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Overhaul of UNRWA: Addressing a Legacy of Violence and Repression

Addressing a Legacy of Violence and Repression

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The call for an overhaul of UNRWA is not just a response to the current conflict but an acknowledgment of the need for a fundamental shift in policy. 

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In the midst of the ongoing conflict, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has emerged not only as a provider of humanitarian aid but also as a contentious element fueling violence. Investigative reporter David Bedein has been shedding light on UNRWA’s role as a host for Arab terrorism since 1987, offering a crucial perspective on its implications for regional stability.

Dr. Eli Lasch, former head of medical services in Gaza, warned of an imminent eruption of violence within UNRWA refugee camps back in 1987. Lasch, having observed the aftermath of the PLO’s influence within UNRWA camps in Jordan and Lebanon, underscored the organization’s reluctance to invest in improvements, leaving the refugees in a state of stagnation.

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The historical context reveals a pattern of hindrance to development within UNRWA. Israeli troops entering Gaza in 1967 discovered appalling living conditions – no electricity or running water, and residents forbidden to work outside the camps during the Egyptian rule. Only when Israel assumed administrative control did these conditions begin to change.

Despite attempts to improve the refugees’ living conditions, UNRWA consistently opposed such efforts. In 1985, Israel’s initiative to resettle refugees faced resistance from UNRWA, which argued against moving them from temporary shelters, citing the questionable “inalienable right of return.”

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Fast forward to today, and UNRWA’s refugees have become unwitting pawns in a geopolitical struggle, operating under the slogan of an armed struggle for the right of return. This situation not only perpetuates a cycle of violence but also jeopardizes the well-being of over five million residents living as “refugees for perpetuity” in 59 UNRWA “temporary” camps.

Recognizing the urgency for change, Member of the Israel Knesset Parliament, Sharren Haskel, a native of Canada, has initiated a Task Force for UNRWA Policy Change. Scheduled to launch on January 2, 2024, this task force aims to unite parliamentarians and conscientious individuals globally to address the root causes of violence stemming from 75 years of what Dr. Lasch termed the “UNRWA denial of dignity” to an entire refugee population.

The call for an overhaul of UNRWA is not just a response to the current conflict but an acknowledgment of the need for a fundamental shift in policy. MK Haskel’s task force represents a step towards a more just and dignified future for those living within UNRWA’s sphere of influence. The world now watches as efforts to reform this institution unfold, with the hope of quelling the flames of violence and fostering a genuine path to peace and prosperity for the affected population.

David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist. In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post. Bedein’s work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site, unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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Happy reading!

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