Archive for December, 2013

Dec 8 2013

The UN’s Palestinian refugee agency is a farce

With much international media coverage, a photo exhibition called “The Long Journey” opened at the end of November in the old city of Jerusalem. A few dozen black and white images from the archives of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) will be on display until the end of January, when they will move on to Europe and North America.

These images of Palestinian refugees are part of a digital archive compiled by UNRWA, a project that was hailed by the agency’s commissioner general, Filippo Grandi, as “a contribution to building a national heritage for the Palestinians.” On UNRWA’s website, the exhibition is considered part of the Palestinian “collective memory” and “communal identity.”

While a photo exhibition in itself is hardly a problem, it serves nonetheless as an excellent example of the negative and non-constructive role that UNRWA—supposedly a neutral organization—plays in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Even the date chosen to launch the exhibition, Nov. 28, one day before the day commemorating the 1947 UN Partition Plan, is symbolic for the pro-Palestinian stance this UN body adopted. (more…)

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