Monday, February 09, 2015


Here is UNRWA's chart describing the number of registered "refugees" under its purview in each of the five areas it works.

If you look at the American Friends of UNRWA fundraising site, however, you find that there is a hugely disproportionate effort meant to appeal to help less than half the people in the chart.

UNRWA-USA is hosting four separate 5K runs this year, specifically for Gaza children.

Besides that, UNRWA-USA has a Gaza emergency appeal, a "protect civilians" appeal that is specifically for Arabs in Area C and Jerusalem (that heavily invokes "settlers,") a shelter rehabilitation appeal specifically for the West Bank, and a "job creation program/Olive Tree Initiative" that is also specifically for the West Bank.

Oh, and a very general Syria Emergency Appeal. 

Unlike the five fundraising programs in the territories, the Syria program does not specify whether it is for shelter or food or schools or mental health; it is a very generic, general appeal because things in Syria are really bad too. Unlike their articles about WB and Gaza aid recipients, there is nothing about specific needs of Syrian Palestinians like food or clothing or medicine.

UNRWA-USA does not have any specific appeals for Lebanese UNRWA aid recipients, even though the situation in Lebanese camps is far, far worse than they are on the West Bank. UNRWA-USA does not appeal for any funds for the 2.1 million Jordanians receiving aid, including those who are not Jordanian citizens who are even further discriminated against by Jordan.

Here is a chart of the keyword tags in UNRWA-USA articles that are region-specific:

Lebanon 3
Jordan 3
Demolition Watch (WB) 8
Syria 9
Settler Violence (WB) 10
Gaza Solidarity 5K 11
West Bank 17
Gaza 27


In other words, UNRWA-USA spends at least 83% of its fundraising effort in region-specific appeals to areas whose problems can be blamed on Israel and on Jews,  even though only 40% of UNRWA aid recipients actually live in those areas.

No more than  0.2% of all Palestinian "refugees" receiving UNRWA aid live in Area C of the West Bank, where those evil "settlers" live, yet UNRWA-USA expends more effort appealing for funds to help the tiny number allegedly affected by "settler violence" than for the millions of aid recipients in Jordan and Lebanon combined.

This is especially incredible given that most of the Syrian Palestinian population have lost their homes and are forced to live in horrible conditions in Lebanon and Jordan, yet their plight is little more than  a footnote in UNRWA-USA's fundraising efforts.

No one is saying that the lives of Gazans are great, but Israel is not stopping any legitimate rebuilding efforts. Lebanon, on the other hand, blocks any new building entirely, even as hundreds of thousands of new real refugees are flooding in. But UNRWA-USA  is silent about that.

The subconscious message being given is that UNRWA donors care about the "refugees" only when their plight can be blamed on Israel or on Jewish "settlers," and UNRWA aid recipients in other areas aren't nearly as important.

This means that whether they mean to or not, UNRWA-USA is using latent antisemitism as a fundraising gimmick - and also fueling that same antisemitism by implying that Palestinians who can blame their plight on Jews are somehow more worthy of aid than those whose lives are made hell by their fellow Arabs.

Which further means that UNRWA-USA cares more about demonizing Jews and Israelis than about objectively helping the people who need the most help.

It looks like American Friends of UNRWA cares more about demonizing Jews than they do about helping Palestinians.

There are no UNRWA-USA fundraisers to raise cash for  Nahr el-Bared and Yarmouk and the Jerash camp in Jordan while there are multiple fundraisers for Gaza and the West Bank (where there shouldn't be any "refugee camps" anyway.)  If there is a better explanation as to why American Friends of UNRWA believe that one set of Palestinian "refugees" is more deserving of funds than the others, I'd love to hear it.



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