working in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees.
  • One-third of the registered Palestine refugees, more than 1.4 million, live in 58 recognized refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

All other refugees of the entire world are cared for by the UNHCR -UN High Commission for Refugees under which, in total deference to UNWRA, works to get refugees resettled as quickly as possible so that they might get on with their lives.
UNHCR will assist these refugees in their resettlement even if the only alternative is settling them permanently in the place to which they had fled or to a third place.

UNRWA functions from an orientation that is not only highly politicized but extremely anti-Israel. It says that "its" refugees continue to be refugees even if they get citizenship elsewhere, that their status as refugees will end ONLY by "returning" to the area within Israel. UNRWA says that even the descendants of refugees are also refugees, indefinitely via the patrilineal line. Which means UNRWA promotes "return" to Israel of people who have never been here, and whose parents or even grandparents have never been here either.
So how did all this begin?

On December 11, 1948 the UN resolution (UNR194) which created UNWRA ,the United Nations Relief Agency, called for the return of ALL refugees to their homes and defined the role of the U.N. United Nations Conciliation Commission as an organization to facilitate peace in the region. UNR194 was adopted by a majority of 35 countries from among the 58 members of the United Nations on December 11, 1948; however all of the six Arab countries, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen who invaded the Mandated Area and participated militarily and lost were then represented at the UN and voted against it.
At the time of the vote Israel had yet to have been admitted to the UN. Only with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 273 was Israel admitted to the United Nations on May 11, 1949 after Israel consented to implement other UN resolutions including resolutions 194 and 181.
It is important to note that UN resolution (UNR194) was passed before the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War was ended in the 1949 Rhodes Armistice agreement. Furthermore, the 1949 Rhodes Armistice agreement was a “Ceasefire” agreement that established DemarcationLines between Israeli forces and the Arab forces most notably by that of the Transjordan Legion which occupied the West Bank, also known as the “Green Line”.  It was hoped that at this time that separate peace treaties would be negotiated within a short time.
This implies that there is in fact only a temporary ceasefire agreement still in place. That an actual state of war still continues to exist between Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, the countries that invaded the Area of the Mandated Territory from 1948,

ONLY two Arab nations that invaded the League of Nations Mandatory Area in May of 1948 have signed negotiated and finalized peace agreements with the State Of Israel; Egypt March 26th 1979 and The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan October 26th, 1994.
Resolution 194 deals with the situation in the region after the majority of the Palestinian population who fled in mass, at the encouragement of the invading Arab “Liberators” and by mass hysteria spread by Arab propagandists of falsified atrocities, from areas of the Mandated Territory that came under Israeli control.
Hazem Nusseibeh, an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service's, admitted that on the instructions of Palestinian notable Dr. Hussein Khalidi,  he fabricated a false press release stating that at Deir Yassin atrocities were committed including murder of children and rapes of pregnant women.  Another interviewee, Abu Mahmud, emphatically denied the atrocity and rape stories.

Nusseibeh, told the BBC that the fabricated atrocity stories about Deir Yassin were "our biggest mistake," because "Palestinians fled in terror" and left the country in huge numbers after hearing the atrocity claims.

As the signatories seem to be under the impression that all Israeli attacks on Arab villages were unprovoked, I strongly recommend that they visit Arab villages, which remained neutral in 1948 such as the flourishing
village of Abu Ghosh. Mohammed Abu Ghosh has been quoted as saying, "What we did, we did for Abu Ghosh, for nobody else. Others who lost their land, hated us then, but now all over the Arab world, many people see we were right. If everyone did what we did, there'd be no refugee problem . . . And if we were traitors? Look where we are, look where they are."
Little if any heed is taken of the Jewish population that had been similarly expelled by the Arab Legion from their homes in Jerusalem's Old City and in the West Bank. Nor of the Jewish refugees of the 22 Arab nations.

Since the inception of UNR 194, not once have the "Arab refugees" of the Mandated Area of “Palestine”, through their leaders or those leaders of the Arab nations that invaded the area in 1948, have accepted any resettlement resolution.
The resolution called for the return of ALL refugees to their homes and defined the role of the U.N. United Nations Conciliation Commission as an organization to facilitate peace in the region.

