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January 25, 2018

Is The U.S. State Department Hiding a ‘Game Changer’ Report on Palestinian Refugees?

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The United Nations Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides aid to approximately 5.3 million Palestinians which they categorize as “refugees?—but the actual number may be as low as 20,000, according to a Washington Free Beacon report by Adam Kredo (“State Department Hiding ‘Game Changer’ Report on Myth of Palestinian Refugees,? Jan. 18, 2018). The paper cited a still unreleased U.S. State Department report.

Kredo noted that:

“Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told the Washington Free Beacon that the State Department first classified the report under the Obama administration and still refuses to provide U.S. officials with the information despite laws mandating its release.?

As CAMERA has highlighted, UNRWA has come under growing criticism by U.S. policymakers over its politicized nature, dissemination of antisemitic material, and its employee’s ties to terror groups. The U.S., UNRWA’s principal benefactor, has chosen to withhold $65 of the $125 million dollars in aid to the organization. Future installments might be conditional on UNRWA’s reform, according to the Trump administration.

The State Department report on UNRWA was commissioned in 2015, at the request of then-Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill). However, the department did not release the report upon its completion—choosing instead to classify it. Indeed, Kredo noted that “the State Department never acknowledged having completed the report.?

Sources told The Washington Free Beacon that “there is no justification for classifying the report,? but State Department officials “do not want this information out as it could and would lead to a call to reform UNRWA.? In lieu of the recent U.S. cuts to UNRWA—and the attention that it has received from press and policymakers—keeping the report classified may be an “effort to suppress this information from Congress and the public,? according to the paper. In 2017, the U.S. Congress requested that the report be released—only to be rebuffed by the State Department.

U.S. news outlets are doing their part to suppress the information, as well.

The Free Beacon’s report was filed on Jan. 18, 2018. Fully a week later, few major U.S. news outlets have covered it. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun and others—all of whom have offered recent reports highlighting Palestinian complaints about the U.S. funding cuts—have failed to either note Kredo’s report, or to follow up on it.

Ben Bradlee, who served as The Post’s editor when it won a Pulitzer Prize for its Watergate reporting, once remarked: “If an investigative reporter finds out that someone has been robbing the store, that may be ‘gotcha’ journalism, but its also good journalism.? Apparently, it's also rare journalism.

Posted by SD at January 25, 2018 03:34 PM

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