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Monday, January 26, 2009

The accusation that accidentally includes some truth

Today began the 81st (!) Conference of Supervisors of Palestinian Affairs at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo. I'm not sure what was accomplished in the first 80 sessions of this organization.

Attending the five-day conference are representatives from Egypt, the PalArab territories, Jordan, Lebanon , Syria and the Arab league as well as the UNRWA Vice-Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi.

I think it is safe to say that the amount of hot air generated at these conferences could provide a small country with energy independence.

Even so, a telling statement was made by the Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine Affairs of the Arab League, Ambassador Mohamed Sobeih, at its opening. According to Palestine Today, he accused Israel of deliberately attacking UNRWA schools in Gaza, "in order to end the refugee issue."
Mohammed Sobeih warned that the Jewish state "wants to break the will of the Palestinian people and their steadfastness, and they want to be aggressive towards the Agency [UNRWA] and its presence, because UNRWA does not want to work to end the issue of Palestinian refugees."
Israel of course has no intentions of harming UNRWA facilities, but Sobeih is right about UNRWA's goals - that this agency has not the slightest interest in solving the Palestinian "refugee" problem; in fact, that it tries as hard as it can to maintain and perpetuate that problem!

After all, the only reason why the descendants of the 1948 Arab refugees are still considered "refugees" themselves is because UNRWA defines them that way! Nowhere else in the world are the descendants of refugees considered refugees themselves. This way, the number of "refugees" will continue to grow forever and UNRWA employees can remain safely employed for generations to come.

Originally, the UNRWA indeed tried to resettle refugees in Arab countries in order to solve that problem. But as the Arab states resisted these moves - even though the UNRWA offered them economic incentives (works programs) - and the UNRWA gave up, turning itself into a huge bureaucracy that is dedicated exclusively to aid and no longer to resettlement or any other solutions.

This desire to perpetuate Palestinian Arab misery is so ingrained in the psyche of the Arab League and the UNRWA that the idea that this problem should ever be solved is regarded as an insult. There is no embarrassment for an Arab League representative to speak of any such ideas in a derogatory way - in front of the a UNRWA representative.

In other words, Sobeih admitted what any neutral observer could have seen for decades: Israel is interested in solving the Palestinian Arab "refugee" problem and the Arab League and UNRWA are not.