The Aug. 31 front-page article “U.S. to end aid to U.N. agency” failed to fully detail problems with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and others have noted, UNRWA employees have been caught praising anti-Jewish violence, and, per a 2015 U.N. investigation, the organization’s facilities were used by terrorist groups to launch and store rockets during the 2014 Israel-Hamas War. According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, UNRWA has even employed Hamas operatives.
UNRWA’s politicized definition of “refugee” is not dependent on need and also applies to citizens of recognized states, allowing, for example, wealthy, third-generation Jordanian citizens to be considered Palestinian “refugees.” Also left unsaid: The organization’s demand for a “right” to “return” to a country that many were never born in negates the idea of Palestinian statehood — unless that state means, by its definition, includes the demographic end of the Jewish nation of Israel.
Perhaps that is why some Palestinian leaders prefer it and have instead chosen to reject U.S. and Israeli proposals for peace and statehood.
The writer is a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
(Note: a version of this letter to the editor appeared in The Washington Post online on Sept. 5, 2018 as “The full truth about UNRWA” and in print the subsequent day)