Commentary by Laurence F Sanford
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was complicit with Hamas in the Oct. 7, 2023, genocide and atrocities against Jews. The United States was also complicit by funding UNRWA, which in turn funds Hamas.
UNRWA-supported schools and textbooks teach children to hate Jews and that Israel has no legitimate right to exist.
By demonizing Jews and Israel, Palestinians are encouraged to commit violence and become martyrs. This hatred was manifested in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led invasion of Israel, where over 1200 Israelis were killed and 240 hostages taken. Gaza residents greeted the returning murderers as heroes. Not only did the Hamas terrorists kill women and children, they also raped and tortured. At least 31 Americans were killed, and eight are currently being held hostage.
When UNRWA began operations in 1950, it serviced 750,000 Palestinian refugees. Seventy years later, the total number of refugees is 5.9 million. Only UNRWA classifies descendants of refugees as refugees.
Over 13,000 U.N. employees are in Gaza, servicing its 2 million residents on a budget of $1.6 billion, In 2022, the United States voluntarily contributed $343,937,718 to UNRWA, followed by Germany with $202,054,285.The only Muslim nation contributors in the top ten were Saudi Arabia at $27,000,000 and Turkiye at $25,199,000. China, the world’s second-largest economy, did not make the top 20.
UNRWA was established in 1949 by a U.N. resolution to provide relief for 750,000 Muslim Arabs displaced by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Arab states demanded a dedicated refugee agency, as they feared if the Palestinians were in a broad refugee program, they would not receive proper attention. Also, by having a separate agency, the Muslim world could continually raise awareness of the plight of refugees in camps, the right to return to their 1947 homes, and the elimination of Israel.
Why did neighboring Arab nations not accept their fellow Muslim Arab brothers as citizens?
UNRWA is the only U.N. refugee agency devoted exclusively to one group of people. Other refugee groups are covered under the United Nations UNHCR agency or left to fend for themselves. The 820,000 Jews forced to leave their ancestral homes in the Middle East and North Africa after the 1948 war received no special refugee status. They were welcomed as Israeli citizens.
On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of a plan to partition the British Mandate of Palestine into two states — one Arab and one Jewish — and the City of Jerusalem.
Jews have lived in Judea, renamed by the Romans to Palestine, for thousands of years. The Jewish diaspora, or emigration of Jews to other lands, was both voluntary and forced. Persecution has been a feature of their history. In the late 1800s, the Zionist movement called for re-establishing their historic Jewish homeland in what was then ruled by the Turkish Ottoman Empire. After World War I, the British and the French dismembered the Turkish empire and created Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. Palestine was controlled under the British Mandate.
With the Nazi Holocaust genocide in World War II, where 6 million Jews were killed, Jews had the imperative to live in the security of their own country. The United Nations and the United States agreed.
Arabs vehemently opposed the establishment of a Jewish state. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, the Arab League nations of Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, and Syria launched an invasion of Israel to drive the Jews into the sea. The Jews were victorious, and 750,000 Muslim Arabs left the land either voluntarily or by force. 150,000 Muslim Arabs remained in Israel and now represent approximately 20% or 2 million of Israel’s 10 million citizens.
After the war, Gaza became part of Egypt, and the West Bank became part of Jordan. Subsequent wars followed, and Gaza eventually became a self-governing Palestinian territory. In 2007, Hamas won the election and has ruled since. There have been no elections since.
President Trump terminated U.S. funding to UNRWA in 2018 due to its support of Hamas activities which included:
- Employing Hamas terrorists who refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
- UNRWA schools and textbooks teaching hatred of Jews and the glories of martyrdom.
- UNRWA facilities, including some of the 35 hospitals in Gaza, storing weapons. Billions of dollars in aid have been knowingly diverted from social services into building weapons and tunnels for military purposes.
Why does the United States fund organizations and countries that hate America and Western Civilization? Why does UNRWA exist?
UNRWA approves and supports Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that is dedicated to hatred and elimination of the West and Israel. It is inconceivable that UNRWA, with 13,000 employees in Gaza, did not know of Hamas' activities.
The U.N. routinely passes resolutions condemning Israel yet never passes resolutions condemning Muslim atrocities. The most powerful voting bloc in the U.N. is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has 57 members. Between OIC countries and Marxist autocratic countries, America and other democracies are outnumbered and outvoted in the U.N.
China, the number one existential threat to America, supports Hamas. Included in its support is TikTok, which skews American youth down rabbit holes of Islamic support and anti-Americanism.
- Support Israel’s right to exist and to eliminate Hamas.
- Terminate funding to any organization or state that is an enemy of the U.S.
- Support organizations and states that are allied with U.S. interests.
- Invest in the building of the U.S. military and Gray Zone activities.
- Ban TikTok. It is a propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party.
Laurence Sanford graduated from Boston College and then served in the U.S. Navy Pacific fleet from 1963 to 1966. He then served as an officer in the clandestine service of the Central Intelligence Agency for over 4 years, including a two-year assignment in Hong Kong. Mr. Sanford serves as a Senior Analyst with the American Security Council Foundation and is also President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers — Florida Satellite Chapter.