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UNRWA does not perpetuate the conflict, the conflict perpetuates UNRWA

Israel/Palestine
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In January, without warning, Donald Trump declined to pay $305 million of his country’s $365 million commitment to UNRWA. UNRWA, the UN agency serving Palestinian refugees, remains $200 million short of the funds it needs to provide humanitarian services for five million people, including two-thirds of the population of the Gaza Strip.

This is not really a story about under-funding UNRWA.  This is about the people who strenuously seek to eliminate it.

I worked as the business and livelihoods consultant to the office of UNRWA’s Gaza director, 2013 – 2015.  I had been Mercy Corps’ Gaza Economic Director for the previous two years.  I am not natural UN material, and the director, Bob Turner, once had to ask me not to refer to career UN staff as ‘you people’.  However, the blockade of Gaza necessitates a purpose-built humanitarian channel to the human beings who live behind the wall.  The violent onslaught of 2014 showed (again) how Gazans are endangered. While their suffering continues, while they are denied any freedom of movement, there must be an UNRWA.

Gaza’s Great March of Return has reinvigorated a specious argument against UNRWA:  by upholding Palestinians’ rights as they are written into international human rights law and UN resolutions, UNRWA’s very existence is said to perpetuate the conflict.  This makes a virtue of weakening UNRWA.

Yossi Klein Halevi hums this tune in a liberal key, in Letters To My Palestinian Neighbor (see pages 132 – 133).  Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz shout it at length in How UNRWA Prevents Gaza From Thriving(June 6, Ha’aretz).

They write that “UNRWA has succeeded in concealing its political raison d’etre of sustaining the Palestinian demand for ‘return’ designed to undo Israel, and it has done so under a humanitarian guise.”   Because UNRWA defines Palestinians as refugees, it prevents them from adjusting to their new reality as Gazans.  Thus UNRWA – not the blockade and not repeated bombardments – is impeding Gaza’s development.

They want Israel to “intervene with UNRWA’s donor countries … and insist that they cease and desist from supporting the Palestinian demand to annihilate Israel, by way of their support for UNRWA”.   Instead, donor states should adhere to the authors’ list of policy prescriptions.   Then Gaza will blossom behind its walls.

The international laws of occupation, human and political rights are missing from their formulation.   Although Israel was founded upon a right of return and boasts an ethic Law of Return, these authors are fervent that, for Palestinians,  “There is no ‘right’ of ‘return’ and there never will be.”

Having swept away law and justice and Palestinian resistance, UNRWA is all that prevents the authors’ imposition of a unilateral solution to the conflict.  If they can just get rid of UNRWA …

Make no mistake, though; UNRWA is only the apparent object of this argument.  Its real aim is to legitimate the status quo and eliminate the refugee issue entirely.  By removing UNRWA, these authors hope to make the present distribution of power and land permanent.

UNRWA does obstruct such a step-change, because the land in question is occupied and UNRWA has been tasked to provide services to the Palestine refugees living under occupation.  UNRWA is the inconvenient institutional evidence – not the cause – of the continuing occupation.

To correct misconceptions which tend to accompany this argument,

+ A short summary of UNRWA’s creation, mandate, and the definition of its refugee community by UN resolutions can be found here.

+ UNRWA’s mandate is renewed by the UN General Assembly every three years.Most recently, 167 member states voted to continue its mandate to June 30, 2020:  a great majority of the world’s states agrees that UNRWA is needed.

+ The right of return is enshrined in the United NationsResolution 194. It is not UNRWA’s creation; rather, UNRWA adheres to UN resolutions.+ UNRWA represents refugees’ needs to donors, but it is not their political representative. UNRWA is neither a party to the conflict, nor a participant in any peace process.  UNRWA has no power to resist, prevent or approve conflict solutions.

Although it is not a negotiator, UNRWA does exist in a politicized space.  Serving and speaking about Palestine refugees as a single community, UNRWA reminds the world that Palestinians are one people, awaiting resolution.  As long as UNRWA gives institutional voice to the needs arising from that national claim, some people will imagine that the claim itself can be extinguished by making UNRWA disappear.

UNRWA is funded primarily through voluntary contributions, not through states’ UN dues.  While it is hardly passive, UNRWA is the instrument of its donors.  To understand UNRWA’s long life, one should ask why states retain and fund it.

