UNRWA, Arabs, and the Non-Refugee Refugees

UNRWA -- the United Nations Relief and Works Agency -- was set up in 1948 to provide financial and material aid to the 700,000 Arabs who fled or were driven from their homes during the 1948-49 war between the newly created state of Israel and its Arab neighbors.  The aid was designed to facilitate either their return or their resettlement elsewhere.  The expectation was that either way, the matter of aid and refugees would be settled quickly.  That's why UNRWA's charge was originally scheduled to expire after three years. At the same time as these 700,000 Arabs became refugees and continuing into the 1970s, 600,000 Jews living in the Middle East and North Africa, too, fled or were driven from their homes, and most of these refugees ended up being resettled in Israel.  There was no UNRWA equivalent for the Jewish refugees.  They became the responsibility of the Jewish state and were immediately accepted as citizens and absorbed eventually into Israeli...(Read Full Article)