For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: The international community typically aids in solving refugee problems on a humanitarian basis by assisting in absorbing the refugees in host countries. But the welfare of Palestinian refugees and their progeny of several generations has taken second place to their role as pawns in the ongoing struggle against the Zionist identity (aka Jewish state, aka Israel).
And that's where UNRWA comes in, helping to feed, cloth, educate, etc. these political pawns (with a payment system designed to encourage one of the highest birth rates in the world to help increase the number of Palestinian pawns) .
From an institutional standpoint its a win-win situation. After all, if the refugees, their children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren were formally absorbed then the folks making a career working for UNRWA would be unemployed.. ]
UNRWA Press Release UNRWA, New York 18 Sept 2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EMBARGOED UNTIL 14h30 GMT / 17h30 Jerusalem time
World leaders pay tribute To the United Nations Relief and Works Agency On its sixtieth anniversary
United Nations, 18 September 2009: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, has announced a week-long series of events beginning in New York next week to mark the 60th anniversary of its creation. These include the unveiling of a commemorative banner that will adorn the façade of the iconic UN General Assembly building by the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Deputy Secretary General, Asha-Rose Migiro.
The centrepiece of the week is a Ministerial Level Event on September 24 at which governments will pledge support for UNRWA and pay tribute to six decades of achievement and service to the world's largest and longest standing refugee population and to the Palestine refugees themselves.
In addition, there will be academic conferences at Columbia University and the Princeton Club on UNRWA's humanitarian role in current peace efforts and an assessment of the Agency's contribution to human capital in the Middle East.
The Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, commended UNRWA as a "symbol of the international community's determination to end the state of limbo the Palestine refugees endure", and praised the Agency's staff for its "dedication and courage". He is expected to warn of "painful" cuts in UNRWA services and call on the General Assembly to "look again" at its responsibilities and put the Agency on a firm financial foundation.
Looking forward to the High Level Event, UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen AbuZayd said, "This is an occasion for reflection on why after sixty years of exile and dispossession, millions of Palestine refugees remains stateless. With increasing talk about an emerging peace deal, let us all recommit ourselves to finding a peaceful solution in which the tragic situation of the refugees will be resolved". "This week is also an opportunity for UNRWA to tell the world about its achievements. The war in Gaza and our continued presence side by side with the people there may have raised some headlines. During this coming week we want to remind the world of the less-publicised work we do day in and day out for a refugee population larger than the populations of over a third of the UN's member states," said AbuZayd. "That is UNRWA's lasting contribution to peace".
UNRWA has published a commemorative book in which nearly one hundred statesmen and women pay tribute to its work. President Mahmoud Abbas praises the Agency for its role as a "stabilizing force" and commends UNRWA for "ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees by giving them "protection, hope and a sense of human dignity". The US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton, gives her support to the Agency, which has been confronting "difficult and challenging circumstances", working "tirelessly to ensure the dignity and human development of those they serve". Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan says, "We owe so much to UNRWA. Their selflessness and perseverance in the face of indescribable adversity have kept Palestine refugees alive for sixty years: healing their wounds, sustaining their bodies, nourishing their minds and giving them hope in their darkest hours".
UNRWA provides education to half a million children in approximately 650 schools across the Middle East and maintains 138 health centres in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. In addition, it runs extensive relief, social services and microfinance programmes in the region. .
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"