The Trump administration has reportedly suspended $125 million in aid for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the special UN agency that deals specifically with so-called Palestinian refugees.
Barack Ravid of Israel’s Channel 10, writing at Axios.com, notes:
The move comes after the Palestinian Authority suspended their contacts with the Trump administration in response to its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A senior White House official said no decision have been made yet, but confirmed that a review of the U.S. assistance to the Palestinians is underway “in light of the Palestinians’ recent conduct.”
The [three anonymous Western] diplomats added that U.S. officials told U.N. officials in the last two days that President Trump is considering totally cutting the part of the funding which was frozen, and is even considering cutting up to $180 million, which amounts to half of the U.S. funding to UNRWA.
UNRWA differs from the main UN agency for all other refugees, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in that “UNRWA was designed only to support the Palestinian refugees within the refugee camps that the Arab states created,” Israeli diplomat Dore Gold writes in Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Fuels Global Chaos (2004). UNHCR “was supposed to find permanent homes for refugees and thus solve refugee crises.” Moreover, the UN created a separate definition of “refugee” for the Palestinians: to qualify, one need only have lived in Palestine for two years before the 1948 war.
And so UNRWA exists, essentially, to support Palestinians trapped in a propaganda ploy designed to weaken Israel. Breitbart Jerusalem editor Aaron Klein reported Friday that UNRWA refused to justify its population estimate of 500,000 refugees in camps in Lebanon after the official Lebanese census put the number at just a third of that total.
Over the years, UNRWA has been accused of supporting terrorism and teaching antisemitism to Palestinian children. In 2013, Breitbart News exposed a UNRWA summer program that was indoctrinating Palestinian children to hate Jews.
President Donald Trump and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley have hinted for several days that funding could be withheld from the Palestinians, due to Palestinian leaders’ criticism of the administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and their refusal to resume peace negotiations.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.