The Palestinian refugees are characterized as a young population where 41.7% are under the age of 15 in Palestinian territory, 35.9% of Palestinian refugees in Jordan were under 15 in 2007, 33.1% of Palestinian refugees in Syria were under 15 in 2009, and 30.4% of the refugees in Lebanon were under 15 in 2010.
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
So a young American boy of, say, ten years of age born in Chicago to American parents, but whose grandparents were Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948, is counted by UNRWA as a “Palestinian refugee.”
It is a tribute to the disinformation campaign of UNRWA that so many of those who read the statement above from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
The fact is, the above is a testimony to the horrendous inefficiency that is so endemic to the UNRWA and the injustice that the UNRWA has continued to done to the Arabs themselves.
As Elliot Abrams explains How Many Refugees?
This means, for example, that more than a third of Palestinian “refugees” in Jordan were born after 1997. That is either 30 years (from the 1967 war) or almost 50 years (if they fled when Israel was established in 1948) after their parents or more likely grandparents arrived in Jordan. Those in Jordan have full Jordanian citizenships and vote in Jordan, which means this: A young Jordanian of Palestinian origin, whose family has lived in Jordan for 30 years and who himself or herself has always lived in Jordan, is still considered a "refugee."Meanwhile, the Obama administration, which reminds us that it is dedicated to pursuing every last possible diplomatic channel before taking any action that might prove disruptive--unless dealing with a US ally--is opposed to the resolution by Senator Mark Kirk that would do nothing more than require a count of Arab refugees according to the 1951 UN convention for counting such refugees.
This is bizarre, and the new statistics are a reminder of the unique definition applied to Palestinian “refugees.” For every other category of refugees in the world, the 1951 U.N. convention on the status of refugees clearly applies to the refugee only, and not to subsequent generations. This is the definition used by the U.N. high commissioner for refugees today. Only when it comes to Palestinians does a separate organization, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, count not only those who actually left their homes but also subsequent generations, presumably forever, and regardless of whether those progeny were born and are settled elsewhere with full citizenship.
This, despite the fact that for the State Department to back the UNRWA faulty counting of Arab refugees is in opposition to US law.
This is what Obama's US foreign policy has come to.
Technorati Tag: Palestine and UNRWA and Refugees and Senator Mark Kirk.