Friday, October 5, 2012

Thousands of Iranians Take to Streets to Protest Spiraling Economy



by Eli Leon, Ilan Gettegno, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff



This photo, taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran shows protesters near a garbage can that was set on fire in Tehran on Wednesday.
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Photo credit: AP

Eli Leon, Ilan Gettegno, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=5975

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obamacare Survival Guide



by Jim Meyers

A crucially important book on Obamacare has just been published, and author Nick Tate tells Newsmax how the new law will fundamentally change the way healthcare is delivered.

The book is the
“ObamaCare Survival Guide: The Affordable Care Act and What It Means for You and Your Healthcare” — the first comprehensive but easy-to-understand road map of the 2,700-page law, officially called the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax, Tate explains what prompted him to write this book.


“Since the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is the law of the land, I felt it was important to let people know what’s in this law,” he says.


“Many provisions have already rolled out and there are many more to come so it’s not an overstatement to say that this law will affect everyone in this country."


He added that the implications of Obamacare are massive and the law "fundamentally restructures the way healthcare is delivered.


“The way you will interact with your doctor, your insurer or your hospital will fundamentally change. This book attempts to give you the roadmap to get the best bang for your healthcare dollar.”


Editor's Note: New 'ObamaCare Survival Guide' Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare — Click Here.


Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republican congressional leaders have vowed to repeal Obamacare if they win the White House and retake the Senate.


             Nick Tate
Tate explains who will be the big winners and big losers if and when this healthcare reform is implemented.

“Clearly, the big winners are people who now don’t have insurance. That’s 37 million Americans.


“A series of programs will push people into Medicaid, and new healthcare exchanges will allow individuals who are not employed or who are self-employed, or independent contractors who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, to pick low-cost, high-quality affordable care programs through these exchanges.


“If you don’t have insurance now, you’re going to be a winner. If you’re self-employed and you don’t have an employer who’s paying your insurance, you’re going to benefit from this program as well."


But the costs of the new coverage will be enormous.


The Congressional Budget Office estimates there will be close to a trillion dollars in new federal spending to sustain the massive health coverage. 

 
In addition to this, insurance companies are also free to pass on their new costs of covering claimants with pre-existing conditions and family members covered by their parents’ policies until age 26.

Premiums for those insured have already begun to spike, and the law has yet to be fully implemented.


“I will also point out that for individual households, last year, health insurance premiums rose by 9 percent, which is the greatest jump since 2004, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. That was the year after this legislation was passed,” Tate says.


“So the hopes that Obamacare would somehow address the cost issue have not yet proven to be true.”


The law does provide new demands on businesses. Some small businesses will get tax benefits that could be seen as a winning arrangement, but there are significant qualifications for such credits, the “ObamaCare Survival Guide” reveals.


“As for people on the other side who are going to be hit a little harder, big businesses are going to take a hit. They’re going to pay a penalty, if they don’t [provide] health insurance for people, of about $2,000 per person," Tate said.


Some companies may opt to pay the fine rather than give full coverage, the book notes.


According to the “ObamaCare Survival Guide,” seniors on Medicare may suffer the most.


To pay for the newly covered, the Obama law envisions cuts of between $500 billion to $700 billion to the Medicare program.


Additionally, the law requires that doctors and medical practitioners offering Medicaid services be paid the same amount as practitioners being paid by Medicare.


Experts believe this will mean a reduction in care for the elderly to cover the millions of Medicaid users added to the system.


Some critics have argued that Obamacare’s creation of an Independent Advisory Board — dubbed by critics as a "death panel" — will control Medicare costs by cutting services and rationing care.


Obamacare will affect single American, and the “ObamaCare Survival Guide” is of vital interest to them all, in particular to the insured, the employed, the uninsured, seniors and Medicare users, young adults, business owners, prescription drug users, medical professionals, Medicaid recipients, doctors, and union members.


The book details how taxpayers will foot the bill for nearly half of Obamacare’s funding in the form of new taxes and fees, and individual and employer penalties.


It also reveals:


  • How currently insured Americans will be affected by rising premium costs and other factors.
  • New rules and funding cuts for Medicare
  • New protections for the uninsured
  • Hidden fees and levies
  • New taxes for the affluent
  • New requirements and tax credits for small businesses
  • New fees for prescription drug users
  • Essential benefits insurance companies must provide
  • Individuals’ responsibilities and penalties under the new laws
  • How to maximize your healthcare dollar on the new plan
  • The costs to consumers

The Guide features chapters on a range of issues related to Obamacare, including the timetable for implementation of its provisions, the individual mandate, the expansion of Medicaid, health insurance exchanges, long-term care, and the price tag for Obamacare, and answers this key question: Why did insurance companies support Obamacare?

The book also explores five ways Obamacare may undermine your healthcare — and most importantly, how to protect yourself against Obamacare.


Newsmax says: “The ‘ObamaCare Survival Guide’ is the first and best road map for you to understand the new law. Every American is affected by Obamacare — making this book essential to you and your family.”


Nick Tate is an award-winning journalist and editor who has written extensively about health and consumer affairs issues. After a fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health, he authored “The Sick Building Syndrome.” His work has also appeared in the Miami Herald, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Herald, and other publications.



Jim Meyers

Source: http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/obamacare-survival-guide-tate/2012/10/01/id/458300?promo_code=F269-1

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Rethinking Palestine 2012



by Shoshana Bryen


In 2011, Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), failed to win U.N. acceptance of Palestine as an independent state1.  This year, he lowered the bar to upgraded status within the U.N.  In the intervening year, Palestinian finances have collapsed, Palestinians have taken to the street to denounce PA corruption rather than Israel, and Hamas in Gaza has begun a new relationship with Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt.  By going the "more than territory but less than statehood" route, Abbas has essentially slipped the bonds of the Oslo Accords. 

It's about time.

The Oslo Accords, negotiated without U.S. participation and signed in 1993, were founded on the mistaken belief that Palestinians and Israelis were trying to solve the same problem -- namely, how to fit "two states for two people" in the space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.  The Israelis, joined by the Americans, based their participation in the process on three mistaken principles:
• That Palestinian nationalism was the mirror-image of Jewish nationalism.  Statehood had ameliorated many of the difficulties of the Jews in diaspora and would do the same for the Palestinians.
• That Palestinian nationalism could find its full expression in a split rump state -- the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- squeezed between Israel and Jordan, rather than requiring that the state be formed in its entirety; and
• That there was a price Israel (and the U.S.) could pay to the Palestinians that would overcome any remaining Palestinian objection to Jewish sovereignty in the region.

The Palestinians, anxious for the legitimacy any conversation would bring, didn't correct them.  Palestinian nationalism, however, is based not on historical statelessness, but rather on the idea that their land was taken by the international community and given to Israel -- not in 1967, but in 1948.  The Palestinian "refugee problem" was created in 1948, and it is the original problem -- called the Naqba (catastrophe) and observed on Israel's Independence Day -- that in their view needs to be corrected.  That's why people still talk about having to induce Arabs to accept Israel's "right to exist"2.

President Obama perpetuates the error when he exhorts Arabs to stop denying the Holocaust.  The problem isn't primarily Holocaust-denial; even most radical Arabs agree that the Holocaust happened.  The problem is that the Arabs also believe that the Europeans expiated their Holocaust guilt by foisting the remaining Jews off on the Middle East.  They do not accept the historical relationship of Jews to the land, and the president has failed to ask for that acceptance.

The Real End of Oslo

While Abbas's speech (to be followed by his resignation?) was the formal death knell of Oslo, the process actually ended with Yasser Arafat's so-called Second Intifada, the Palestinian war against Israel that killed more than 1,000 Israelis3 and injured several thousand more between October 2000 and 2004.

The war ended with the IDF in full security control of the West Bank.  Intelligence and the IDF presence since then have largely prevented the coalescence of groups and cells that could organize large-scale terrorist operations.  It hasn't always worked smoothly, but since 2005, there has been economic advancement amid relative quiet under the PA, including during the potentially disruptive 2008/9 Gaza war; the U.S.-Israel dust up over settlement construction; the May 2011 "Naqba Day" riots that took place largely in Lebanon and Syria, not on the West Bank; Abbas's U.N. speech; and the sweep of the Arab Revolution.

In Gaza, a different process unfolded at the end of the Second Intifada.  Israel removed both its civilian and military presence in 2005, allowing Hamas unimpeded time and space to arm and train.  Hamas's political victory in legislative election was followed by the short and brutal Palestinian civil war, the ousting of Abbas's Fatah government from Gaza (although the PA still pays most of the bills), and the continuing encroachment of Hamas in the West Bank to undermine Fatah's authority there.  Hamas's burgeoning missile capability has required both active and passive Israeli intervention.

2012 - Bad News Ahead

On the West Bank, a relatively stable situation is deteriorating.  The IDF cannot protect the PA from ongoing and increasing protests by its own people, and if Abbas is serious about separating from Israel, the IDF will be less able and willing to protect him from his Hamas adversaries.  Abbas's resignation might offer younger Palestinians a way forward, but it might also empower radical groups as the demise of dictatorships did in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.

Jordan is the unmentioned player here, the "fourth state" in the so-called "two-state solution"4.  King Abdullah -- whose Hashemite family hails from the Arabian Peninsula -- is trying to balance the interests of his Palestinian and Bedouin populations, separate them from West Bank Palestinians, and maintain his throne under increasing pressure from all sides.  The government insists that "Palestine" be established solely west of the Jordan River, but there are Palestinians in Jordan and on the West Bank who believe that the eastern border of Palestine is Iraq as much as they believe that the western border is the Mediterranean.

