The UNRWA Anomaly

Widespread expectation that the Palestinians will unilaterally declare independence (UDI) this coming September has left many interested parties fumbling for a clear sense of policy goals.  Ironically, this uncertainty is even more acute in the very venue where this declaration is slated to take place -- the United Nations. Within the UN, the agency most closely associated with the Palestinian cause (via support for the Palestinian refugees) has been the United Nations Works and Relief Agency UNRWA.  It is perhaps because of this close association that UNRWA has recently made some startling policy missteps and seems to be struggling to define its own mandate and goals. UNRWA's hold over Palestinians originates from its mandate (affirmed in May,1950) as the sole body devoted to the Arab refugees.  UNRWA -- by virtue of its monopoly on education as well as other social services in the refugee camps -- has educated much of Palestinian society through its extensive school...(Read Full Article)