On Monday, seven former US ambassadors to the UN sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisting that the administration restore full funding to UNRWA, the UN agency that funds so-called Palestinian refugees.
Since UNRWA was established in 1949, the US has given nearly $5 billion to the agency tasked with perpetuating refugee status among descendants of Arabs who left Israel in the 1948-1949 pan-Arab invasion.
In January, then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson informed the UN that the US was slashing its assistance to UNRWA by 50%, from $260 million to $130 million.
At the time, citing UNRWA’s support for terrorism and economic corruption, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley recommended ending US financial assistance for the agency outright.
The issue of UNRWA, and the US’s involvement with the group, hasn’t received much attention in the intervening months. But now that the former ambassadors have brought it up, it is worth taking a second look at UNRWA and considering whether they are right, and what their bipartisan position tells us about the bipartisan consensus that controlled US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians until President Donald Trump took office.
UNRWA and its supporters present the agency as an organization dedicated to supporting Palestinian refugees. But this is a lie.
UNRWA is a political warfare organization that deliberately perpetuates the misery of innocent people.