Israel has long been committed to the monarchy and receives support for security in the West Bank in return.  Their shared interests could founder if the king is unable to quell unrest that is primarily the result of limitations on free speech, government accountability, and the media -- coupled with economic stress and rising tribal/ethnic tension.

In that context, it is a mistake for the U.S. to continue to enhance the security capabilities of the Palestinian security services or provide them with "counterterrorism" resources that could be turned against either Israel or Jordan.  It was a mistake also for President Obama to promise the Palestinians "permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt" without having discussed it with Jordan.

Gaza is a different sort of problem.  While Hamas has been funded and trained by Iran, to the consternation of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government no less than its predecessor, it is, in fact, the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood.  That being the case, Egyptian and Hamas leadership have begun a delicate dance about how close they may become.  "Tunnel traffic," the smuggling of goods into Gaza from Egypt, has already fallen by about 90% as open trade passes through the Egyptian-controlled crossing points.  While Egypt presently rejects the notion of a Gaza-Egypt free trade zone, the fact that it has been floated is noteworthy.

The Gaza Strip in coordination with Egypt makes historic, ethnic, and economic sense.  However, it will likely leave Israel with a festering security problem.  Egypt may find that Hamas attacks on Israel while Cairo disclaims responsibility can work the way Hezb'allah did for Syria.  For decades, the Golan Heights was quiet while Hezb'allah attacked Israel with both Syrian and Iranian complicity.  Israel was unwilling to hold Syria responsible for the activities of its surrogate for fear of war with the better-armed state.  Using Hamas as a surrogate could enable Egypt to harass Israel without having to formally break the Israel-Egypt peace treaty that serves as the basis of U.S. foreign aid.

Conclusion

While Oslo may have died, support for the "Two-State Solution" appears alive in Washington.  But American support for Palestinian independence was predicated by both the Bush and Obama administrations on political decisions Palestinians would take, whether it was "new leaders, new institutions and new security arrangements with their neighbors" (President Bush) or having Hamas "recognize the right of Israel to exist, to renounce violence and to accept previous agreements negotiated by the Fatah government" (President Obama).

Neither indicated what would happen if the conditions were not met, but the consequences should probably include abandoning forums dedicated to Palestinian independence: the Roadmap, the Quartet, and the committees of the U.N. dedicated to "Palestine" -- of which there are at least five.  Palestinian diplomatic status, which was offered prematurely, should be revoked.  If, in the future, the Palestinians hold elections that produce leadership "not compromised by terror," (President Bush) we can reinstate our support.  If they don't, they don't.

What the U.S. should do and what it will do are likely different, but in any event, Washington would be well-advised to limit its support for the establishment of independent Palestinian dictatorships in either the West Bank or Gaza.

1The move was mischaracterized as seeking to "create" a state in The U.N.  "Palestine" was unilaterally declared independent in 1998, and the U.N. does not create countries; it only sets conditions for their recognition.
2An offensive phrase -- Israel was established through internationally accepted mechanisms.  There is no ex post facto discussion of any one else's "right to exist."  The fact that this remains an unfulfilled demand is a reminder that the problem emanates from 1948, not 1967.
3The American population equivalent would have been 49,000 in 2000.
4Gaza, separately governed, is the third.

Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center.

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/10/rethinking_palestine_2012.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

UK Press Commission to Media: Stop Lying About Israel’s Capital



by Seth Mandel


Israel won a rare media victory this week when the UK’s nongovernmental press regulator ruled that the Guardian was wrong to call Tel Aviv Israel’s capital. The ruling by the UK Press Complaints Commission, according to Honest Reporting, “set a precedent on British coverage of Israel, effectively barring all British publications from referring to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital.”

The commission also did the Guardian, and the British press in general, a favor. Since Jerusalem is, in point of fact, Israel’s capital, and since a large part of Jerusalem is uncontested, the refusal to put embassies there or to refer to Jerusalem as the capital has always been an assault not only on the Jewish state’s sovereignty but also on basic logic. However, calling Tel Aviv the capital is inexplicable. Whatever Israel’s opponents think of Jerusalem, how could anyone possibly justify inventing a new capital for the Jewish state? No newspaper that refers to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital could possibly retain any credibility. The Times of Israel reports:
In Monday’s decision, the PCC concluded that “the unequivocal statement that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel had the potential to mislead readers and raised a breach of… the Editors’ Code of Practice.”
The editor’s code states that the press “must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information.”
The same article also pointed out the effect that making up the news can have on reporting in general: it can encourage other newspapers to make things up out of whole cloth as well. The paper notes a truly sad correction issued by the Daily Mail:
A Comment article on 23 August mistakenly suggested that Israel’s government was in Tel Aviv when it is, of course, in Jerusalem.
Of course. But you can almost begin to understand how such a mistake happens. If newspapers like the Guardian are unchallenged in their assertion that Israel’s capital is Tel Aviv, it would follow that they had done so because the buildings housing Israel’s government are in Tel Aviv. But they are not; they are in Jerusalem. Swindled by the Guardian, the Daily Mail invented government-related accommodations that didn’t exist, as if reporting on Israel is basically just playing a game of Sim City.

The Jewish people’s physical and spiritual connection to Jerusalem is such that it animates an overwhelming amount of Jewish ritual, from prayer to weddings to holiday traditions. As such, it’s easy to understand why Israel’s antagonists focus on the city. The denial of Jewish rights in Jerusalem takes many forms, including the Guardian’s shameful behavior.

After driving through the serene woodlands of Canada, Winston Churchill once turned to his son and said: “Fancy cutting down those beautiful trees we saw this afternoon to make pulp for those bloody newspapers, and calling it civilization.” Hard to argue with the sentiment while reading papers like the Guardian.

Seth Mandel

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/10/04/uk-press-commission-to-media-stop-lying-about-israels-capital/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Moderate Dems Keep Quietly Disappearing



by Seth Mandel


When outgoing GOP Senator Richard Lugar lost his primary election to Richard Mourdock earlier this year, there was an unusual amount of disingenuous garment rending over the supposed death of bipartisanship due to the increasingly conservative nature of the Republican Party.

Yet there will be no sad songs for outgoing Democratic Congressman Heath Shuler. While the media was focused on the dwindling of moderate Republicans, they missed the fact that pro-life Democrats and moderate Democrats virtually disappeared completely. Yet Shuler’s retirement from Congress is notable in that he was the last remaining Democrat willing to challenge Nancy Pelosi. And his defeat at the hands of my-way-or-the-highway liberalism should have been a far bigger story—if the media’s concerns were at all honest—than the defeat of an eighty-year-old officeholder.
Politico reports that on his way out the door, Shuler shows actual concern for bipartisanship:
“I was hoping I’d see more of the ‘We are America’ team. What I’ve seen instead is divisiveness. It’s an us vs. them mentality, Democrat vs. Republican, liberals vs. conservatives. And I would really have liked to [have] seen more of an ‘about America’ mind-set,’” he said. “So often up here, I feel like a kindergarten teacher separating two children from fighting over crayons. It’s because the maturity level is on that level sometimes.”
Shuler’s remedy to get over the bickering: Make members live in Washington, eat dinner together and spend more time getting to know one another.
Since Pelosi and President Obama famously dislike even talking to Republicans, and since Harry Reid has chosen to bring Senate business to a halt rather than let Republicans take part in the democratic process, that’s probably not going to happen. Nor is it likely that the media will mourn a dissenting Democratic voice, which they generally view as a nuisance.

But Shuler’s quiet retirement is a good opportunity for conservatives to realize that if they thought the Pelosi-Reid Democrats were hostile to working with them when Shuler and Joe Lieberman were still in office, they’ve probably only witnessed the beginning of the Democrats’ relentless partisanship.

Seth Mandel

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/10/04/moderate-dems-keep-quietly-disappearing/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama Admin. Stonewalls on Immigrant Welfare Controversy



by Michael Volpe


Four members of the Republican leadership of the Senate Budget Committee are furious with the Obama administration, claiming that both the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are stalling in providing data on federal Visa approval for immigrants with a strong likelihood of government dependency.

The whole controversy got started when staffers noticed that the answer to a Q-and-A section on the website of the US Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency in regard to Visa approval suggested that people with a high probability of winding up on certain forms of public assistance were now being considered for Visa approval.

The four Republicans — Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Pat Roberts, and Jeff Sessions — fired off a letter asking for clarification in August both to State and DHS, because each have some form of oversight over Visas. Following a number of missed deadlines for response, the four sent out a press release on October 2, 2012.

“Basic annual data on visa applications is easily and readily producible. But yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security missed yet another deadline to provide this info as requested by four Senate committees. DHS, along with the State Department, has also refused to explain why departmental guidelines effectively waive the legal requirement that individuals are ineligible for entry into the United States if they are likely to become reliant on welfare,” said Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee.

He continued, “Our initial assessment of State Department data on ‘public charge’ denials further indicates that eligibility standards are being waived. Given what we already know, and the otherwise inexplicable refusal for DHS to reply to such a simple inquiry, it necessarily suggests that the executive branch is trying to prevent the public from discovering its failure to follow U.S. immigration and welfare law.”

In early August, Senate Budget Committee staffers noticed that USCIS was using a new interpretation of something called a “public charge.” “Public charge” is a catch-all category of welfare programs. Visa approval is supposed to be done strictly to exclude anyone that has a chance of winding up on public welfare doles.