It is, in fact, a glaring donor anomaly.  I arrived in Gaza after five years in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan, donor states imposed neoliberal reform, while in Gaza the same states maintained the UN’s most superannuated agency.  They told hungry Afghans to work for temporary food assistance, while they told Gaza’s eager workers to line up for generations of passive food relief.  They knocked down every other wall as a restraint of trade, while they defrayed the costs of the walls around Gaza.

This is surely intentional.  UNRWA is one by-product of states’ refusal to legitimate the current arrangements of Israeli power and Palestinian exclusion.  They withhold normalization, and instead fund UNRWA as a stubborn institutional placeholder.

There lies the heart of Wilf and Schwartz’s argument: they seek to normalize the status quo.  They and others have protested that Israel receives unduly critical scrutiny, when all it wants is a normal national life.    However, they are asking that Israel should not be treated normally. They want an exceptional license to wield ethnic power, to control and devalue Palestinian lives.

The donor states have not normalized the status quo, because it is not normal. UNRWA is anomalous because the occupation is an unresolved anomaly. It is most abnormal, most violent and damaging in Gaza.  The authors would remove UNRWA in order to hide, not to resolve, Gaza’s crisis.

Crisis – what crisis?  “If the United Nations is capable of acting instantaneously to dispatch rescue operations to disaster areas around the world … without necessarily classifying [the affected people] as refugees, it also capable of doing so in Gaza.”

Gaza has not had a natural disaster.  It is enduring a protracted blockade, repeated military assaults, economic and environmental collapse.  It is a zone of manmade, escalating sacrifice.  To cast that as an administrative matter for routine, instant rescue is – and this is the very nicest thing I can write – murderously misleading.

I worked through the 2014 war as a member of UNRWA’s emergency response team.   Every bit of UNRWA’s physical infrastructure and thousands of its staff were needed, to shelter a quarter million of those displaced, to maintain urgent services, to drag food and supplies through the blockade bottleneck, and distribute them across the Strip.   UNRWA is the front line of Gaza’s civilian protection.  If UNRWA is dismantled, where will those people go for safety?

There is no instant rescue from a rain of explosives onto a trapped city.  Gaza needs humanitarian assistance, civilian protection, human rights and development.  It needs justice and peace, and UNRWA in the meantime.

This post first appeared on Counterpunch

marilyng
About Marilyn Garson

Marilyn Garson worked with communities affected by war, including Afghanistan and Pakistan (2005 – 2010) and the Gaza Strip (2011 – 2015). She is a co-founder of the Gaza Gateway, a social enterprise creating employment in Gaza. She writes from New Zealand, and blogs at Contrapuntal: Transforming Gaza. You can follow her on Twitter @skinonbothsides.

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49 Responses

  1. Keith
    Keith
    July 4, 2018, 6:08 pm

    MARILYN GARSON- “Gaza has not had a natural disaster. It is enduring a protracted blockade, repeated military assaults, economic and environmental collapse. It is a zone of manmade, escalating sacrifice.”

    Gaza is an open air prison in which the prisoners serve for life. They have no independent economy or life. They serve as testing material for Israel’s matrix of control, lab rats. They also serve as recipients of international aid funneled through Israel. It is a for profit prison.

    “In a study I conducted for the Palestinian organization Aid Watch in 2015, I observed the correlation between international aid, on the one hand, and the trade deficit in goods and services between the Palestinian and Israeli economies, on the other. The data for the study was from 2000-2013. I found that some 78 percent of aid to the Palestinians found its way to the Israeli economy. This is a rough estimate, to be sure. And we need to remember that this isn’t simply clean profit for Israel companies but revenue. The Israeli companies need to provide goods and services for the money and bear the costs of production.” (Shir Hever) https://972mag.com/who-profits-from-keeping-gaza-on-the-brink-of-humanitarian-catastrophe/133549/

  2. Nathan
    Nathan
    July 4, 2018, 8:54 pm

    UNGA 194: “…refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date…”

    We learn in the article that “the right of return is enshrined in the United Nations Resolution 194”, and a link is kindly provided therein. It’s not too clear to me why anyone who speaks English as a native tongue would come to the conclusion that the above quote defines a right of return. First of all, only those refugees wishing to live at peace with their neighbors are the topic at hand. This would mean that those refugees who do not wish to live in peace with their neighbors have no right of return. There seems to be a condition here (the return is apparently based on an end of hostilities). Has anyone conducted a survey among the refugees to see if they intend to live in peace with their neighbors? I’d be curious to hear if they are willing to express a commitment in this regard.

