TEL AVIV — In a radio broadcast, Aaron Klein, Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter, slammed the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which ministers to so-called Palestinian refugees, for “distorting history” and perpetuating a “fake” refugee crisis as a threat to Israel.
“They have distorted the very concept of what a refugee is,” stated Klein. “The Palestinians and the Arab nations …working hand-in-hand with the United Nations … have fabricated history to manipulate the entire international community into believing that something called a Palestinian refugee even exists when it largely does not.”
Klein was speaking about his recent reporting on UNRWA on his Sunday night talk radio program, Aaron Klein Investigative Radio, broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia.
He addressed the issue at a time when the Trump administration has reportedly pledgedto continue providing the annual U.S. contribution of more than $300 million to UNRWA. The U.S. is UNRWA’s single largest donor.
Klein accused UNRWA of maintaining a “fake system called Palestinian refugees.”
Klein stated: “They have scandalously manipulated the very definition of a refugee. Because they know that the Palestinians’ main bargaining chip is the so-called refugees. Because if you have millions of Arabs, including those who long ago emigrated outside of Palestine, or (large numbers of) Palestinians living in these camps than that is the knife to Israel’s throat. If they have this so-called right of return than the Jewish state ceases to exist as a Jewish state because it would be overwhelmed by all these Palestinians.”
Klein charged that UNRWA defines a Palestinian “refugee” in a manner that is different from all other refugees, and does so in a way that sustains the “refugee” crisis instead of solving the problem by finding solutions for so-called Palestinian refugees.
The UNHRC, the international body that ministers to all refugees besides Palestinians, has a uniform definition of what a refugee is: “A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.”
In other words, the UNHRC defines a refugee as someone who was forced to flee his or her home and cannot return for fear of persecution.
UNRWA, however, defines a Palestinian “refugee” entirely differently. A Palestinian “refugee” is any person whose “normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”
So UNRWA counts as “refugees” any local Arab who lived in Palestine for as little as two years, knowing, Klein charged, that scores of Arabs immigrated to the area during those years in search of employment amid talks of creating a future Jewish state.
UNRWA states that “Palestine refugees are persons who fulfill the above definition and descendants of fathers fulfilling the definition.”
This means that even if original Palestinian “refugees” long ago immigrated to another country and became citizens of that country, they and their descendants are still considered “refugees” according to UNRWA, Klein pointed out.
The definition is in direct contrast to the Convention on Refugees, which dictates that a person who “has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality” is exempted from the status of refugee.
UNRWA’s definition of a “refugee” doesn’t mention UNHCR’s “well-founded fear of being persecuted.” Indeed, the Palestinians have no fear of being persecuted by Israel, and would not be considered a “refugee” under ordinary international criteria, Klein explained.
Klein also slammed the UN for maintaining a separate agency only for Palestinian “refugees,” while all other refugees are ministered by UNHCR.
Stated Klein: “Why does the United Nations have one agency that tends to every refugee on the face of the Earth other than Palestinians? And why do they need a separate agency only for Palestinians? The United Nations is complicit in all of these lies. The United Nations is complicit in all of this distortion. The United Nations is complicit in maintaining these so-called Palestinian refugees as a threat to the Jewish State and it is high time that we stop funding it. And so, I demand that the United States stop funding this fake refugee program.”