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Resources updated Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February 14, 2018

An office of UNRWA in Gaza

"U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, alongside reports that his administration intends to put an end to the problematic definition of Palestinian refugeeism by which descendants of refugees are also granted refugee status, constitutes an important turning point in efforts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Unlike the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which is dedicated to helping the world's refugees, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the agency dedicated solely to Palestinian refugees, has created its own unique definition of who is considered a Palestinian refugee. As a result of UNRWA's criteria, there are now around 5.3 million Palestinian refugees around the world. This definition is significant in that it ensures the number of refugees will continue to grow and so make a solution to the conflict ever more elusive.

Furthermore, instead of incentivizing initiatives that promote a culture of peace among Palestinians and pouring money into purely humanitarian efforts, UNRWA works to create and cultivate a victimhood mentality in Palestinian society through ongoing incitement and the rejection of peace. In UNRWA-run schools, students are taught to believe they will one day be able to 'return' to all the lands of Israel and bring an end to the Jewish state. Here, too, the dangerous irony of a humanitarian organization, which, instead of solving the refugee problem, in fact, works to ensure its perpetuation, is apparent.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' recent remarks against Zionism and the Jews' right to self-determination make it clear that Palestinian recalcitrance is the root of the conflict..."

UNRWA: the Greatest Obstacle to Peace Article