The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) complained this week that US President Donald Trump's decision to cut funding had left the organization crippled.
While there are numerous refugee situations in the world, UNRWA exists solely to aid the Palestinians and perpetuate their status as "refugees."
Trump slashed aid to the group after learning that it routinely finds itself involved in anti-Israeli incitement and Palestinian terrorist activity, and in response to ongoing Palestinian refusal to negotiate with Israel.
UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl moaned that the result was that "525,000 students no longer have access to education, three million patients don't have access to healthcare and 1.7 million don't receive emergency assistance."
His remarks ignored two very inconvenient facts:
- US aid makes up about one-third of UNRWA's total budget. And Trump only cut some of that funding. If losing a small fraction of its overall funding caused UNRWA to shut down all its most critical programs, then there's some serious mismanagement, or corruption, or both.
- The Palestinians themselves have had decades to build a functioning society and government. And they've been provided the money to make that happen. One study revealed that per capita, the Palestinians have received more than did the Europeans under the Marshall Plan following World War II. In all that time, and with all that money, the Palestinians have failed to establish for themselves even the most basic public services. That doesn't sound like a very firm foundation for statehood.