At issue was the answer to a question on the Q-and-A section of USCIS website. The answer to, “What publicly funded benefits may not be considered for public charge purposes?” seemed to indicate that things like food stamps were no longer considered public welfare benefits.

As such, people with a high probability of winding up on programs like food stamps might no longer be automatically denied Visas by USCIS. It was following this revelation that the four Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee — Sessions, Orrin Hatch, Pat Roberts, and Chuck Grassley — fired off a letter on August 6, 2012, asking for clarification from both DHS and Department of State. They wrote:
We write to express our concern with agencies’ interpretation of section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) regarding inadmissible aliens. It was recently brought to our attention that the U.S. Department of Agriculture welfare programs.
It is our understanding that the materials distributed by the consular offices assure those being recruited that reliance on SNAP benefits, or food stamps, will not be taken into account when considering the merits of an application for a visa or adjustment of status.
Further review of Department of State and Department of Homeland Security protocols indicate that this policy applies to dozens of other welfare programs as well.“ Read the beginning of the letter.
So far, two deadlines set up by the four members of the Senate Budget Committee have been ignored by DHS and State. The second missed deadline on October 1, 2012 caused the most recent press release.

The presence of USCIS is itself disconcerting. USCIS, the DHS agency at the center of this storm, is normally an obscure agency in DHS. It has already been put in the spotlight because it’s been given a leading role in implementing the President’s very controversial deferred-action program (essentially administrative implementation of the DREAM Act, an amnesty program), first announced in the Rose Garden June 15, 2012.

The head of USCIS, Alejandro Mayorkas, appears to be a far-left ideologue who is also tied to one of the most controversial pardons by Bill Clinton at the end of his presidential term. He’s been head of USCIS since April 2009.

Mayorkas is no stranger to being in the middle of controversies. In August 2009, his deputies, acting on his orders, drafted a memo that seemed to suggest that the Obama administration would be implementing some form of comprehensive immigration reform internally through executive action. The title of this memo was “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”

It listed all sorts of categories of potential illegal aliens and enumerated ways in which the Obama administration could act unilaterally and make them effectively legal. Included in this memo was the administrative amnesty Obama implemented in June 2012.

The USCIS was also the subject of an award-winning investigative series by the Daily, in which that publication exposed how pressure from higher ups was forcing the rubber stamping of thousands of Visa applications.

Mayorkas was a very successful bundler for President Obama in 2008, leading the way to his appointment to head USCIS.

Mayorkas also gained notoriety in the late 1990s, when as an Assistant United States Attorney, he found himself in the middle of the controversial commutation of Carlos Vignali. Vignali was a convicted drug dealer whose sentence was commuted in Clinton’s last days after only serving seven years of a fourteen-year sentence.

Mayorkas, as Assistant US Attorney, was one of those that recommended the commutation to President Clinton.

The House Committee of Government Reform cited Mayorkas, among several individuals, following an investigation of the pardon. The investigation found that Vignali’s dad, Horacio Vignali, had funneled several hundred thousand dollars to a number of California-area politicians prior to the pardon.

The four Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee believe that in their role as overseers as laid out in the Constitution they are entitled to an explanation. Christopher Bentley, a spokesperson for USCIS, said, “USCIS wasn’t able discuss the issues raised by the Senators.” The State Department has previously responded that they believed most of the questions fell under the purview of DHS. The Obama administration will likely continue this game of feigned ignorance until the public demands that it be held accountable.

Michael Volpe

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/volpe/obama-admin-stonewalls-on-immigrant-welfare-controversy/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Presidential Debate Makes Election Alternatives Clear



by Bruce Thornton


Forget all the pre-debate handicapping and advice about what Mitt Romney needed to do or what Barack Obama had to avoid. Last night’s debate clarified the stark choice facing American voters on November 6. On the one hand, we heard a candidate who endorses the limited government, individual rights and freedom, free market economic policies, and personal self-reliance and autonomy that the Constitution was created to protect. On the other hand, we heard a candidate who endorses big government, group rights, redistributionist economic policies, and the progressive ideal that limits freedom and empowers elites to run people’s lives. In this first debate, Romney and the Constitution clearly won, as the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth emanating from the mainstream media prove.

First, many Americans were seeing the real Romney for the first time. Contrary to the fatcat caricature the Obama campaign and its media enablers have been peddling for months, Romney was warm and jocular, and sensitive to the plight of real people who have suffered under Obama’s policies. He easily had the best laugh lines: “Mr. President, you’re entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your own facts.” When Obama lied about lowering taxes for the rich, Romney answered, “I have five boys, and I’m used to people saying things over and over, thinking if they repeat it enough it will be true.” He slyly reminded everybody of Joe Biden’s gaffe that the “middle class has been buried the last four years” when he said, “Middle income Americans have been buried.” Romney responded to Obama’s complaint about $3 billion tax breaks for oil companies by contrasting it to the $90 billion for green energy, landing another punch with, “You don’t pick winners and losers, you just pick the losers.” When Romney was asked about spending cuts, he said he’d eliminate programs that are not “important enough to borrow money from China” to pay for them, like PBS, with an apology to moderator Jim Lehrer. And his early jab, “trickle down government,” should enter the political lexicon.

Second, Romney was obviously much more confident, prepared, and knowledgeable than Obama. He had a greater command of the facts, and often turned them against Obama’s claims. When Obama crowed about the federal government’s support for job training, Romney snapped back that it was spread over 47 training programs and 8 agencies. Obama’s accusation that Romney would cut funding for teachers was met with a devastating riposte: that $90 billion that went for “clean energy,” much of it, Romney reminded us, going to Obama’s supporters and friends, could have paid for 2 million more teachers. Romney’s reminder that 4 million seniors would lose their Advantage Medicare supplemental insurance demolished the President’s spin that his $716 billion in Medicare cuts was achieved by reducing “overpayments” to providers. Obama’s call for raising taxes on the “rich” was met with Romney’s reminder that Obama himself said you don’t raise taxes in a slow economy––and the economy is growing more slowly now than it was when Obama said it back in 2010. As for Obama, he just repeated campaign slogans that a few minutes of scrutiny could explode, like touting “investing” in more people going to college at a time when millions of college students can’t find work, or repeating the Independent Tax Policy Institute claim that Romney would raise taxes on the middle class, an analysis the ITP no longer stands behind, or taking credit for increased oil and natural gas production, when that in fact occurred in spite of, not because of his policies, as Romney pointed out when he reminded us that permits for oil development on federal lands have been reduced by half under Obama.

Third, the demeanor of the two men was starkly different. Obama looked sour most of the time, scowling and smirking, and refusing to look at Romney when he spoke, and often looking down when Romney was talking, like a child who is being chastised. Romney was confident, eager, obviously charged up by the debate. Obama looked like he was in the dentist’s chair. The split-screen shots were particularly devastating, Obama looking old and tired, Romney actually looking much younger and more vigorous. Obama simply couldn’t handle his first formidable adversary, which should have been obvious from the start of his political career. His whole life he’s just had to show up and take a bow. The mainstream media, which have been his shills for four years, have worsened this arrogance. Obama is like a football team that is unbeaten during the exhibition season, but having grown flabby and complacent, is wiped out when the regular season starts. That’s why, as Charles Krauthammer said, Romney won by two touchdowns. Obama’s sorry performance should explode the media’s fairytale about Obama’s oratorical skills, intelligence, and likability, none of which was evident during the debate.

Finally, the difference between the political philosophies of the two candidates was made crystal clear in the question regarding the role of government. Romney asserted a limited role for the federal government, which exists to protect the inalienable rights with which we have been endowed by our creator, and which are codified in the Constitution. But power resides with the people that government is supposed to serve, and whose freedom to pursue happiness the government is supposed to protect. Obama believes, as Romney said, “government can do a better job than people pursuing their dreams.” Technocratic elites and bureaucracies should have the power to “solve problems” and achieve dubious “social welfare” goals such as income redistribution or egalitarianism. This is the progressive ideology, which is very different from the ideals that created our government.

Romney won this debate not because of optics, or even a greater command of the facts. He won because he has the better argument: free individuals and their work, initiative, and creativity are better than government at managing their lives, pursuing their happiness, and creating prosperity.

Bruce Thornton

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/bruce-thornton/presidential-debate-makes-election-alternatives-clear/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Muslim Riots Reach Europe: Part II



by Soeren Kern

To read Muslim Riots Reach Europe Part I click here
Abu Assad al-Almani asks Muslims in Germany to attack any German citizen who supports the film by "cutting their heads from their bodies and capturing it on film so that it is accessible to the public, so that the whole of Germany, and even the whole of Europe, knows that their criminal games will be thwarted by the sword of Islam."
Muslim protests over an American-made anti-Islamic YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims, have spread to more European cities. Muslim rioters had initially clashed with police in Belgium, Britain and France, but since then, protests have spread to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland.

In Germany, while thousands of Muslims took to the streets in various cities, the biggest demonstration took place in the Dortmund, where 1,500 Muslims holding Turkish flags marched through the city center on September 22. In Hanover, protests involved about 1,000 Muslims on September 23. In Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony police reported protests involving 1,600 people. Protests were also reported in Bergisch Gladbach, Cuxhaven, Münster, Freiburg and Karlsruhe.

A radical Islamist, Abu Assad al-Almani, has called for bombings and assassinations in Germany after it emerged that the actor who plays Mohammed in the anti-Islam movie was allegedly German. In an 8-page document, entitled "Settling Scores with Germany," and posted on the Internet on September 25, Abu Assad states: "In addition to the ugly cartoons, now the Americans have produced a film in which those pigs poke fun at our dear prophet and insult him."

