Friday, September 14, 2018

The cutoff of the US contribution to UNRWA funding of Palestinian aid: It's about time

Two great pieces on this today.

Alex Titus at Real Clear Politics:

UNRWA’s stated purpose is to provide aid to needy Palestinians, a noble and necessary cause. But its commitment to that mission is questionable. For starters, the agency labels not just those Palestinians displaced from Israel in 1948, but their descendants as well. No other refugees in the world are classified in this fashion. Not those from Iraq, South Sudan, Somalia or anywhere else.
The official Palestinian refugee population stands around 5.3 million instead of 850,000, the actual number of displaced persons. Since these millions of individuals are classified as refugees, many advocates claim they should have an absolute “right of return” in any Israel/Palestine compromise. Right of return, as it is currently being pushed, would entail all Palestinian refugees having access to their literal homes in modern day Israel.
Let’s face it: This will never be agreed upon in a future peace deal, no matter the American or Israeli administration. Even Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas saidthat such an act would “drown Israel with refugees,” and isn’t a viable solution.
In addition to hindering the peace process, UNRWA has had quite a few of its own shameful controversies. Hamas has used UNRWA schools to store weapons and fire missiles at Israel. Textbooks handed out by UNRWA have been notorious for their anti-Semitic content. A few choice excerpts include discussions of the ambitions of “greedy Jews” and the claim that Jews have no holy sites in Jerusalem. Maps of Israel also don’t include major cities such as Tel Aviv and some maps don’t even include the name “Israel” on them.
Does it surprise anyone that Palestinian children grow up with hostility towards Israel? 

Davenj1 at Red State:

. . . three things become painfully clear.  First, the PA is perhaps the most unappreciative recipient of US aid in the world. Second, the PA is a confused and disorganized organization that likely squanders such aid as some reports indicate.  Third, as such, the Palestinians are unworthy of their own state.
That last one's an attention-getter, is it not? The author had better be able to substantiate something that resolute. Does he? Indeed he does.

In 1967, the Israeli army captured the Gaza strip from Egypt.  In 2005, they relinquished control of the area and turned it over to the Palestinians.  For the past 13 years, it has been a thorn in the side of Israeli security and a base for terrorist activity.  If turning over the Gaza was a test run for the Palestinians to see if they could actually govern themselves, they have failed the test miserably.In July, 2017 the US consulate had to cancel a scheduled summit in the city of Nablus with the PA.  The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen cooperation and expand economic opportunity for the Palestinians.  That meeting had to be cancelled out of security concerns for the US delegation. Palestinian protesters promised to foil the meeting and called for a boycott of the delegation.  They succeeded.

After the decision to cut funding to UNRWA, the Palestinians staged protests in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians.  They burned pictures of President Trump and other US officials chanting the US was complicit in the Israeli “aggression and war against the Palestinian people.”  In short, they were demanding that the US restore funding to UNRWA. The message was clear: we hate you, but give us your money.The day after the Ramallah protests, there was a meeting between US officials and those from the Palestinian business community in safer territory- Jerusalem.  Again, the meetings were met with protests and calls to boycott them. This was not some radical outsiders organizing these protests and boycotts.

They were led by Shadi Mtour and Awad Salaymeh- two leaders within the Fatah faction of the PA led by Mahmoud Abbas, the “leader” of the PA.Mtour claimed that the delegation was an attempt to bypass the official PA in Ramallah- the very people who killed the 2017 meeting in Nablus.  The protesters managed to scare away some Palestinian attendees, and Mtour said it shameful that anyone met with the US delegation.  Salaymeh accused the participants of “normalizing” Israel and the United States.
It becomes obvious, that the PA is a disorganized joke of what passes as a government.  They have no reasoned strategy regarding the US administration beyond hatred and a lust for American aid.  This confusion, their conflicting messages, and their actions indicate they have no real vision for the Palestinian people other than continued martyrdom.  As such, can they be trusted to rule over their own state? The answer is obvious. 
The Palestinians kind of remind one of the Occupy people that were camping out in post-American cities and defecating on post-American police cars a few years back. In each case, within their insular crowd, it is the height of hipness to demonize the productive forces that are contributing to human advancement and cultivating a free and civilized world, yet they want those forces' money with no strings attached. And they have no plan for what to do with that money beyond self-aggrandizing.

No, the UNRWA cutoff happened not a moment too soon.

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