    The resolution tells us that the refugees willing to live in peace with their neighbors SHOULD be permitted to do so. I would have thought that the right of return means that the refugees MUST be permitted to do so. “Should” sounds like a “maybe” or a “hopefully” – not a legal right. (If you want to get technical about the English language, “should” is the conditional or subjunctive form of the future tense).

    And how do we define the terminology “at the earliest practicable date”? The resolution doesn’t say that all the refugees have “the right of return immediately”. Is it practicable to return refugees when the conflict has yet to be resolved? “At the earliest practicable date” sounds like another condition – not an unconditional right of return.

    Interestingly, the UNSC Resolution 242 from Nov 1967 doesn’t remind us that there is a right of return based on UNGA 194. It only informs us that the establishment of peace should include a just settlement to the refugee problem. Indeed, according to the Oslo Accords signed by the PLO, the refugee issue will be resolved in the framework of the final settlement that ends the conflict (so, it has to be negotiated).

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      July 4, 2018, 10:16 pm

      I do have a slight, passing, acquaintance with the English language, so I was a bit surprised to see that you think that “should” does not imply a right of return. But just to make sure, I checked with the OED, and found the first, primary, meaning:

      “Used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.”

      And near the bottom of the page it says:

      ” In modern English uses of should are dominated by the senses relating to obligation…”

      https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/should

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      July 4, 2018, 10:19 pm

      “(the return is apparently based on an end of hostilities)”

      Which may be why Israel resolutely refuses to end the hostilities.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 5, 2018, 8:38 am

      Nathan: “It’s not too clear to me why anyone who speaks English as a native tongue would come to the conclusion that the above quote defines a right of return.”

      It is absolutely clear to me why every Zionist “should” deny that such a right exists at all, when it comes to Nonjews returning to their homeland.

      “We learn in the article that “the right of return is enshrined in the United Nations Resolution 194”, …”

      This right is based on the Universal declaration of human rights which was proclaimed just one day before this resolution. It recommends how this right should be applied for those who wish to return and for those who don’t.

      Nathan: “This would mean that those refugees who do not wish to live in peace with their neighbors have no right of return.”

      Nope. It means that for those who wish not to exercise their right to return “compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;”

      Nathan: “There seems to be a condition here (the return is apparently based on an end of hostilities).”

      This is apperently based on your denial, because NOTHING in 194 stipulates that this return is based on an end of hostilities.

      Nathan: I would have thought that the right of return means that the refugees MUST be permitted to do so.”

      In a legal document, “shall” means that is required by a rule, statute, regulation, law, etc.

      Nathan: “And how do we define the terminology “at the earliest practicable date”?”

      The armitisce agreement certainly provided the neseccerary conditions. But by then Jews were allready shooting at Nonjews who wished to return.

      Nathan: ““At the earliest practicable date” sounds like another condition – not an unconditional right of return.”

      LOL. It’s just a question of when this right should be put into action not if this right exists or only on conditions.

      Nathan: “Interestingly, the UNSC Resolution 242 from Nov 1967 doesn’t remind us that there is a right of return based on UNGA 194.”

      Really? You find this interesting, allthough the US abuses its veto right to help Israel violate international and human rights law?

      Any other human right you need to deny Nonjews?

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        July 5, 2018, 9:52 am

        @Talkback

        Well and truly stated. You are entirely correct.

        Of course, it’s no surprise that raving Zionists like Nathan are unfamiliar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (the basis of Res. 194 and binding on all UN member states) given the fact that the entity known as “Israel” is a well documented flagrant and ongoing violator of hard won human rights.

    • mondonut
      mondonut
      July 5, 2018, 9:31 am

      While you are by and large correct in your assessment of UNGA 194, however you are seriously overthinking the whole. thing.

      As a General Assembly Resolution, 194 is non-binding, it is not international law and it does not confer rights. Full Stop.

      And the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is no different.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 5, 2018, 6:37 pm

        mondonut: “As a General Assembly Resolution, 194 is non-binding, it is not international law and it does not confer rights. Full Stop.”

        ROFL. The usual Zionist twisting of international law.

        194 did not create international law. It was based on international law. By 1948, the right of refugees and displaced persons to return to their places of origin had already assumed customary status in international law. On the other hand arbitrary denationalization and mass expulsion were prohibited under international law.

