The NYT Blames Israel For Palestinian 'Camp', Fails To Mention That The UN Is Keeping Them T
As published in Independent Journal Review
A New York Times Magazine article two weeks ago by Rachel Kushner, “We Are Orphans Here: Life and Death in East Jerusalem’s Palestinian Refugee Camp,” describes her observations of the miserable daily life of the residents of the Shuafat refugee camp.
The reader isn’t told that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), not Israel, is responsible for this “camp.” Unexplained is why there still are Palestinian refugees living in this slum.
Nowhere are we informed that Shuafat is a highly armed, crime-ridden community, harboring Hamas terrorists like Ibrahim al-Akari who killed an Israeli policeman and wounded 14 Israelis. The article gives the impression that somehow the squalid existence of this camp is the fault of uncaring Israeli military overseers bent on punishing peaceful, helpless Palestinians.
Five million Palestinian refugees receive assistance from UNWRA. Why, Ms. Kushner, long after the 1948 war when five Arab armies attacked the fledgling Jewish state, are there almost 2 million Palestinian Arabs still living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem?
The Palestinian Arabs are the only refugees who, after almost seven decades, have not been resettled. In contrast, Israel welcomed and integrated the 850,000 Jews forced to flee from Muslim countries after 1948.
Established in 1949, UNRWA’s sole purpose was to care for the 650,000 Arab refugees displaced by the 1948 conflict. Because of its unique definition of a refugee, UNWRA now cares for 5 million people, including all the progeny of those originally displaced.
Today, UNWRA is a huge social welfare organization with a staff of more than 30,000, mostly Palestinians, including Hamas members, functioning as teachers and administrators. It has an annual budget greater than $1 billion, provided by Western nations. Its only client remains the millions of registered Palestinian refugees.
As part of its mission, UNWRA runs schools that promote jihadism, Islamist religious doctrine and anti-Semitism. It conducts military weapons training camps organized by Hamas, preparing children for recruitment into al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. UNWRA nurtures a sense of Palestinian victimhood, glorifies terrorism, and encourages terrorist martyrdom.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been using these camps as terrorist breeding grounds, housing Hezbollah, ISIS and al-Qaeda operatives. “In almost every home where we spent time,” recalls Kushner, “the TV [was] playing the Islamic channel, Palestine Al-Yawm, a relentless montage of blood, smoke, fire and kaffiyeh-wrapped fighters with M-16s.”
UNRWA has no incentive to resettle these refugees. As long as the Palestinians are refugees, UNWRA is in business. If there are no refugees, the money stops rolling in.
Palestinian refugees in camps in Lebanon and Syria are restricted from integrating into those countries by “apartheid laws” segregating them and restricting their access to jobs. Jordan has granted very limited citizenship to Palestinians.
High-ranking PA official Dr. A. Abdullah unequivocally stated that in a future Palestinian state, Palestinian refugees, his own kinsmen, “will not be considered citizens.” The PA tells the Shuafat camp refugees that they will return to their homes in Israel proper.
Conditions in Palestinian refugee camps are bad, but useful to generate sympathy and support for the PA’s quest for a Palestinian state — one that, ironically, will not accept these Palestinian refugees as citizens. The PA prefers to weave a refugee narrative of victimhood in which the Arabs accept no responsibility for the problem, blaming it entirely on Israel.
They, UNWRA, and neighboring Arab states, want to maintain refugee camps indefinitely in order to preserve the claim to a Palestinian “right of return” to Israel, ultimately destroying the Jewish state.
Since 1949, U.S. taxpayers have given a total of $4.4 billion to UNWRA. It’s time to stop funding UNRWA, to end this historical deception, to redefine “refugee,” and to promote their resettlement in Arab/Muslim lands.
Instead of writing a propaganda piece for Breaking The Silence and the New York Times, Ms. Kushner should use her pen to pressure the PA to take responsibility for its people by redirecting some of its billions of dollars of international aid to their resettlement rather than paying them for killing Israeli civilians and lining the pockets of their leadership.