Fomenting Violence: The Consequences of Unbridled U.S. Funding of the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is currently petitioning donor nations to increase to their funding of the organization. July 22, 2013 saw the launch of a new public fundraising and awareness campaign for Palestinians in Syria and Gaza. UNRWA’s contemporary mandate charges the Agency with the provision of relief, human development, and protection services for Palestinian refugees.
However, UNRWA’s screening practices for beneficiaries and broader financial practices put them in potential violation of two U.S. laws, while their education system, rife with the promotion of violence, teaches a war curriculum to innocent Palestinian children and violates precepts of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child in addition to other international law. The United States is one of the largest donor nations to UNRWA, contributing more than USD 232 million in 2012 alone, and has the power to condition its funding on UNRWA’s cessation of illegal activity. In sum, continued unbridled funding of UNRWA results in the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to teach Palestinian children to revere suicide-homicide bombings, effectively grooming these children for recruitment by terrorist groups like Hamas.
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There is urgent need to (i) document UNRWA’s summer camp and school-year curriculum, (ii) present this evidence to the public and lawmakers to counter the false information being propagated by UNRWA, which is designed to mislead donor nations into continued unbridled funding of its programs, and (iii) alert U.S. lawmakers and the public ofpotential violations of U.S. law.
There exists a misconception that only the UN General Assembly can change UNRWA policies. In reality, nations donating to UNRWA can change UNRWA policies by conditioning funds to UNRWA on the requirement that UNRWA cease its practices of: (i) using textbooks and employing teachers that encourage children to revere and engage in violence; (ii) providing material support for, and working with, designated foreign terrorist entities such as Hamas; (iii)promoting the principle of the “right of return” through the “armed struggle,” and (iii) ascribe to the accepted legal definition of “refugee.”
Canada has divested from UNRWA’s General Fund, instead allocating those earmarked funds-$15.1 million in 2011-to the Emergency Appeals program to fund pre-approved project-specific initiatives. In announcing this reallocation, then-President of the Treasury Board Victor Toews stated that the funds were “now being redirected in accordance with Canadian values,”86 with the goal of “[ensuring] accountability and [fostering] democracy in the PA.”87
Currently, UNRWA summer camps are sites of indoctrination, exploiting the malleability of children’s minds to breed hostility toward Israel and the West and to encourage violent homicide suicide attacks. Due to the covert nature of these operations, exposure of UNRWA’s practices are of paramount importance.
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