        Secondly. WIth the mere fact that the Palestinian’s right to return has been reaffirmed nearly every year since then it also assumed customary status.

        Btw your pseudo arguments are the same pseudo arguments that Nazi Germans used to defend themselves at the Nuremberg trials.

        Everybody who is not a racist and inhumane low life has no problems with acknowleding basic human principles. You and Nathan just demonstrate how low someone must sink to support the institutionalized racism of an Apartheid state.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        July 6, 2018, 12:58 am

        @Talkback

        The claim was that “The right of return is enshrined in the United Nations Resolution 194” – so commenting on how that is false is hardly twisting of law. And there is a reason that that Palestinians never base their claims on the dubious claim that it was customary law in 1948, and that is because it is both unprovable and untrue.

        And no, repeating something over and over does not make something law. UNGA Resolutions have a specific definition, there is nothing in the UN Charter or bylaws that declares some magic occurs if a resolution is repeated enough times.

        And if you had any confidence in the nonsense you are spouting you would not feel the need to go Godwin with your Nazi crap.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 6, 2018, 12:21 pm

        Mondonut: “And there is a reason that that Palestinians never base their claims on the dubious claim that it was customary law in 1948, and that is because it is both unprovable and untrue”

        “Historically speaking, the right of return had achieved customary status in international law by 1948.[3] Customary norms are legally binding upon all states, and states are, therefore, legally obligated to follow the rules codified by these norms.”
        http://www.badil.org/phocadownload/Badil_docs/Working_Papers/Brief-No-08.htm

        Mondonut: “And no, repeating something over and over does not make something law.”

        We are not talking about your daily “Zionism is legitimate and the IDF is the most moral army in the world” affirmations. We are talking about the general practice of states as a base for customary international law.

        “Customary international law consists of rules of law derived from the consistent conduct of States. The elements of customary law are as follows:
        OPINIO JURIS);
        Acts must be taken by a significant number of States and not be rejected by a significant number of States.”
        https://internationallaw.uslegal.com/sources-of-international-law/customary-international-law/

    • biggerjake
      biggerjake
      July 5, 2018, 10:55 am

      Nathan
      Why are you playing semantics with the very simple and easily understood idea that refugees have a right to return to their homes? Are you trying to question the validity of the statement by deconstructing every phrase?

      If that is your goal, come out and say it! Stop pussy-footing around with B.S. like “define the terminology…” and “It’s interesting that…” and just state that you are a Zionist who believes Jews are superior to everyone else, especially the Palestinians, and that the Palestinians should have no right of return.

      Do you think that your clumsy word salad is going to convince any Mondoweiss readers that they should stop supporting the Palestinians and stop condemning Israel for the illegal, immoral occupation of Palestine?

      If you think any of the sincere readers and commenters here are that stupid, you haven’t been paying attention.

      Nathan: “We learn in the article that “the right of return is enshrined in the United Nations Resolution 194”, and a link is kindly provided therein. It’s not too clear to me why anyone who speaks English as a native tongue would come to the conclusion that the above quote defines a right of return.”

      I can’t think of a more ignorant thing to say. It is impossible for anyone who speaks the English language to NOT understand the meaning of ““the right of return is enshrined in the United Nations Resolution 194.” As Talkback mentions, it’s based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was proclaimed by the United Nations general assembly in Paris on January 10th, 1948, one day… before resolution 194 was passed. It means the Palestinians have a right of return.

      And as you probably know, the Israelis never had any intention of granting the Palestinian refugees the right of return. In fact before negotiations started the Knesset passed a law that no Israeli negotiator would be allowed to even discuss the right of return for the Palestinian refugees… hence the hedge about “… be resolved in the final settlement”.

      And as everyone knows by now, the Israelis never have any intention of reaching a “final settlement”…

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        July 16, 2018, 4:25 pm

        biggerjake – Resolution 194 does not state that “the Palestinians have the right of return”. It mentions that those who wish to live in peace with their neighbors should be allowed to return as soon as possible. Those who don’t wish to live in peace with their neighbors apparently shouldn’t be allowed to return as soon as possible.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 16, 2018, 5:08 pm

        Those who don’t wish to live in peace with their neighbors apparently shouldn’t be allowed to return…

        I second that: Zionist riffraff from the other end of the world announced their intention not to live in peace with their prospective colonial invadees and, instead of that, to take their land and sovereignty, in 1897.

