“Leave politics,” on Memorial Day, Netanyahu


after few days US funding resumes As for the struggling UN agency that manages Palestinian refugees and their descendants, the Biden administration says it has a commitment to UNRWA’s “zero tolerance” of anti-Semitism, racism or discrimination.

“UNRWA has made clear its strong commitments to the United States regarding transparency, accountability, and neutrality in all of its operations,” a senior US official said in an interview at the weekend, describing the process that led to the administration. Announcing the resumption of funding for the agency. “What neutrality means in the UN context is zero tolerance for racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism.”

The official said the resumption of aid is in line with the Biden administration’s policy of promoting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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An UNRWA spokesman did not respond on Monday afternoon to a request for comment from the Jewish Telegraph Agency.

UNRWA has been plagued for years by reports of mismanagement and anti-Semitic content in the textbooks the Agency uses in the school it runs.

Palestinian students receive new textbooks in the classroom on the first day of the new academic year at an UNRWA school in Beirut, Lebanon, September 3, 2018. (Hussein Malla / AP)

Biden, the administration official, who requested anonymity to speak frankly, called the JTA. The call was in line with what had become the Biden administration’s practice: rolling back the Trump administration’s policies favored by Israel, but bringing about change with promises and actions that would guarantee Israel the country’s support. united. A similar dynamic is unfolding as the administration attempts to enter into the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

President Donald Trump ended aid to UNRWA in 2018. Trump administration officials said that the agency’s principle, treating millions of Palestinians as refugees, perpetuates the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This was the assertion of the US ambassador to Israel, Gilad Erdan, in an extraordinary rebuke from the Biden administration when the $ 150 million aid was announced.

Biden launched a campaign to compensate UNRWA on humanitarian grounds and restore American influence in the region.

In January, the Institute for the Monitoring of Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, an oversight body, reported that UNRWA books are “full of problematic content that conflicts with the stated values ​​of the United Nations.”

Illustrative: In this photo taken on May 26, 2019, a teacher supervises Palestinian students while taking a final exam on the last day of the school year at the UNRWA Children’s School in Hebron, Hebron, West Bank. (AP Photo / Nasser Nasser)

A Biden official acknowledged that there were “significant” examples of anti-Semitism in textbooks. However, the official said, the Biden administration rejected the principle that designating descendants of Palestinian refugees as refugees perpetuated the conflict. The official said the refugee problem would be addressed as part of the two-state solution, which was the ultimate goal of the Biden administration.

Israel, which has resisted Biden’s criticism in its first months, denounced the aid of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA, which provides housing, schools and other care to more than six million Palestinians. And their offspring.

“We believe that this UN agency for the so-called” refugees “should not be in its current form, Erdan said.

Israel maintains that the education provided by the UN-supported schools includes incitement to hatred the Jewish state.

“I have expressed my disappointment and rejection of the decision to renew funding for UNRWA without first guaranteeing that certain reforms will be undertaken, including ending incitement and removing anti-Semitic content from its educational program,” Erdan said.

However, Israel has long lobbied for the closure of UNRWA, arguing that it helps perpetuate the conflict with the Palestinians by granting refugee status to the descendants of those who were initially displaced during the war for independence. Israel 1948.

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