Friday, May 02, 2014

  • Friday, May 02, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
The The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) and the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (IAJLJ) will be presenting a most interesting program at the UN on May 19th called "UNRWA - Providing Humanitarian Relief or Prolonging the Palestinian Refugee Problem?"

I know that the IAJLJ is an accredited UN NGO, which is probably how they were able to get space at the UN itself.

Here's the description (received via email):

According to its charter, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is a humanitarian group helping Palestinian refugees. In reality, it has become an obstacle to Palestinian-Israeli peace by engaging in incitement and holding Palestinians back from rebuilding their lives.

While some have suggested that UNRWA be abolished, we believe it is not UNRWA's existence but rather how it executes its mandate that is the root of the problem. UNRWA has broken all the rules that are supposed to govern humanitarian enterprises. Consequently, UNRWA is the exact opposite of other refugee relief operations. While other relief operations seek to resettle refugees; UNRWA is dedicated to blocking resettlement. While other relief operations limit the definition of "refugee" to individuals who flee their homeland; UNRWA uniquely inflates the number of Palestinian refugees by defining all descendants of the original refugees of 1948-1949 as "refugees." While all other relief operations help refugees live normal lives so that they can move on with their existence; UNRWA ensures the refugees' lives remain abnormal so that the refugees will be filled with anger and a thirst for revenge that inspires violence and can only be quenched by a victorious return. While relief organizations try to create stable conditions for refugees; UNRWA enables radical political activity and indoctrination by armed groups which ensure a continual state of near chaos.

People often wonder why violence and instability persist and why the Arab-Israeli conflict is so seemingly impossible to resolve. An important part of the answer is that UNRWA perpetuates the problem. UNRWA has kept Palestinian refugees in suspended animation and at low living standards. Their suffering and anger is maintained as a weapon to encourage them toward violence and intransigence.

The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949. It is highly unlikely, however, that the General Assembly would support any meaningful reform of the agency without a tremendous amount of persuasion and pressure. But there are important and common sense changes to UNRWA that can be effectuated outside the General Assembly.

During the past year, the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (IAJLJ) met in Israel with the Ambassadors and staff of donor countries that support UNRWA. At these meetings, the IAJLJ provided the government officials with a letter describing the problems associated with UNRWA's activities. During these discussions, the IAJLJ questioned whether UNRWA, established over 60 years ago, is fulfilling its mission or failing in its mission. Facts on the ground demonstrate the need for substantial change in the way UNRWA is handling the Palestinian refugee crisis.

The IAJLJ and the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) have organized as a side event at the United Nations headquarters in New York, a symposium focusing on UNRWA. The event will be held on May 19, 2014, and will gather representatives from the United States and other donor countries to discuss and confront these difficult issues, and to develop ideas to address these challenges.
Speakers include Ambassador Ron Prosor, Prof. Alexander H. Joffe, Prof. Asaf Romirowsky, Dr. Einat Wilf and James M. Lindsay.

It will be livestreamed over the UN's WebTV channel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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