        Of course it’s ridiculous to call this invasion by Bessarabians, Brooklynites and Martians a “return”, but let’s not bitch about terminology: we’ll agree that these criminals shouldn’t have been allowed to set foot in Palestine at any time.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 17, 2018, 8:58 am

        Nathan: “Resolution 194 does not state that “the Palestinians have the right of return”.”

        Yes, yes. As resolution 181 does not state that the Jews have a right to a state.

        But who cares what resolution 194 says if anybody has a right to return to her or his country, because it is a human right from the Universal Declaration of Human rights which was released one day before 194? You do, with your red herrings.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      July 5, 2018, 11:05 am

      @Nathan

      RoHa has utterly demolished your “argument” regarding Res. 194. As I noted in my reply to him below, its no surprise that you are unfamiliar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which along with the UN Charter and the Fourth Geneva Convention, is binding on all UN members.

      For the record:
      As a precondition for UN membership (after being denied membership twice), in a statement before the ad hoc Political Committee of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and by signing the Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol, Israel agreed to comply with UNGA Resolution 194 (11 December 1948.)

      Israel also pledged during the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference to negotiate the borders of Jewish and Palestinian/Arab states within former British Mandate Palestine on the basis of UNGA Resolution 181, the 1947 Partition Plan, as did the Arab negotiators, including Palestinian representatives attached to the Syrian delegation.

      Israel’s promise to obey these two resolutions was incorporated into UNGA Resolution 273 (11 May 1949) granting it UN membership: “Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 [UNGA Resolution 181, the Partition Plan] and 11 December 1948 [UNGA Resolution 194 regarding Palestinian refugees] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the ad hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions, [t]he General Assembly…, [d]ecides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.”

      Israel is the only state admitted to the United Nations on the condition that specific resolutions would be obeyed. Given its failure to do so, a strong legal case can be made for its suspension from the world body.

      As for Res. 242, I trust you will find the following of interest:
      As Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban revealed at the time, he understood full well that Resolution 242 calls for Israel’s complete withdrawal: “The words ‘in the recent conflict’ convert the principle of eliminating occupation into a mathematically precise formula for restoring the June 4 Map.” (Comment by Foreign Minister of Israel and Telegram 3164, UK Mission in New York to Foreign Office, 12 Nov 1967. FO961/24, quoted by Professor McHugo “Resolution 242: A Legal Reappraisal…,” pp. 874-85)

      Moshe Dayan also realized that Resolution 242 calls for full withdrawal. In June 1968, during a closed session of the Labor Party, he counseled against endorsing Resolution 242 as “it means withdrawal to the 4 June [1967] boundaries, and because we are in conflict with the SC [Security Council] on that resolution.” (Daniel Dishon (ed.), Middle East Record, v. 4, 1968 (Jerusalem: 1973), p. 247; Dr. Norman Finkelstein, “Partial or full withdrawal?” – Counterpunch.org, 28 December 2006)

      Furthermore: “In its landmark 2004 advisory opinion, ‘Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall In the Occupied Palestinian Territory,’ the International Court of Justice repeatedly affirmed the preambular paragraph of Resolution 242 emphasizing the ‘inadmissibility’ of territorial conquest as well as a 1970 General Assembly resolution emphasizing that ‘No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.’ The World Court denoted this principle a ‘corollary’ of the U.N. Charter and as such ‘customary international law’ and a ‘customary rule’ binding on all member States of the United Nations. It merits notice that on this crucial point none of the Court’s 15 justices registered any dissent.” (“Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” Advisory Opinion (Int’l Ct. of Justice July 9, 2004), 43 IL M 1009 (2004), paras. 74, 87,117, Dr. Norman Finkelstein in “Important notes to be included in analysis of Resolution 242,” 28 December 2006, CounterPunch.org)

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        July 5, 2018, 11:55 am

        @Misterioso. Israel is the only state admitted to the United Nations on the condition that specific resolutions would be obeyed

        Ugh. Not this nonsense again. Nothing in UNGA 273 says that Israel’s becoming a member of the UN is contingent on its acceptance of those non-binding resolutions, that is pure invention. What is does say is that Israel specifically denied that association, “taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel ”

        Referring to the jurisprudence of the United Nations relating to the admission of new Members, the representative of Israel stated that it was his Government’s understanding that nothing but the provisions of Article 4 were relevant in the consideration of an application for membership. That conviction, based on the spirit and the language of the Charter, had been confirmed by the General Assembly resolution of 8 December 1948 (197 (III)), which stated that juridically no State was entitled to make its consent to the admission of an applicant dependent on conditions not expressly provided by paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Charter.