Abu Assad continues: "The one who played our noble Messenger was a German;" he then calls for revenge attacks. He asks Muslims in Germany to attack any German citizen who supports the film by "cutting their heads from their bodies and capturing it on film so that it is accessible to the public, so that the whole of Germany, and even the whole of Europe, knows that their criminal games will be thwarted by the sword of Islam."

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) says the document has been produced by a group called the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), the European propaganda arm which supports Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic organizations. The BKA says it is taking the threat "very seriously."

In Berlin, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has postponed at the last minute a poster campaign aimed at countering radical Islam for fear it might have incited violence by extremists. The posters had been due to go up as of September 21in German cities with large immigrant populations. The posters were aimed at those who suspected that a friend or family member might be drifting towards radical Islam.

In another sign that German officialdom is coming unhinged by political correctness, the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) lashed out at Baden-Württemberg's Integration Minister, Bilkay Öney, for stating what many Germans believe is obvious, namely that "Islam tolerates no criticism." She also said it was easier to dialogue with Muslims in Germany because they are relatively well educated. "In other parts of the world," she said, "some take to the streets and set fire to embassies."
CDU regional director Thomas Strobl rebuked Öney, a Turkish-born German politician, saying: "What Mrs. Öney says is surprising and shocking. Such remarks are unacceptable, as they emphasize what divides us, instead of linking and integrating." Strobl wondered how Öney, who is a Muslim, could hold such politically incorrect views about Islam.

Elsewhere in Germany, more signs emerged that the threat of Muslim violence is endangering free speech in Germany. Development Minister Dirk Niebel (FDP) called for a ban on broadcasting the anti-Islam video in Germany. "Such a film should not be shown. We should not be adding fuel to the fire," he told the newspaper, Bild. "The person who demands limitless freedom of expression has no idea what conflicts can be provoked by it," Niebel said. His comments follow similar statements by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich.

In Greece, the center of Athens (recently dubbed the "New Kabul") turned into a war zone (videos here) on September 23, when more than 1,000 Muslims -- mostly immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh -- hurled bottles and other objects at police, who were trying to prevent the rioters from descending on the American Embassy.

Protesting Muslims, chanting "All we have is Mohammed," gathered in Omonia Square holding banners reading, "We demand an immediate punishment for those who tried to mock our Prophet Mohammad." Shouting "Allah is Greater," they then assaulted police with stones, bottles and slabs of marble they broke from the sidewalks.

When Greek riot police used tear gas to control the protesters and protect the security zone they had established around the embassy, infuriated Muslims responded by vandalizing streets and buildings in downtown Athens, as well as by setting fires to trash bins, smashing shops and display windows and vandalizing automobiles. Around 30 Muslims were arrested.

Also in Athens, Muslim inmates at the Korydallos prison (Greece's main prison, in which an estimated 70% of the inmates are Muslim) went on a rampage and protested the anti-Islam video by burning mattresses, sheets and clothing. Security officials at the prison brought the situation under control after using teargas to force the rioting inmates to return to their cells.

In Austria, some 700 Muslims descended on the American Embassy in the Alsergrund district in downtown Vienna on September 22. They carried banners and shouted slogans of protest against the film, and called for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate. The protests were well organized: some Muslims wearing orange vests were waiting at the nearby metro station to guide protestors toward the embassy. According to the Austrian newspaper Tageszeitung Österreich, one young woman wearing a headscarf said, "The film has triggered such a rage in me, I had tears in my eyes." Other protesters wondered how it was possible that the film portrayed "our beloved prophet as a child molester and misogynist."

In Norway, in front of the American Embassy in Oslo on September 21, more than 150 radical Islamists gathered, shouting, "This world needs another Osama." Separately, hundreds more Muslims gathered at Youngstorget Square in central Oslo to protest the anti-Islam film. Oslo's imams were joined in the protest by the city's Conservative Mayor Fabian Stang, as well as Lutheran Bishop Ole Christian Kvarme, who said in a speech: "With this peaceful protest we want to maintain and strengthen our unity. As believers we understand each other."

In Italy, the Interior Ministry announced on September 25 that it had expelled two Libyan jihadists who were urging attacks against Western targets in revenge for the film denigrating Mohammed. Police said the Libyans, aged 26 and 28, had been in a hotel in Rome for several months, receiving medical care after being injured during the Libyan conflict. Police said they were expelled after they "began activities of proselytizing and propaganda to jihad within the Libyan community."

In Serbia, several thousand fans from a local football club in the country's Muslim-majority Sandzak region protested against the film on September 21. Defying a ban on political slogans at the march, supporters of Torcida Sandzak football club waved banners reading, "The Prophet is in my heart" and "Freedom for Palestine, Afghanistan and Libya." There was a heavy police presence at the march, where protesters also waved the flags of Turkey and Bosnia.

In Spain, the Islamic Commission, a Muslim umbrella group, has sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon demanding the enactment of an international law that would outlaw blasphemy "so that no attack against religious sentiment will go unpunished." 

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3379/muslim-riots-europe

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

India: The Next Terrorist Insurgency



by S.K. Bhattacharya


Because terrorism works: The death of a U.S. Ambassador in Libya, after all, seemed sufficient to convince many Americans that they should flee the entire Islamic world.
Although so far India's Maoists have shown little interest in attracting global attention by attacking international targets, journalists who study their insurgency reckon that they need only be patient: The Naxals will figure it out soon enough. Then the journalists' careers as International Naxal Experts will be assured.

Why do the journalists reckon this? Because terrorism works: The death of a U.S. Ambassador in Libya, after all, seemed sufficient to convince many Americans that they should flee the entire Islamic world.

The problem is not that America has insufficient intelligence; America has insufficient patience and insufficient curiosity. One look at the map below should be sufficient to suggest to you that a Maoist insurgency covering a third of the territory of the world's second-most populated country should receive attention from the media. Why doesn't it? Because it is far away. The insurgency is very well-covered in India -- in the English-language press, at that -- but Americans do not read the Indian press. The Indian government is not keen to encourage foreign journalists to report on the insurgency; no one can blame them: the antidote to the insurgency is to gain state control over the Naxal-infested areas. To do this, India needs foreign investment -- a lot of it, fast. Investors would not like the sound of this insurgency if they knew about it.



That many Americans have never heard of a story so manifestly important is evidence that America is, if it continues to slide-line itself, in the terminal phase of imperial decline, which, one is tempted to conclude, seems exactly what the current administration wants: to deliver the world to despots.

Britain lost its empire because it was obsessed with preventing the 1857 mutiny -- which had already happened, so there was no point in preventing it. Focusing on the threat of violent seditious activity, colonial authorities underestimated the threat of non-violent sedition. They thus lost access to Indian society precisely when they needed it most. As Britain's intelligence bureaucracy grew ever more elaborate, the scope of its security efforts narrowed -- even as the scale of the secessionist threat grew. Britain's imperial policy suffered from a chronically poor sense of timing. Moderate nationalist leaders were marginalized, militant ones strengthened. Over time, the militants gained respectability. The British authorities had detailed knowledge of secessionist plans, but failed to prevent them from from being realized. They did not understand these plans, and relied upon analytical models that were out of date. Crucially, British India lost the ability to recognize gaps in its own coverage. Precisely as the need for information about secessionist activities increased, its interest in this information decreased. As militant nationalism made inroads, sources of intelligence to the colonial Government dried up. As the popular base of the secessionist movement widened, the Government's response narrowed -- it focused only on containing the violence. The information in its possession was evaluated from an excessively narrow, binary perspective: Did it suggest an imminent threat to British life and property? Authorities were incapable of asking themselves the larger question -- was the entire British empire at threat?

British authorities failed to grasp the larger picture. Cultural barriers distorted threat perception and led to misdirected countering action. This distortion did not occur for want of information: Britain's vast bureaucratic apparatus ensured an abundance of it. But the British did not recognize its strategic value until it was too late. Information was plentiful; insight was scarce.

Brave posturing and stentorian denunciations in the wake of the latest terrorist outrage are no substitute for insight. For insight, look at that map. 

S.K. Bhattacharya is a private defense and security analyst, working to help democratic governments.
Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3373/india-terrorism-naxalites

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

UNRWA Resists Resettlement



by Alexander H. Joffe


The Palestinian refugee problem lies at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. But since the 1960s, the international institution charged with aiding the refugees, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), has resisted their resettlement in the Arab host countries. It has done so by shifting to an educational mission, devising expansive redefinitions of who a refugee is, and expanding its legal mandates to "protect" and represent refugees. As a result, a well-intended international relief effort has been progressively undone by the vagueness of its mandate, which allowed UNRWA to bend to the will of the U.N. General Assembly and be taken over by its own charges and by the bureaucratic imperative of institutional survival.

Reintegration: A Short History


The late Yasser Arafat (right) and South Africa's Nelson Mandela join hands in solidarity. U.N. General Assembly resolution 2649 of November 1970 took "inalienable rights" to another level and specifically named the "peoples of southern Africa and Palestine" as partners in a legitimate struggle for self-determination. UNRWA's activities cannot be viewed in isolation from an institutional environment that has linked the Palestinian issue to decolonization, regardless of its applicability.
The idea of resettlement was implicitly encoded into UNRWA through U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 194 (III) of December 11, 1948, which stated that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return."[1] Those choosing not to return would presumably be resettled, and the resolution took care to ensure "the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation."[2] The language and stipulations of resolution 194 have been used by the Palestinians and their international champions as proof of a U.N.-sanctioned "right of return."[3] But UNRWA was founded "without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III),"[4] and during its early stages, attempted to avoid the appearance of prejudice toward either repatriation or compensation and resettlement. But as prevailing interpretations of resolution 194 have changed, so too has UNRWA.

