Friday, November 19, 2010

UN: Anyone Can Help Arab Refugees--As Long As It's Not Israel!

13 December 1977
Here is UN Resolution 32/90 which appeared on December 13, 1977

 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East


Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 31/15 A of 23 November 1976 and all previous resolutions referred to therein, including resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948,

Taking note of the annual report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, covering the period from 1 July 1976 to 30 June 1977,1/
1. Notes with deep regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) has not been effected, that no substantial progress has been made in the programme endorsed by the Assembly in paragraph 2 of resolution 513 (VI) of 26 January 1952 for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of serious concern.
But how much does the UN really care about the refugees?
Apparently not a heck of a lot.

In the very same resolution, the UN condemns Israel:

Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip

The General Assembly,

Recalling Security Council resolution 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967,

Recalling also its resolutions 2792 C (XXVI) of 6 December 1971, 2963 C (XXVII) of 13 December 1972, 3089 C (XXVIII) of 7 December 1973, 3331 D (XXIX) of 17 December 1974, 3419 C (XXX) of 8 December 1975 and 31/15 E of 23 November 1976,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, covering the period from 1 July 1976 to 30 June 1977,4/ and the reports of the Secretary-General of 6 and 21 October 1977,5/
1. Calls once more upon Israel:
(a) To take effective steps immediately for the return of the refugees concerned to the camps from which they were removed in the Gaza Strip and to provide adequate shelters for their accommodation;

(b) To desist from further removal of refugees and destruction of their shelters;
2. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner- General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, to report to the General Assembly by the opening of its thirty-third session on Israel's compliance with paragraph 1 of the present resolution.
So the UN was able to decry the lack of success in repatriating Arab refugees while at the same time condemning Israel for doing what none of the Arab countries were doing--finding homes for Arab refugees.

In "Lots of advice for Israel" appearing in The Washington Post in January 8, 1988, Charles Krauthammer explains what happened:
If the Arab countries had any interest in Palestinian refugees other than as a means to discomfit Israel, they would have absorbed them 40 years ago rather than let them sit in squalor and frustration. Of all the displaced peoples of the post- World War II partitions-in India, Central Europe, Korea-only the Palestinians have been so cynically manipulated by their fellow nationals and co-religionists.

How cynically? In the mid-1970s, Israel tried to give new housing to some of the Palestinian refugees living in the Gaza Strip. It moved them out of the camps into more livable houses nearby. Whereupon the U.N. General Assembly, urged on by the Arab states, passed Resolution 32/90 condemning Israel's relocation of these refugees and demanding their return "to the camps from which they were removed." The U.N., which offered that advice exactly 10 years before the current round of rioting in Gaza, has a large stake in Palestinian misery.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) may have many uses, but helping the Arab refugees is not one of them.

Hat tip: Soccer Dad

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