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June 6, 2017
Ms. Nicki Haley
US Ambassador to the UN
Dear Madame Ambassador:
You are a welcome guest to Israel this week, where you are much admired for the integrity that you have shown in your demand for unprecedented fair treatment of Israel at the UN.
Within your passion to improve UN policies, we would like to know if you would be willing to ask six questions about US funding of UNRWA, the agency which provides 1.2 billion dollars in order to keep 5 million descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in a state of refugee-perpetuity since 1948. The US covers 400 million dollars of that budget.
Six questions that could reflect a new US Policy towards UNRWA (the links provide more information and sources of that information):
1. Will you ask for an audit of funds that flow to UNRWA? This would address widespread reports of wasted resources, duplication of services and the undesired flow of cash to terror groups which gained control over UNRWA operations in Gaza over the past 18 years.
2. Will you ask that UNHCR standards be applied to UNRWA, in order to resettle the Arab refugees of 1948, after 69 years? While the UNGA will not allow UNHCR to replace UNRWA, there is nothing stopping the application of UNHCR humanitarian standards.
3. Will you ask for a cancellation of the new UNRWA war curriculum in UN schools which are supposed to promote the UNRWA slogan of “Peace Starts Here”?
4. Will you ask for a cessation of the paramilitary training of UNRWA students, in coordination with Hamas? Should UNRWA, as a UN agency, not demonstrate renewed commitment to the UN principle of “peace education?”
5. Will you insist that UNRWA dismiss employees affiliated with Hamas, in accordance with laws on the books in western nations, and even in the UN, which forbid aid to an agency that employs members of a
6. Will you demand that UNRWA fire “youth ambassador” Mohammad Assaf, who travels the world and encourages insurrection and violence? Would this not be the appropriate time for the US to ask that UNRWA cancel a contract with a harbinger of war? Are the lyrics of the UNRWA youth Ambassador not lethal?
Thank you in advance.
David Bedein, MSW
Director, Center for Near East Policy Research, Jerusalem