The overwhelming majority of the Palestinian refugees have not returned. Nor have they been "reintegrated." This novel term was introduced by UNGA resolution 393 (V) of December 2, 1950, which stated that "the reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement, is essential in preparation for the time when international assistance is no longer available, and for the realization of conditions of peace and stability in the area."[5]

The formal articulation of repatriation and resettlement notwithstanding, as early as 1951, reintegration was understood in diplomatic circles exclusively as resettlement.[6] Refugees shared that assessment, and, along with Arab host countries, resisted it in a variety of ways, so much so that by the late 1950s, reintegration, resettlement, and rehabilitation had reached a dead end. In the words of the 1957 UNRWA director's report:
in spite of the fact that many are establishing themselves in new lives, the refugees collectively remain opposed to certain types of self-support projects which they consider would mean permanent resettlement and the abandonment of hope of repatriation. They are, in general, supported in this stand by the Arab host Governments. On the other hand, the Government of Israel has taken no affirmative action in the matter of repatriation and compensation. It remains the Director's opinion that, unless the refugees are given the choice between repatriation and compensation provided for in resolution 194 (III), or unless some other solution acceptable to all parties is found, it would be unrealistic for the General Assembly to believe that decisive progress can be accomplished by UNRWA towards the "reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement" in line with General Assembly resolution 393 (V) of 2 December 1950.[7]

Shift to Education

In his report for 1959, incoming UNRWA director John Davis noted that "the execution of the 'long-term task' of assisting refugees to become self-supporting requires certain conditions which so far have not prevailed." He added:
It is no exaggeration to state that every aspect of life and human endeavour in the Near East is conditioned and complicated by the Palestine refugee problem. Its psychological, political, and social repercussions are of no less significance than its economic and humanitarian aspects. Any solution of the Palestine refugee problem must take these aspects into account.[8]
Davis's remarkable statement contrasted with his immediate predecessor's upbeat assessment that "the picture is not entirely black."[9] To be sure, by placing the refugee crisis at the heart of everything in the Middle East, Davis did not reject the notion of resettlement per se; yet he implied that until the refugees themselves were satisfied, their plight would remain at the center of regional affairs. As such, his portentous assertion, an essential part of the Palestinian narrative, was perhaps the first high level official indication of UNRWA's intention to keep the refugees, and itself, at the center of Middle Eastern affairs.

Davis argued that UNRWA's mandate should be extended beyond June 30, 1960, when it was due to expire, calling for a reorientation of the agency's mission and an expanded emphasis on "providing general education, both elementary and secondary … teaching vocational skills, and awarding university scholarships; and … offering small loans and grants to individual refugees who have skills and want to become self-employed."[10] This was a shrewd and successful adaptation and a fateful turning point in UNRWA's relationship with the refugees and the idea of resettlement.[11]

Providing primary, secondary, and vocational training vastly expanded the agency's contact with refugees. In 1950, UNRWA operated sixty-four schools with 41,000 elementary pupils, employing approximately 800 teachers. By 1960, this had expanded to 382 schools, almost 124,000 pupils, and 3,500 teachers. By 1980, over 54 percent of UNRWA's resources were dedicated to education.[12] In 2011-12, across its five fields of operation, UNRWA's education program comprised 699 schools, 19,217 educational staff, and 486,754 enrolled pupils.[13] Increasing access to education and raising educational levels are inherently unobjectionable, a fact that UNRWA has traded on since the 1950s. More controversial has been the content of that education.

Educational materials used in UNRWA schools come from the host countries but are taught by Palestinian teachers, many of whom are graduates of UNRWA schools. During the 1960s and 1970s, teaching Palestinian nationalism was a specific goal of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Schools, teachers' unions, and youth organizations were targets for the PLO and its competitors such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which completely politicized these spaces. UNRWA and national governments also made funds available for scholarship for higher education, which took place in both Western and Soviet bloc institutions.[14] Indeed, UNRWA's defenders praise the agency's position as a Palestinian national institution and emphasize the role of education.[15]

UNRWA's educational emphasis during the 1970s coincided with the PLO's 1974 adoption of the "phased approach" for Israel's destruction, which included a commitment to the right of return[16]—a euphemism for Israel's demographic subversion—as well as with the creation of the U.N. resolutions and infrastructure to support the "inalienable rights" of the Palestinian people. With the passage of time, textbooks in UNRWA, and later Palestinian Authority (PA) schools, have come under scathing criticism for articulating anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, anti-Western, and anti-peace themes, alongside advocacy of the right of return.[17]

UNRWA's educational turn also had unanticipated and ironic consequences. The Palestinians' educational advantage aided their entry into the professional classes of Arab states, which should have facilitated their reintegration and resettlement. But these educational advantages were mitigated by growing Arab investments in their own educational systems. Rising educational standards in some Arab states, and the PLO's support for Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, also resulted in Palestinian marginalization and mass expulsion. Educated Palestinians returning to the West Bank and Gaza relied yet again on UNRWA's relief services.[18] During and after the years following the Oslo accords, UNRWA and UNRWA-educated Palestinians took the lead in opposing the PLO's negotiations with Israel under the aegis of the "rights-based approach" and preserving the right of return.

Who Is a Refugee?

One significant means of UNRWA's permanent institutionalization and resistance to resettlement has been the expansion of its client base through redefinitions of who is a refugee.

The agency's founding resolution 302 (IV) used the term refugee without offering any definition. But the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees that established the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began to set parameters for the Palestine Arab refugees and for UNRWA: "This Convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection and assistance."[19]

The politics behind this decision were a result of pressure from both Western and Arab states. France, for example, had moved to exclude the Palestinian refugees from the UNHCR mandate on the grounds that a number of U.N. organizations were already active in that arena. Arab delegates supported the exclusion, arguing that a universal definition of refugees would "submerge in the general mass of refugees of certain groups which were the particular concern of the General Assembly and the right of which to repatriation had been recognized by General Assembly resolutions."[20]

Without a formal definition set by a supervisory body, UNRWA established its own series of operational definitions for refugees. In 1950, the following definition was offered:
For working purposes, the Agency has decided that a refugee is a needy person, who, as a result of the war in Palestine, has lost his home and his means of livelihood. … In some circumstances, a family may have lost part or all of its land from which its living was secured, but it may still have a house to live in. Others may have lived on one side of the boundary but worked in what is now Israel most of the year. Others, such as Bedouins, normally moved from one area of the country to another, and some escaped with part or all of their goods but cannot return to the area where they formerly resided the greater part of the time.[21]
In 1954 a temporal qualification was introduced:
The definition of a person eligible for relief, as used by the Agency for some years, is one whose normal residence was Palestine for a minimum period of two years preceding the outbreak of the conflict in 1948 and who, as a result of this conflict, has lost both his home and means of livelihood.[22]
The 1955 report of the UNRWA commissioner-general introduced an informal rationale for including other claimants, namely Palestine Arabs who were not displaced in 1948 but who lost some or all of their livelihoods:
There is only a difference of degree between, on the one hand, the situation of the man whose home was on the Jordan side of the demarcation line but whose land is now cut off in Israel, or who worked in what is now Israel[i] Jerusalem, or who sold his produce in the coastal towns or exported it through Palestinian ports, and, on the other hand, the situation of the man who has lost his home as well as his means of livelihood. All of these have lost, in varying degrees, a place in which to work and a way of life. They have that in common. Yet in some cases, the family which continues to reside in its former home, but whose nearby fields are no longer in its possession, may be in a more serious plight. The very proximity of its former possessions—the situation in which the original inhabitants must watch newcomers till their former fields and harvest crops from their former groves—increases the tensions and the psychological strain.[23]
This decision followed up on observations made since 1948 regarding the impoverished state of those claimants. It also acknowledged the difficulty of both distinguishing them from true refugees as well as the moral and practical difficulties in refusing aid. Incorporating border villages into UNRWA's purview expanded its economic role in Gaza and Jordan and articulated a sociopsychological or therapeutic element that would become an important part of UNRWA's mission in the coming decades.

Throughout the 1950s, efforts were made to rectify refugee roles. Fraud, duplicate enrollments, non-counting of deaths, and the holding of ration cards by merchants were all well-known by UNRWA and the Western governments from 1949 onward, but little was or could be done. Riots by refugees, threats by merchants, and lack of cooperation from host countries, who were economically dependent on UNRWA, undermined efforts to reduce refugee rolls. Threats to reduce U.S. contributions to UNRWA amounted to little.[24]
In 1965, the definition was again revised:
Recently a new problem of eligibility has arisen with the appearance of a third generation of refugees (i.e., the children of persons who were themselves born after 14 May 1948). On a literal interpretation of the definition of eligibility as it now stands, there may be some doubt whether these persons are eligible for UNRWA assistance. Under the proposals set out … they would clearly be eligible … subject to their being in need, and this would apply to subsequent generations also.[25]
This new, expansive definition, which extended UNRWA's services to a third generation of refugees, was apparently offered as part of a deal between UNRWA director Laurence Michelmore and the Arab states, in exchange for new refugee surveys that mollified Western pressures.[26]
The 1967 Six-Day War and the influx of more refugees into the UNRWA system from the West Bank offered the opportunity to establish a new baseline, and by 1971, the refugee definition had been expanded again with specifications regarding the inheritability of refugee status:
A Palestine refugee, by UNRWA's working definition, is a person whose normal residence was Palestine for a minimum of two years preceding the conflict in 1948 and who, as a result of this conflict, lost both his home and means of livelihood and took refuge, in 1948, in one of the countries where UNRWA provides relief. Refugees within this definition or the children or grandchildren of such refugees are eligible for agency assistance if they are (a) registered with UNRWA, (b) living in the area of UNRWA's operations, and (c) in need.[27]
By 1994, this operational definition had been further extended:
Under UNRWA's operational definition, Palestine refugees are people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.[28]
This version is still operative today. There are no qualifications regarding a refugee having been displaced to a country where UNRWA operates or whether they have obtained another nationality. Nor does UNRWA require individual applicants to have either endured all three criteria (residence, loss of homes, and loss of livelihood), or provide documentation of these statuses. UNRWA requires only a self-declaration from applicants.[29] The mandate is effectively global and the agency views itself as the "global advocate for the protection and care of Palestine refugees."[30] This generates a total client base of almost 5 million.

