Sunday, May 15, 2016

Putting their "nakba" in perspective - by Arnold Roth

...As news coverage focuses today on the Palestinian day of catastrophe, spend a moment pondering how large that catastrophe truly is, how little chance there is of it being reversed by the Arabs (among the resource-richest states on earth), how small is the incentive for them to stop this endless cash-fest, how often all of this is used to justify acts of savagery and bigotry, and - finally - who, in reality, brought them into the morass in which they find themselves today.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
15 May '16..

Israelis joyously and thankfully marked 68 years of renewed independence, massive economic advancement and attainment on all fronts this past Thursday. The Palestinian Arabs call the same process "catastrophe".

Much of the economic fuel for both of the two Palestinian Arab statelets - the one ruled by the PLO and Mahmoud Abbas from Ramallah; the other by Hamas in Gaza - comes not from industrial growth, not from economic progress, not from anything self-generated by them in the past 68 years. It comes, tragically, from a two-edged sword: massive gifts via foreign aid and cradle-to-grave support from a UN-created refugee agency, UNRWA.

Many billions of dollars/euros are represented by that last sentence - more money is spent on this particular cluster of self-proclaimed, humiliation-averse refugees per capita than on any other refugee group in history - by far.

Among the numerous aspects of UNRWA's odd and highly problematic existence that make it exceptional and peculiar is that it serves only the people called the Palestinian Arabs.

Many otherwise well-informed people fail to notice that every other refugee on earth has to turn to a different UN agency, UNHCR, operating according to a completely different set of rules and principles. Only the people who say they are the Palestinian Arabs are served by UNRWA. (Why this is so, and what it means in practice, is part of an astonishing narrative that needs a separate post.)

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