TEL AVIV – President Donald Trump is right in withholding aid to the “biased and racist” U.N. so-called Palestinian refugee agency that seeks to destroy Israel, a Kuwaiti columnist said Wednesday.
In his column in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan, Abdallah Al-Hadlaq called for all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to cease until it “crumbles and disappears.”
On Thursday, the Trump administration said it is for now withholding $45 million it pledged last month to the Palestinians as part of a “West Bank/Gaza Emergency Appeal” led by UNRWA. The $45 million is separate from the $65 million the U.S. informed UNRWA in a letter sent earlier this week that it is withholding “for future consideration.”
The U.S. is UNRWA’s single largest donor, providing about $300 million annually.
The definition of a Palestinian “refugee” and the actual numbers have long been the subject of debate.
Al-Hadlaq called Trump’s criticism of UNRWA “harsh but reasonable,” according to a translation of the article by the Middle East Media Research Institute, “for it is a biased and racist organization that perpetuates the problem of the ‘Palestinian’ refugees and the narrative of the so-called right of return, an organization whose role is apparently to work towards the destruction of the State of Israel.”
Al-Hadlaq is known for writing articles that are often supportive of Israel and critical of the Palestinians. The word “Palestinian” appears in quotation marks throughout Wednesday’s oped, an apparent espousal of the notion of a Palestinian nation having no historical basis.
“The terrorist Hamas movement, which supports the Persian Iranian regime, rejected [UNRWA’s] curricula on human rights,” he wrote.
Al-Hadlaq’s remarks referred to a 2014 call from Hamas to the UN agency to cease introducing a human rights curriculum in its schools on the grounds that this was intended to brainwash students and cause them to reject resistance and terror against Israel, MEMRI reported, citing the UK-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.
“Hamas’s complaint was that these curricula address everyone’s human rights, including those of the Jewish and Israeli people, and contravene the culture and rights of the ‘Palestinian’ people,” he continued.
Al-Hadlaq concluded by saying, “All forms of financial aid and international funding for UNRWA must stop, as long as it [continues] subjecting its decisions to the methodology of terror, exclusion, racism.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday cursed Trump over his threat to cut aid to the Palestinians, using a popular Arabic epithet, “May your house come to ruin.”
UNRWA has also come under fire on many occasions both for spreading anti-Semitic hate in its schools and for employing members of terror organizations and supporters of terror. In February, U.N. Watch released an 130-page report exposing 40 UNRWA school employees in Gaza and elsewhere who engaged in incitement to terror against Israelis and expressed “anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.”
That month the agency also announced the suspension of an UNRWA employee suspected of having been elected a Hamas leader.
The U.N. itself released a report in 2015 that found Palestinian terror groups used three empty U.N.-run schools in Gaza as a weapons cache. Moreover, it said that in at least two cases terrorists “probably” fired rockets at Israel from the schools during the 50-day summer conflict in 2014 between Israel and Hamas.