Mandates and the Question of Protections

Concurrent with the expansion of the definition of a Palestine refugee has been the vast expansion of UNRWA's mandate from the original, concise role of "direct relief and works programmes" to the ambitious endeavor
to contribute to the human development of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Syrian Arab Republic until a durable and just solution is found to the refugee issue. … The Agency's vision is for every Palestine refugee to enjoy the best possible standards of human development, including attaining his or her full potential individually and as a family and community member; being an active and productive participant in socioeconomic and cultural life; and feeling assured that his or her rights are being defended, protected, and preserved.[31]
The agency's imperative to maintain this standard of living indefinitely for an ever-expanding client base is perhaps the single greatest self-imposed impediment to resettlement.

Another form of mission creep has been the use of international law to expand organizational mandates to such fields as "education, health and relief, and social services, microfinance, infrastructure and camp improvement, and emergency assistance including food aid."[32] Moreover, by the early 1980s, UNRWA's mandate had expanded to include protection of the refugees' legal and human rights.[33] In December 1982, for example, U.N. Secretary-general Javier Pérez de Cuéllar asked UNRWA to consider "measures to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian refugees in the [Israeli] occupied territories."[34]

Six years later he explicitly articulated these guarantees:
(a) "Protection" can mean physical protection, i.e., the provision of armed forces to deter, and if necessary fight, any threats to the safety of the protected persons;
(b) "Protection" can mean legal protection, i.e., intervention with the security and judicial authorities, as well as the political instances, of the occupying Power, by an outside agency, in order to ensure just treatment of an individual or group of individuals;
(c) "Protection" can also take a less well-defined form, called in this report "general assistance," in which an outside agency intervenes with the authorities of the occupying Power to help individuals or groups of individuals to resist violations of their rights (e.g., land confiscations) and to cope with the day-to-day difficulties of life under occupation, such as security restrictions, curfews, harassment, bureaucratic difficulties and so on;
(d) Finally, there is the somewhat intangible "protection" afforded by outside agencies, including especially the international media, whose mere presence and readiness to publish what they observe may have a beneficial effect for all concerned; in this report this type of protection is called "protection by publicity."[35]
UNRWA's protection mandate was amplified in 2007 by the General Assembly, which stated that it was aware "of the valuable work done by the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees."[36] This was further extended in 2008 with a General Assembly direction to UNRWA regarding the rights of women and children. Likewise, in 2007, the General Assembly approved the commissioner-general's report that included the assertion that "UNRWA is a global advocate for the protection and care of Palestine refugees," and the organization established a senior protection policy advisor position.[37] The influential 2008 "Morris report," compiled by a retired UNHCR staff member, also recommended that it use the U.N.'s human rights system to expand UNRWA's protection for refugees and that the agency's operations support officers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip act as "roving international protection officers."[38]

The scope of protections is potentially limitless as illustrated by the demand that the refugees be given a voice in the quest for "a just and durable solution" and be protected from the use of "disproportionate force" during this process.[39] Indeed, the "Morris report" recommended that the commissioner-general "should engage with those drawing up negotiating papers and proposing positions and policies in order to ensure to the extent possible that these take proper account of the rights and interests of the refugees and of UNRWA's experience and knowledge."[40] That is: UNRWA should be directly involved in the political process as representative of the Palestinian refugees, their rights, interests and desires, in direct competition with other Palestinian entities—hardly an inducement to resettlement.

Decolonization and Radicalization of the General Assembly

An important but largely overlooked factor regarding UNRWA is the context within which it operates at the General Assembly where a string of resolutions on decolonization and political independence for colonial peoples and countries set the stage for many specific resolutions dealing with the Palestinians. These also established a huge U.N. infrastructure outside UNRWA that supports the Palestinian national cause to the detriment of resettlement.

Decolonization: The General Context. A partial list of relevant General Assembly resolutions begins with resolution 1514 (XV), the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples" of December 14, 1960.[41] Among other things, the resolution stated that "subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination, and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights" and that "all peoples have the right to self-determination," demanding an end to "all armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples." This was followed a day later by Resolution 1515 (XV), which established the sovereign right of states to dispose of their own natural resources and wealth.

By the late 1960s and early 1970s, U.N. resolutions took a more strident tone. Resolution 2588 (XXV) of December 15, 1969, followed up on the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights and reaffirmed "the right of all peoples under colonial and foreign rule to liberation and self-determination."[42] It also expressed support for "liberation movements in southern Africa and elsewhere in their legitimate struggle for freedom and independence." Resolution 2649 (XXV) of November 30, 1970, took inalienable rights to another level and specifically named the "peoples of southern Africa and Palestine," noting the "legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right of self-determination to restore to themselves that right by any means at their disposal."[43] This resolution stands at the beginning of the apartheid charge against Israel.

The "Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People." The 1970s saw the "question of Palestine" become a singular preoccupation of the United Nations. This in turn influenced UNRWA and its approach to resettlement.
In 1969, General Assembly resolution 2535 (XXIV) stated that it was "[d]esirous of giving effect to its resolutions for relieving the plight of the displaced persons and the refugees" before reaffirming "the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine."[44] The following year General Assembly resolution 2672 stated that "the problem of the Palestinian Arab refugees has arisen from the denial of their inalienable rights under the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."[45]

The "Question of Palestine" was added to the agenda of the twenty-ninth session of the U.N. in 1974 and has remained there ever since. Resolution 3210 (XXIX) invited the PLO to participate in General Assembly deliberations. Resolution 3236 (XXIX) recognized the "inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people" and reaffirmed "the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return."[46] This further codified repatriation—not resettlement—as the goal of the General Assembly and gave implicit instructions to UNRWA to oppose resettlement.

Support for the Palestinian national project also became an explicit U.N. goal. In 1975, General Assembly resolution 3375 recognized the PLO as the "representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in all efforts, deliberations, and conferences on the Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations, on an equal footing with other parties."[47] The same day, resolution 3376 created the "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People" to oversee "a programme of implementation to enable the Palestinian people to exercise the rights" articulated in resolution 3236, empowering it to "establish contact with, and to receive suggestions and proposals from, any State and intergovernmental regional organization and the Palestine Liberation Organization."[48] Also passing that day was the infamous resolution 3379, which among other things, "Determines that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination."[49]

U.N. Institutions in Support of the Palestinians. As if to add insult to injury, the U.N. committed a full range of institutional resources to the Palestinian national cause and against Israel. Led by the Palestinians, the Arab League, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and abetted by an array of nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and government-organized NGOs, the U.N. system has become the foremost international setting for the delegitimization of Israel and the advancement of a "one state" solution (i.e., an Arab state in the whole of mandatory Palestine in which Jews would be reduced to a minority). UNRWA activities and statements cannot be viewed in isolation from this institutional and cultural environment. One prominent result has been the misrepresentation of resolution 194 as solely aimed at repatriation and compensation to the total exclusion of resettlement.

In 1977, General Assembly resolution 3240 created the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights within the U.N. Secretariat with the goal of the "greatest possible dissemination of information on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and on the efforts of the United Nations to promote the attainment of those rights."[50] Later renamed the Division of Palestinian Rights, this unit provides support to the "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," including international meetings, liaison with NGOs, creating and disseminating studies and bulletins, and training programs for the Palestinian Authority.

Beyond the Division of Palestinian Rights, the Palestinian refugee problem has been addressed by the General Assembly's Fourth Committee, or the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, which deals with "a variety of subjects which include those related to decolonization, Palestinian refugees and human rights, peacekeeping, mine action, outer space, public information, atomic radiation, and University for Peace."[51] At least half of the Fourth Committee's agenda relates to the Palestinian refugees.

Support for the Palestinian cause is also given through other U.N. organs, such as the United Nations Development Programme, and through specialized agencies such as UNESCO, which has served as an especially important arena for anti-Israeli activities, as well as the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Other U.N. entities have taken direct interest in the refugees and the conflict, including UNICEF, which was active in refugee relief from 1948 onward. The Economic and Social Council admitted the PLO as an observer in 1975, and in 1977, made "assistance to the Palestinian people" a part of its mandate, along with human rights, and the rights of women and children. There is also the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, the Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, the various disengagement observer and truce forces, the Human Rights Committee and the Human Rights Council, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Committee on Jerusalem, the Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and others— more than fifty in all, including the Conciliation Commission for Palestine, which, in its sixty-fifth report to the General Assembly in 2010 "observes that it has nothing new to report."[52]

UNRWA and the Right of Return

At the beginning of the 1960s, UNRWA's view of resolution 194 and the right of return was clear. In his report for 1961, Director John Davis stated that it was not "surprising that the refugees still strongly demand the right of choice between repatriation and compensation held out to them by the United Nations under paragraph 11 of the General Assembly resolution 194 (III)—a right which has never been implemented."[53] This juxtaposition is significant; resolution 194 gave refugees a clear choice between repatriation and compensation.

