Palestinian “refugees” are getting restless, and so is their staff

ISRIA, a Paris-based consulting and information publishing service, reports

The United Nations agency tasked with assisting millions of Palestinian refugees may not be able to pay the salaries of its 29,000 staff through the end of this year because of a funding crisis, its top official said today as she urged Member States to donate more generously.

….Most of UNRWA’s running costs go to staff salaries, she said, and without an injection of nearly USD 17 million each month the agency will not be able to guarantee salaries into 2010.

Ms. AbuZayd said she has written in the past week to every country that has ever donated to UNRWA to ask them to contribute “special pledges” given the current situation, and she hopes they will respond urgently.

All the donor countries have fulfilled their pledges, but the agency needs more because of inflation, exchange rates, and other issues. Imagine that! Has an agency anywhere of any sort ever announced it needed less?

Two points to note. One is this:

She said that both staff and refugees were “becoming restless” about the funding problem and contingency plans may have to be taken unless money is provided soon.

What contingency plans would those be? Stepping up terrorist attacks so donor nations would realize they really, really, really need more money? And as for “both staff and refugees,” they are often the same people as most of the staff is drawn from the local population. In Gaza that means most are from Hamas, and we’ve written about how much of the donated money goes to Hamas. With all the, um, obligations Hamas has in other areas, it’s no wonder UNRWA’s humanitarian mission is running short.

The second point is this:

UNRWA… provides education, health care, social services, microfinance, camp improvement and emergency aid to an estimated 4.6 million Palestinian refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Has the world lost sight of how weird that is? How many Jewish refugees are living in Israel? None, because Israel takes in every Jew who wants to come, including the 900,000 who were expelled from Arab countries. But do Arab countries take in Palestinians, who are also Arabs? No! We’ve written about the Iraqi Palestinians, who were not welcomed back into Iraq, and now the U.S. is taking some in. What is wrong with these Arab governments? Oh, maybe it’s because the Jews whom Israel takes in don’t produce suicide bombers. They don’t plot against their host government. The Arab governments created the Palestinian refugee problem, and they don’t want anything to do with the pathology they brought about. So the civilized nations of the earth have to keep ponying up money to keep these “refugees” quiet.

(See our Israel and refugees category for our previous posts on this subject.)

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