        In addition to the legal considerations, the representative of Israel stressed the political and moral implications of the resolution and recalled the preponderance of opinion in favour of the principle of universality. In the opinion of the representative of Israel, no Member of the United Nations which rejected principles of totalitarian conformity could withhold its consent to Israel’s admission on the grounds that Israel did not share its views on the solution of certain international problems.

        https://web.archive.org/web/20120203124136/http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/85255a0a0010ae82852555340060479d/1db943e43c280a26052565fa004d8174?OpenDocument#Mr.%20EBAN%20(Israel)%20understood%20tha

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 5, 2018, 9:09 pm

        Talkback, not me. I only commented on the use of “should” to express obligation.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        July 17, 2018, 8:40 pm

        Misterioso – UNGA 194 states clearly that “the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date”. That earliest practical date apparently hasn’t arrived quite yet. If Israel’s membership in the UN depends on the implementation of UNGA 194 – and Israel has not been suspended from the world body – then perhaps you should conclude that everyone agrees that “the earliest practical date” has not yet arrived. Maybe it’s the same date that the conflict shall be resolved.

        The same resolution instructs “the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation….” Maybe that’s the problem. The Conciliation Commission hasn’t been doing its task.

        The Conciliation Commission is also supposed “to take steps to assist the Governments and authorities concerned to achieve a final settlement of all questions”. Again, it seems that the issue is ending the conflict. Actually, in all cases, refugees return (if they return) when conflicts end.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 17, 2018, 10:08 pm

        And since Israel resolutely refuses to end the conflict, it is clearly Israel’s fault that the refugees have not been permitted to return.

        Thus, Israel is in breach of UNGA 194.

        That Israel has not been suspended is not a result of international agreement, but of domination of the UN by a few countries which are in Israel’s pocket.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        July 17, 2018, 11:29 pm

        Nathan: Again, it seems that the issue is ending the conflict.
        ——————————————

        According to numerous UN resolutions, the status of refugees (along with borders, the settlements, and Jerusalem) is to be determined in a final agreement ending the conflict. The UN could have passed resolutions demanding the immediate implementation of the Palestinian right of return. They have never done that. The UN has chosen to tie the refugee issue to an end of conflict agreement.

        Therefore, Israel does not want to end the conflict. Israel wants as much land as possible with as few Palestinians as possible. Ending the conflict is inimical to that goal.

        Israeli Zionists will make no genuine effort to end the conflict until they believe the costs of not ending the conflict are greater than the benefits of keeping it going.

        The Palestinians, of course, also want as much of their land as possible, but they long ago accepted that the cost of continuing the conflict was too great, and they have reconciled themselves to compromise.

        The Israeli Zionists (with few exceptions), in contrast, believe they have everything to gain and little to lose from continuing the conflict. They see no reason to compromise. Therefore the conflict, the apartheid occupation regime, land grabs, ethnic cleansing and war continue with no end in sight.

  3. Marnie
    Marnie
    July 5, 2018, 1:31 am

    Making villians out of heroes is a zionist staple. Any support given to palestinians is a threat to the zionist state but now they have a president in the u.s. who’s happy to crush the dreams of all of humanity and end any previous agreements the u.s. had in the arena of human rights, promises previously kept as well as former alliances. tRUMP has heard the dog whistle and finds the notion of helping people, especially people who aren’t american or white to be repulsive and has responded accordingly. I wonder what he’s going to do with the 200 million he has robbed the babies, children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, etc., who are in desperate need of? This is nothing less than genocide.

    UNRWA – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNRWA
    UNRWA is a main service provider for Palestinian refugees in host countries. It provides jobs for thousands of refugees, education, health care, and various other services that are extremely valuable and necessary.

