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Daniel Pipes is president and founder of the Middle East Forum and has authored 12 books., He is considered one of the world’s foremost analysts on the Middle East and Muslim history. He warned of militant Islam's war with the USA years before 9.11 and called Arafat's bluff at Oslo.
In the words of a veteran Washington hand, the problem of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main UN agency dealing with Palestinians, is always important but never urgent.
Well, it just became urgent.
That's because President Trump tweeted "with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" Then, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley added that the U.S. government is prepared to cut off funds to UNRWA. And, Axios reported, a U.S. payment of $125 million was not delivered (though that was later denied).
American - Taxpayer - UNRWA - Donor - Expenses
The American taxpayer is UNRWA's largest donor, paying in $370 million in 2016. Few expenses would be more satisfying to cut from the federal budget, for UNRWA has a long record of misbehavior: incitement against Israel, supporting violent attacks on Jews, corruption, and perpetuating (rather than ending) the refugee problem. Not surprisingly, many attempts have been made in Congress to cut its funding. But, as Steven J. Rosen documented with regard to ten initiatives in the years 1999-2014, every one of them ended in failure because of Israeli government opposition.
Because of what, you ask? Yes, contrary to what one might expect, the Government of Israel wanted continued U.S. payments to UNRWA, fearing that their termination might cause a new intifada, the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, or renewed warfare with Hamas. Also, Jerusalem sees UNRWA as a lesser evil than alternative recipients of the money, such as the PA.
Perhaps this time, with...
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