By 1962, however, Davis had changed both his tone and approach. In his report, he noted that UNRWA had been frustrated "in sponsoring works projects to settle refugees" adding that
these undertakings have failed because they have been unacceptable to the people (refugee and non-refugee) indigenous to the region and to the Governments which represent them. It is the considered opinion of the Commissioner-General that these feelings of the Arab people run as deep today as at any time in the past, and therefore that, at least for as long as there is no substantial progress towards the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), UNRWA should not again attempt works projects designed to settle the refugees. From this experience one should not conclude that economic development is not wanted by the people of the region. On the contrary, it is wanted and at an accelerated rate but not in the context of refugee resettlement.[54]
Davis acknowledged that resettlement failed because of opposition from "the Arab people," presumably the Arab states, but pointed to their frustration over non-implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194 as the cause. This likely refers to the lack of repatriation. On this basis then, and with UNRWA's reorientation toward education underway, Davis ended works projects as a means of resettlement.

In the late 1960s, resolution 242 joined resolution 194 as one of UNRWA's touchstones. Also critical was Security Council resolution 237, which followed the 1967 Six-Day War and "[c]alls upon the Government of Israel to ensure the safety, welfare, and security of the inhabitants of the areas where military operations have taken place and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities."[55] This demand for 1967 refugees to be allowed to return was repeated in General Assembly resolution 2252 (ES-V)[56] while resolution 2443 established a "Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories" and also pointed to the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding the right of everyone to return to his own country."[57] Though this refers only to refugees who fled in 1967, it would become another foundation for the right of return for all refugees.

Indeed, during the 1970s, the concept of inalienable rights and the right of return began to influence UNRWA. One of the first appearances of the latter phrase is in the 1977 report by Commissioner-General Thomas McElhiney, who stated that since "1948, the General Assembly has annually recommended the return of the refugees to their original homes or the receipt of compensation in lieu thereof. The political significance of the mass displacement of human beings is obvious, particularly when the right of return and the right to restoration of their property are acknowledged by the international community."[58]

In the space of two sentences, McElhiney acknowledged the dichotomous meaning of resolution 194 and then discarded it. In his report for the following year, he omitted reference to resolution 194 altogether and stated: "The General Assembly annually recommends the return of the refugees to their original homes or the receipt of compensation in lieu thereof. The political significance of the mass displacement of human beings, particularly when the right of return and the right to restoration of their property are acknowledged by the international community, is obvious."[59] Curiously, the phrase never reappears in any commissioner-general report.

The right of return has been largely sustained by Palestinian and Western intellectuals since the late 1970s.[60] During the Oslo accords process, the PLO initially sought to deemphasize the concept as a means of strengthening its international standing, but it was dramatically reemphasized after 2000.[61] This coincided with the deliberate shift within UNRWA from top-down management to strategies of refugee consultation, participation, and political empowerment.[62] During this period, UNRWA also facilitated grassroots refugee committees, in opposition to the PLO, which pursued complete repatriation in place of a negotiated settlement.[63] In conjunction with the work of a new generation of Palestinian intellectuals, especially lawyers, operating outside the region, the right of return was placed at the center of the new, rights-based political agenda. UNRWA's policy of stakeholder participation and expanding mandates meshed perfectly with the spread of the rights-based approach. This, in turn, has influenced the agency itself, in terms of policy and rhetoric.

In structural terms as well, stakeholder participation and decentralization of planning, decision-making, and responsibility, along with the reality of some 30,000 Palestinian employees and a half billion dollar annual budget funded by the West, makes resettlement an unlikely prospect.[64] UNRWA appears inextricably rooted in Palestinian society.

Small wonder, therefore, that in the first decade of the twenty-first century, the right of return has become an integral part of UNRWA doctrine. In a 2008 press release, for example, Volker Schimmel, UNRWA project officer for the Neirab Rehabilitation Project in Syria, stated, "We want to allow Palestinians to live in dignity … Choosing not to live in misery does not mean that they will forfeit their right of return."[65] Filippo Grandi, UNRWA's deputy commissioner-general, was equally blunt when, with regard to the same housing project, he stated at a conference at Bir Zeit University: "The project has broken many traditional taboos: For the first time all stakeholders have agreed that improving living conditions did not compromise the right of return."[66]

In a 2011 interview, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness made the same point: "Established principles and practice—as well as realities on the ground—clearly refute the argument that the right of return of Palestine refugees would disappear or be abandoned if UNHCR were responsible for these refugees."[67] The expression is also used in the UNRWA medium term strategy document.[68] Leila Hilal, former legal advisor to the Palestinian Negotiations Department and the Palestinian negotiations team at Annapolis and subsequently senior policy advisor to the UNRWA commissioner-general (now on the staff of the New America Foundation), opined that the right of return and the "principle of refugee choice" are absolute prerequisites, even if situated within a "menu of permanent destination choices" as envisioned by U.S. president Bill Clinton in a 2000 proposal to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.[69]

These and similar statements are significant; at one level, they reach the press and grassroots, reassuring the refugees of UNRWA's commitment to the right of return.[70] At another, they reach Palestinian and Arab intellectuals who carry on the nationalist project through education, NGO action, and in international settings. Pressure on UNRWA from groups such as the Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition[71] also put demands on the agency from the rights-based legal paradigm, as well as the right of return and boycott, divestment, and sanctions paradigms.

UNRWA's senior leadership has been coyer, if no less committed. In a 2008 lecture at Oxford University, Commissioner-General Karen Koning AbuZayd claimed that on "questions such as the right of return, for example, there is fear that the preference, if left to refugees, would be for a return en masse. From my own experience with other groups of refugees, I can say that refugees often surprise us with the wisdom of their choices—if, that is, we enable and empower them to choose." Yet her assertion that "for sixty years, Palestine refugees have been in exile from their ancestral lands" can only be interpreted as an endorsement of the right of return, whether in a broad or limited sense.[72]

Commissioner-general Peter Hansen was less equivocal when he argued in a 2004 lecture, regarding the return of refugees to their homes in other conflict zones: "Rightly or wrongly, the Palestine refugees view this difference in approach as a double standard in the application of international law. This perception of a double standard must end if international law is to retain its meaning and relevance in the Middle East as a whole."[73]

Conclusions

UNRWA's ever-expanding mandates, operations and responsibilities, rhetoric, and institutional culture all work against resettlement. As a result, the right of return has been inculcated as part of UNRWA's culture at all levels and has been rationalized through the rights-based approach. 

UNRWA can thus be expected to oppose any negotiated settlement that does not contain the right of return in some explicit form, not least since only its parent organization, the General Assembly, has "a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy."[74] This arrogation represents another impediment to the question of UNRWA and the fate of the Palestine Arab refugees as well as to peace as a whole. 

Alex Joffe is a Shillman/Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a New York-based writer on history and international affairs. His website is www.alexanderjoffe.net.

