UNRWA Policy Letter to Visiting US Ambassador to the UN, The Hon. Nikki Haley

June 6, 2017

Ms. Nikki Haley
US Ambassador to the UN

Dear Madame Ambassador:

You are a welcome guest to Israel this week, where you are much admired for the integrity that you have shown in your demand for unprecedented fair treatment of Israel at the UN.

Within your passion to improve UN policies, we would like to know if you would be willing to ask six questions about US funding of UNRWA, the agency which provides 1.2 billion dollars in order to keep 5 million descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in a state of refugee-perpetuity since 1948. The US covers 400 million dollars of that budget.

Six questions that could reflect a new US Policy towards UNRWA (the links provide more information and sources of that information):

1. Will you ask for an audit of funds that flow to UNRWA? This would address widespread reports of wasted resources, duplication of services and the undesired flow of cash to terror groups which gained control over UNRWA operations in Gaza over the past 18 years.

2. Will you ask that UNHCR standards be applied to UNRWA, in order to resettle the Arab refugees of 1948, after 69 years? While the UNGA will not allow UNHCR to replace UNRWA, there is nothing stopping the application of UNHCR humanitarian standards.

3. Will you ask for a cancellation of the new UNRWA war curriculum in UN schools which are supposed to promote the UNRWA slogan of “Peace Starts Here”?

4. Will you ask for a cessation of the paramilitary training of UNRWA students, in coordination with Hamas? Should UNRWA, as a UN agency, not demonstrate renewed commitment to the UN principle of “peace education”?

5. Will you insist that UNRWA dismiss employees affiliated with Hamas, in accordance with laws on the books in western nations, and even in the UN, which forbid aid to an agency that employs members of a terrorist organization?

6. Will you demand that UNRWA fire “youth ambassador” Mohammad Assaf, who travels the world and encourages insurrection and violence? Would this not be the appropriate time for the US to ask that UNRWA cancel a contract with a harbinger of war? Are the lyrics of the UNRWA youth Ambassador not lethal?

Thank you in advance.

About the Author
David Bedein, who grew up in Philadelphia and moved to Israel in 1970 at the age of 20, is an MSW community organizer by profession and an expereinced investigative journalist. In 1987 he established the Israel Resource News Agency, with offices at the Beit Agron Int’l Press Center in Jerusalem, where he also serves as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research. In 1991, Bedein was the special CNN middle east radio correspondent. Since 2001, Bedein has contributed features to the newspaper Makor Rishon. In 2006, Bedein became the foreign correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. He is the author of " The Genesis of the Palestinian Authority" and "ROADBLOCK TO PEACE- How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA policies reconsidered"and the director and producer of the numerous short films about UNRWA policy which can be located at: http://tinyurl.com/lxc6xvs
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