Can the West, as UNRWA’s largest funder, do anything to realize a more balanced UNRWA policy? In the same piece Rosen and Pipes offer an option that unfortunately has not yet been put in to practice:
Can the elements of UNRWA useful to Israel be retained without perpetuating the refugee status? Yes, but this requires distinguishing UNRWA’s role as a social service agency from its role producing ever-more refugees. Contrary to its practice of registering grandchildren as refugees, Section III.A.2 and Section III.B of UNRWA’s Consolidated Eligibility & Registration Instructions allow it to provide social services to Palestinians without defining them as refugees. This provision is already in effect: in the West Bank, for example, 17% of the Palestinians registered with UNRWA in January 2012 and eligible to receive its services were not listed as refugees.
Given that UNRWA reports to the UN General Assembly, with its automatic anti-Israel majority, mandating a change in UNRWA practices is nearly impossible. But major UNRWA donors, starting with the US government, should stop being accomplices to UNRWA’s perpetuation of the refugee status.
Donor states should, therefore, consider attaching strict conditions to their funding. With its annual $233,328,550 donation, the US should take the lead, and individual EU member states could inquire what the actual share of each is in the annual $204,098,161 EU donation, and then seriously consider imposing conditions on delivering this share.
If the current situation is left untouched, the Palestinians are left suffering, fed on dreams and violence.Timon Dias
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