[1] U.N. General Assemble (UNGA) res. 194 (III), Dec. 11, 1948, para. 11.
[2] Ibid.
[3] See, for example, G.J. Boling, Palestinian Refugees and the Right of Return: An International Law Analysis, Information and Discussion Brief, Issue No. 8, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem, Jan. 2001.
[4] UNGA res. 302 (IV), Dec. 8, 1949, para. 5.
[5] UNGA res. 393 (V), Dec. 2, 1950.
[6] See, for example, minutes of the meeting of UNRWA representatives, Oct. 20 and Oct. 22, 1951, "The Role of the AFSC in Refugee Reintegration," U.S. National Archives, Record Group 59, textual records from the Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs, Office of Near Eastern Affairs (1951-1958), ARC identifier 2558731 / MLR, no. A1 1437, UNRPR.
[7] Report of the director, UNRWA, July 1, 1956-June 30, 1957, UNGA A/3686, para. 6.
[8] Report of the director, UNRWA, July 1, 1958-June 30, 1959, UNGA A/4213, para. 6.
[9] Report of the director, UNRWA, July 1, 1957-June 30, 1958, UNGA A/3931, para. 5.
[10] Report of the director, UNRWA, July 1, 1959-June 30, 1960, UNGA A/4478, para. 13.
[11] Maya Rosenfeld, "From Emergency Relief Assistance to Human Development and Back: UNRWA and the Palestinian Refugees, 1950-2009," Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2-3 (2009): 298-9.
[12] Benjamin N. Schiff, Refugees unto the Third Generation: UN Aid to Palestinians (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995), p. 29, table 2.2; ibid., p. 302.
[13] "UNRWA Programmes: Education," UNRWA website, Jan. 1, 2012.
[14] Jalal al-Husseini, "UNRWA and the Palestinian Nation-Building Process," Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 2000, pp. 53-4, 56-7; Nadia Latif, "Space, Power and Identity in a Palestinian Refugee Camp," REVUE Asylon(s), Sept. 2008.
[15] Riccardo Bocco, "UNRWA and the Palestinian Refugees: A History within History," Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2-3 (2009): 236, 239-40.
[16] "Political Program for the Present Stage Drawn Up by the 12th PNC, Cairo, June 9, 1974," Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1974, p. 224.
[17] Aaron D. Pina, "Palestinian Education and the Debate over Textbooks," Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C., RL32886, Apr. 27, 2005; Arnon Groiss, "Teaching 'The Right of Return' in UNRWA Schools," Center for Near East Policy Research, Jerusalem, 2011.
[18] Rosenfeld, "From Emergency Relief," pp. 316-7.
[19] Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, UNHCR, 1951 and 1967, UNGA res. 2198 (XXI), art. 1-D, p. 16; see, also, "Note on the Applicability of Article 1D of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees to Palestinians Refugees," UNHCR, Oct. 2, 2002.
[20] Brenda Goddard, "UNHCR and the International Protection of Palestinian Refugees," Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2-3 (2009): 475-510; Jalal al-Husseini and Riccardo Bocco, "The Status of the Palestinian Refugees in the Near East: The Right of Return and UNRWA in Perspective," Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2-3 (2009): 260-85, for a discussion of "positive discrimination" against Palestine Arab refugees by Arab League states as a means of preserving national identity and the right of return.
[21] Interim report of the director, UNRWA, Oct. 6, 1950, UNGA A/1451/Rev.1, para. 15.
[22] Special report of the director, Advisory Commission of UNRWA, June 30, 1954, UNGA A/2717/Add.1, para. 19.
[23] Special report of the director, UNRWA, Oct. 15, 1955, concerning other claimants for relief, UNGA A/2978/Add. 1, para. 20.
[24] James G. Lindsay, "Fixing UNRWA: Repairing the UN's Troubled System of Aid to Palestinian Refugees," Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, D.C., Jan. 2009, pp. 16-7; "Memorandum from the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs (Talbot) to Secretary of State Rusk: Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1964-1967," Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, U.S. Department of State, para. 73, June 15, 1964, attachment, "Possible U.S. Initiatives on Arab-Israel Issues in 1964–65," para. 4.
[25] Report of the commissioner-general, UNRWA, July 1, 1964-June 30, 1965, UNGA A/6013, paras. 21, 25.
[26] Schiff, Refugees unto the Third Generation, pp. 53-4.
[27] Report of the commissioner-general, UNRWA, July 1, 1970-June 30, 1971, UNGA A/8413, fn. 1.
[28] "Who Are Palestine Refugees?" UNRWA website, accessed June 27, 2012.
[29] Gender discrimination does apply against registered refugee women who marry non-refugees and thereby lose their status. See Christine Cervenak, "Promoting Inequality: Gender-Based Discrimination in the UNRWA's Approach to Palestine Refugee Status," Human Rights Quarterly, May 1994, pp. 300-74.
[30] Report of the commissioner-general, UNRWA, Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2007, UNGA A/64/13 (Supp. 13), July 31, 2008, para. 4.
[31] Ibid., para. 2, 3.
[32] Lance Bartholomeusz, "The Mandate of UNRWA at Sixty," Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2-3 (2009): 462.
[33] Scott Custer, Jr., "United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA): Protection and Assistance to Palestine Refugees," in Susan M. Akram, et al., eds., International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, A Rights-based Approach to Middle East Peace (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 45-68.
[34] UNGA res. 37/120, Dec. 16, 1982, para. J-1.
[35] Report submitted to the Security Council by the secretary-general, UNRWA, Jan. 21, 1988, UNSC S/19443, C-28.
[36] UNGA res. 62/104, Dec. 5, 2007.
[37] Bartholomeusz, "The Mandate of UNRWA at Sixty," pp. 466-7.
[38] Nicholas Morris, "What Protection Means for UNRWA in Concept and Practice," Mar. 31, 2008, p. 4, 9.
[39] For the operational dimensions of UNRWA's protections, see Mark Brailsford, "Incorporating Protection into UNRWA Operations," paper presented at the Policy and Governance in Palestinian Camps Conference, sponsored by UNRWA and the Issam Fares Institute for International Affairs, American University of Beirut, Oct. 8-9, 2010.
[40] Morris, ""What Protection Means," p. 3.
[41] UNGA res. 1514 (XV), Dec. 14, 1960.
[42] UNGA res. 2588 (XXV), Dec. 15, 1969.
[43] UNGA res. 2649 (XXV), Nov. 30, 1970.
[44] UNGA res. 2535 (XXV), Dec. 8, 1970.
[45] UNGA res. 2672 (XXV), Dec. 8, 1970.
[46] UNGA res. 3236 (XXIX), Nov. 22, 1974.
[47] UNGA res. 3375 (XXX), Nov. 10, 1975.
[48] UNGA res. 3376 (XXX), Nov. 10, 1975.
[49] UNGA res. 3379 (XXX), Nov. 10, 1975.
[50] UNGA res. 32/40 (A+B), Dec. 2, 1977.
[51] "Special Political and Decolonization," UNGA, Fourth Committee, accessed June 29, 2012.
[52] Report of the U.N. Conciliation Commission for Palestine, UNGA A 66/296, Aug. 12, 2011.
[53] Report of the commissioner-general, UNRWA, July 1, 1960-June 30, 1961, UNGA A/4861, para. 9.
[54] Report of the commissioner-general, UNRWA, July 1, 1961-June 30, 1962, UNGA A/5214, para. 12.
[55] U.N. Security Council res. 237, June 14, 1967.
[56] UNGA res. 2252 (ES-V), July 4, 1967.
[57] UNGA res. 2443 (XXIII), Dec. 16, 1968.
[58] Report of the commissioner-general, UNRWA, July 1, 1976-June 30, 1977, UNGA A/32/13 (Supp), para. 2. Note McElhiney's candor regarding UNRWA's "quasi-governmental responsibilities," para. 13.
[59] Report of the commissioner-general, UNRWA, July 1, 1977-June 30, 1978, A/33/13 (Supp.), para. 3.
[60] See, for example, Kurt Rene Radley, "The Palestinian Refugees: The Right to Return in International Law," American Journal of International Law, July 1978, pp. 586-614; Donna E. Arzt and Karen Zughaib, "Return to the Negotiated Lands: The Likelihood and Legality of a Population Transfer between Israel and a Future Palestinian State," New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, 4 (1991–92): 1399-1513; John Bernard Quigley, "Repatriation of the Displaced Arabs of Palestine: The Legal Requirement as Seen from the United Nations," Ohio State public law working paper, no. 60, Moritz College of Law, Apr. 2006.
[61] Ghada Hashem Talhami, Palestinian Refugees: Pawns to Political Actors (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2003), pp. 190-211; Jalal al-Husseini, "Visions palestiniennes du 'droit au retour' des réfugiés, sept ans après le début dela seconde Intifada (2000-2007)," a contrario, 1 (2008): 6-22.
[62] Terry Rempel, "UNRWA and the Palestine Refugees: A Genealogy of Participatory Development," Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2-3 (2009): 424-6.
[63] See, for example, Jalal al-Husseini, "The Future of UNRWA: A Palestinian Perspective, in The Final Status Negotiations on the Refugee Issue: Positions and Strategies (Ramallah: Department of Refugee Affairs, Palestine Liberation Organization, 2000), pp. 101–12; "Palestinian Refugees and the Politics of Peacemaking," International Crisis Group Middle East Report, no. 22, Feb. 5, 2004.
[64] "Organisational Effectiveness Assessment, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East," vol. 1, Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network, Dec. 2011, p. 3.
[65] "UNRWA Embarks on Large-scale Camp Rehabilitation with Support of UAE Red Crescent Society," Refugee Stories, UNRWA, Aleppo, Apr. 2008.
[66] Filippo Grandi, deputy commissioner-general, UNRWA, "UNRWA: Present Dilemmas and Future Prospects," International Workshop, The Palestinian Refugees: A Comparative Approach, Law Institute, Bir Zeit University, West Bank, Mar. 15, 2008.
[67] Chris Gunness, UNRWA spokesman, "Exploding the myths: UNRWA, UNHCR and the Palestine refugees," interview, Ma'an News Agency, Jerusalem, June 27, 2011.
[68] UNRWA Medium Term Strategy 2010-2015, UNRWA, para. 105, accessed June 29, 2012.
[69] Leila Hilal, "Peace Prospects and Implications for UNRWA's Future: An International Law Perspective," paper presented at the Policy and Governance in Palestinian Camps conference, sponsored by UNRWA and the Issam Fares Institute for International Affairs, American University of Beirut, Oct. 8-9, 2010, p. 9.
[70] See Husseini and Bocco, "The Status of the Palestinian Refugees in the Near East," pp. 275-6, fig. 1, 3; Riccardo Bocco, et al., Palestinian Public Perceptions on Their Living Conditions, The Role of International and Local Aid during the Second Intifada, Report V (Geneva: Graduate Institute of Development Studies, University of Geneva, Dec. 2002), pp. 134-6, figs. 6.20, 6.21.
[71] "Final Statement: Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition-10th Annual Meeting, Beirut, Dec. 5-11, 2010," BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem.
[72] Karen Koning AbuZayd, "Palestine Refugees in Their 60th Year: Issues of Human Rights," Public Policy and International Law Conference, Oxford University, Nov. 27, 2008.
[73] Peter Hansen, "UNRWA's Operational Environment and the Role of International Law," Steinkraus-Cohen International Law Lecture, London School of Economics, Apr. 28, 2004.
[74] UNGA res. 57/107, Dec. 3, 2002.

Alexander H. Joffe

Source: http://www.meforum.org/3350/unrwa-resettlement

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