    • mondonut
      mondonut
      July 5, 2018, 9:36 am

      Robbed? What a ridiculous level of entitlement. Genocide? What a ridiculous level of hyperbole.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 5, 2018, 11:21 am

        Read the Penal Code and the UN Convention on Genocide. First learn reading if needed.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        July 5, 2018, 12:01 pm

        @echinococcus

        Whose penal code and why? Is it going to tell us that Palestine is entitled to US funding against the wishes of the US? Or that Palestine actually owns what is in the US Treasury? Or that it is genocide to not fund the Palestinian, UN provided school system?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        July 5, 2018, 7:28 pm

        The Penal Code defines theft and robbery. The UN Convention Against Genocide defines genocide. Read both before continuing to screech.

        You, personally, are at the very least providing material support to both these crimes.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        July 6, 2018, 12:32 am

        @echinococcus

        Holy Crap. Are you being intentionally obtuse?

        There are thousands of Penal Codes in the world, and yes they typically define the terms of theft and robbery. However I suspect that none of them define robbery as keeping what is already your own, which in this case are US treasury dollars that do not belong to the Palestinians.

        And there is nothing in the UN Convention on Genocide that defines genocide as not giving away money that someone else wants.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 6, 2018, 12:31 pm

        The moral lessons Mondonut wants to teach us is that it is absolutely ok, to withhold humanitarian help from Jews, too. And if that means the destruction of their lives or livehood it’s not genocide.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        July 6, 2018, 7:14 pm

        @Talkback And if that means the destruction of their lives or livehood it’s not genocide.

        Of course withholding aid is not genocide, what a ridiculous idea. If that were true then you personally would be guilty of genocide for not giving all your money to the Palestinians in Gaza.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        July 7, 2018, 3:28 am

        Mondonut: “Of course withholding aid is not genocide, what a ridiculous idea.”

        Yes, yes, Mondonut. If deliberately withholding aid from Jews leads to the destruction of their lives or livehood it isn’t genocide. You are a moral beacon, Mondonut!

  4. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    July 5, 2018, 9:44 am

    RE: In January, without warning, Donald Trump declined to pay $305 million of his country’s $365 million commitment to UNRWA. UNRWA, the UN agency serving Palestinian refugees, remains $200 million short of the funds it needs to provide humanitarian services for five million people, including two-thirds of the population of the Gaza Strip.
    This is not really a story about under-funding UNRWA. This is about the people who strenuously seek to eliminate it.
    ~ Marilyn Garson

    SEE:
    “Trump’s Cruel Cuts to Palestinian Refugee Aid”
    By Karl Honegger | libertarianinstitute.org | April 14, 2018
    ▪ I believe the true answer to the defunding of UNRWA lies in the ability of Christian pro-Zionist leaders to make US foreign policy bend to their will.
    LINK ➤ https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/trumps-cruel-cuts-to-palestinian-refugee-aid/

    “Pro-Israel NGO puts pressure on UNRWA for aiding Palestinian refugees”
    by Alex Delmar-Morgan | MiddleEastEye.net | 7 March 2016
    ▪ Campaign by UN Watch* to pressure US to cut $400m funds for UN’s Palestinian refugee agency could have devastating impact on its work
    LINK ➤ http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/pro-israeli-ngo-puts-pressure-unrwa-aiding-palestinian-refugees-1755634396

    * P.S. UN Watch has been controlled and funded by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) since 2001. ~ https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/UN_Watch

  5. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    July 6, 2018, 12:18 am

    Free, cradle to grave, food and medical care perpetuates a culture of dependence and fosters overpopulation. Not Israel’s fault ,but soon to be Israel’s problem.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 6, 2018, 12:28 pm

      Jackdaw: “Free, cradle to grave, food and medical care perpetuates a culture of dependence and fosters overpopulation.”

      So you actually do condemn that Jews were helped during and after the Holocaust.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 6, 2018, 1:58 pm

        “Free, cradle to grave, food and medical care perpetuates a culture of dependence and fosters overpopulation.””

        And as Israel’s population, already several million short, goes down, the Palestinian “overpopulation” problem will get even worse.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      July 6, 2018, 7:27 pm

      @jockstrap

      So clearly you refuse to make use of the state medical system in Israel, right?

      Strange how isn’t fostering over population there.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      July 8, 2018, 8:12 am

      Holy moley crapdaw, you hit it on the head. “Israel” is the biggest welfare recipient on the planet, 70 years and counting too. Totally agree that a culture of dependence and overpopulation is the result.