The resolution consists of 15 articles, the most quoted of which are:
  • Article 7: protection and free access to the Holy Places
  • Article 8: demilitarization and UN control over Jerusalem
  • Article 9: free access to Jerusalem
  • Article 11: calls for the return of refugees
Many of the resolution's articles were not fulfilled, since they were rejected out right by the Arab states or were opposed by Israel for being too biased and untrue, or were overshadowed by war as the 1948 conflict continued until Armistice in 1949 between Israel and Transjordan.

Israel continues to reject the biased resolutions which call only on it to make concessions and to allow only “Palestinians” the right to return. Israel continues to point out that Arab countries expelled and have denied more than 900,000 Jewish refugees of their confiscated their property. Since General Assembly resolutions are not binding, and only serve as advisory statements, there can be no obligation or enforcement of Resolution 194

Now let us review some historical facts of how the conflict began.

In the aftermath of World War I the “Great Powers”, England and France, or as they are referred to in the League of Nations as the “Principal Allied Powers” divided the defeated Ottoman Turkish between them.

In this division of the Middle East new countries arose overnight where none had existed beforehand.
Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand-alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.

The “Great Powers”, England and France, realized that they needed to appease the Arab leadership for there participation in World War I and to win concessions in the production of oil. They therefore conceded to the Pan-Arab Nationalistic movement and grudgingly allowed the creation of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and later Trans-Jordan.

Article 2 of the League of Nations Mandate For Palestine states that: “The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble...”

Under Article 22 of the League Of Nations, The United Kingdom – the Mandatory power -was appointed as the administration of the territory of Palestine as a “sacred trust”.

  • Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;
  • Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,
The Europeans nations knowing full well their obligation towards the “Native Inhabitants” included:
it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

So who are the antagonists of this conflict?

The Jewish people, who with the establishment of the State of Israel in May of 1948 became “the Israelis”, and the Arabs or “non-Jewish” inhabitants of the Mandatory Area who since 1948 have come to identify themselves as the “Palestinian”.

For over one hundred years animosity primarily among the Moslem “Arab” inhabitants towards the native Jewish population began to grow. The slow but steady influx of religious Jewish immigrants prior to 1900, who yearned to return to a homeland lost known in biblical terms as Zion, had at times felt the hatred in acts of humiliation, violence and banditry.

The waves of a more Secular Jewish immigration envisioned in the birth of the Zionistic Movement in the post 1900 period began to settle outside of the five major religious centers in agricultural areas. These Jews with the help of philanthropists such as Baron Rothschild and the Jewish National Fund began to acquire land in areas though to be useless by absentee Arab landlords. With the successful conversion of these previously unmanageable swampy lands into fruitful areas the Arab neighbor’s animosity and anger grew.
During this same period the growth of the Pan Arabism nationalistic movement began to spread among the Arab peoples of the Ottoman Empire and with it the growth of hatred towards the Jews.

The influx of Jewish refugees from Europe during and after the Holocaust era and most particularly with that of the 900,000 displaced Jews of Arab lands, the fires of hatred in the Arab world grew proportionally.

“So then what of the rights of the “minority” Jewish population which had been "ethically cleansed and expelled by the Arab Legion from their homes in Jerusalem's Old City and in the West Bank”

Article 11 UNR194:
Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.
Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation,

So what exactly is the purpose of  UNWRA? To perpetuate hatred and hostility by the "embarrassed" Arab countries who lost in their initial effort to eradicate Israel in the "Nakba" disaster of 1948 .

“IF the UN does not verify/accept refugee status as hereditary?” THEN “If you recognize “Palestine” as a country does this not terminate UNWRA?” AND If so will not the Arab countries need to absorb those “Palestinian Refugees” born in Lebanon, Egypt=Gaza, Jordan and Syria?

“Where in resolution 194 is there a provisional allowing for the assisting of descendants of refugees of 1948 and the granting of them refugee status?” Than if there is no provision than is UNWRA in violation of UNR194?

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