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January 28, 2009

Insider's View of UNRWA

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The first ever insider's analysis of UNRWA's operations has just been released by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Authored by James G. Lindsay, the former legal advisor to the UNRWA, the new report has been added to CAMERA's list of resources about UNRWA. As Ynet reports:

Lindsay's report warns that the agency has deteriorated increasingly over the years since its establishment, and that it was currently offering services to those who were not actually in need of them. "No justification exists for millions of dollars in humanitarian aid going to those who can afford to pay for UNRWA services," the report says.

He suggests UNRWA make operational changes and "halt its one-sided political statements and limit itself to comments on humanitarian issues; take additional steps to ensure the agency is not employing or providing benefits to terrorists and criminals; and allow the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), or some other neutral entity, to provide balanced and discrimination-free textbooks for UNRWA initiatives." . . . .

Lindsay claims the most important change that should be made in the agency is "the removal of citizens from recognized states – persons who have the oxymoronic status of “citizen refugees” – from UNRWA’s jurisdiction. This would apply to the vast majority of Palestinian “refugees” in Jordan, as well as to some in Lebanon and Syria."

Posted by TS at January 28, 2009 06:41 AM

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