Efraim Karsh Middle East Quarterly Summer 2018 Volume 25: Number May 14, 2018
No sooner had the Palestinian Arabs fled their homes during the 1948-49 war than they were taken under the protective wing of the international community and protected like no other group in similar circumstances. This special treatment ranged from their very recognition as refugees despite the failure of many to satisfy the basic criteria for such status, to the unprecedented creation of a relief agency committed exclusively for their welfare: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA.
Yet rather than help resolve the Palestinian refugee problem, this unparalleled indulgence has only served to confirm its permanency. And no factor has contributed more to this perpetuation than UNRWA, which, instead of ending direct relief and transferring responsibility for the refugees to the host Arab states within months, as stipulated by its mandate, has kept them on the U.N.’s dole for decades under false humanitarian pretense.
Singled out for Privilege
World War II created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. In Europe alone, more than 16 million refugees and displaced persons languished in search of a solution to their plight. This included some 13 million Germans expelled from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and other East European countries; nearly 2.5 million Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Russians, and Lithuanians driven from their homelands to their newly demarcated states; some 250,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors herded in overcrowded camps (mainly) in the country that had just slaughtered six million of their brothers; and over 400,000 Finns driven from Soviet-occupied Karelia for the second time in half-a-decade. ........To Read More.....