  6. RoHa
    RoHa
    July 6, 2018, 3:14 am

    I class the Right of Return as a moral right, rather than a legal right (which is not to say that it cannot be a legal right as well), but it looks as though Zionists hold a simplistic Benthamite* or Marxist view of natural, moral, rights (MacIntyre is probably too subtle for them) and thus think that legal rights are the only possible rights.

    So I will try to frame the issue in other terms.

    It is wrong to drive people from their homes, businesses and farms.
    Our basic moral principles of justice, fairness, simple human decency, require that the wrong be reversed as much as possible.
    Applying this to the Palestinians, we require that they be allowed to return to at least the land from which they were driven, if not the actual houses that were stolen from them.

    Now I understand that this is a moral argument, and that Zionists don’t do morality.

    But they do like to pretend to it, so I will be interested to see if they can come up with any excuses that do not ultimately depend on the idea that Jews are morally more important than the rest of us.

    (*For those not familiar with philosophical jargon: Benthamite is the substance that makes supervenience lose its super powers.)

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 6, 2018, 12:35 pm

      RoHa: “I class the Right of Return as a moral right, rather than a legal right …”

      Again, it was allready customary law in 1948.

      RoHa: “… and that Zionists don’t do morality.”

      But they do. Ok, only or propaganda purposes and if possible only for Jews.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 6, 2018, 9:08 pm

        “Again, it was allready customary law in 1948.”

        ‘(which is not to say that it cannot be a legal right as well)’

        ‘Zionists don’t do morality.’

        “But they do.”

        No, they don’t. They pretend to.

        “and if possible only for Jews.”

        Not even then. They just apply Jewish Law.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      July 7, 2018, 11:04 pm

      No sign of a rebuttal to the moral argument so far. I can wait.

  7. jon s
    jon s
    July 17, 2018, 2:47 am

    echi,
    Where did Zionists announce their intention not to live in peace?
    Since you mention 1897 I assume you’re referring to the First Zionist Congress., where the “Basel Program ” was adopted. Where was such an intention announced?

    Jews are not “invaders” in the Jewish historic homeland. We are quite at home here.

    • eljay
      eljay
      July 17, 2018, 8:02 am

      || jon s: … Jews are not “invaders” in the Jewish historic homeland. … ||

      Geographic Palestine is not the “historic homeland” of people all over the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      July 17, 2018, 8:34 am

      You, Johnny, are an invader from the US of A, with immediate ancestry totally unrelated to Palestine, who entered and is squatting illegally conquered land quite illegally, living on property stolen by the gun and committing, personally, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including under uniform.

      What part of that is unclear?
      Also, if you didn’t get that the first time you’re not equipped to ever get it.

      • jon s
        jon s
        July 17, 2018, 1:47 pm

        As usual echi resorts to personal attack…
        In this case practically every word is untrue:
        I’m not an invader.
        I have immediate ancestry in Palestine/Israel.
        I live here legally, I never stole anything.
        I never committed war crimes.
        He even got my name wrong.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        July 17, 2018, 2:37 pm

        “I’m not…” “Jon s”

        Sure, sure you’re not. That’s why you feel the need to doth protest too much.

        “I have immediate ancestry…”

        Of course you do. That’s how you got your dual-citizenship, US-Israel.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        July 17, 2018, 3:49 pm

        Immediate ancestry. FFS.
        Ancestral Homeland. FFS.

        If something cannot last forever it won’t.
        The occupation cannot. Will it take Israel with it ?

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      July 17, 2018, 8:44 am

      jon s: “Jews are not “invaders” in the Jewish historic homeland. We are quite at home here.”

      Zionists even bend the laws of temporal logic, when they need to legitimize their invasion and colonial endeavours. They claim that they had been living in the land since for ever, allthough they invaded the land of Canaan back then and most of them again since the 1920s.

  8. jon s
    jon s
    July 23, 2018, 7:58 am

    Maghlawatan,
    I agree that the occupation can’t last forever and I would like to see it end asap.
    Ancestral Homeland- actuallyI I wrote “historic homeland” . Let’s be accurate.
    Immediate ancestrty- what’s your problem?

  9. jon s
    jon s
    July 23, 2018, 10:53 am

    correction: ancestry

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      July 23, 2018, 12:02 pm

      “Ancestral Homeland- actuallyI I wrote “historic homeland” .

      “jon s”, you can easily avoid this entire historic/ancestral conflict.
      Here’s what you do: You always refer to Palestine as the Jew’s historiographic homeland.

      Nobody can argue with that!

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