“We will not fail you…Your Dignity is Priceless”.

Palestine Update  171

“We will not fail you…Your Dignity is Priceless”.

“We want peace; we don’t like blood. But I want to ask you a question — if there is no hope, what do you think will happen?”

In the last few months, Donald Trump has managed to mess up history in the way only he can. Pompous and arrogant, slave driven by his Zionist Masters in Israel who are supported by their Zionist-Corporate sponsors in the USA, Trump has moved from his Jerusalem-is-capital decision to promising his son-in law’s deal of the century and now to his unintelligent assessment that UNRWA is a bad idea.The EU has firmly pledged to continue financial assistance and may even enlarge funding to the refugee agency if required. Several Arab states’ have pledged their support too. So we now have Israel and USA failing to garner big time support to destroy the lives of refugees and, through tacit means, take refugees off the peace process. This follows the sneaky manner in which the US has sought to lift Jerusalem off the list of issues from the final status talks.

The world has rejected this dim-witted change of mind with a resounding NO. Millions of Palestinian refugees “cannot simply be wished away”, the UNRWA chief stated. He slammed the US and dismissed the bald US allegation that UNRWA only perpetuates their plight.

In an open letter to Palestine Refugees and UNRWA staff, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbü, described the UNRWA as one few “robust and rewarding partnerships in the humanitarian and development fields”. He underlined his commitment to desist from negatively impacting the energy and passion UNRWA’s role and responsibility towards Palestine refugees despite the huge cut stemming from US withdrawal. He affirmed that the UNRWA does not pay mere lip service when it comes to the right to education, to empowering young girls, to developing critical thinking and teaching tolerance and human rights. “There is nothing artificial in our commitment to the preservation of opportunities and rights. We act concretely on these difficult front-lines, committed to upholding the integrity of our mandate and striving for high standards in our education, health, relief and social services and emergency response”.

Dismissing the insinuations about its capacities and credibility on account of credibility and transparency in operations, he asserted UNRWAs “commitment to accountability, strict and sound financial discipline, to setting priorities and acting decisively when the Agency’s neutrality is challenged”. He recalled how UNRWA achieved remarkable results in terms of diversification and expanding partnerships and highlighted how o the 30 donors have given additional contributions to UNRWA’s core and emergency activities this year and those who have signed new multi-year agreements.

He recalled UNRWA’s very foundations: “The need for humanitarian action arises from the extreme violence, pain, suffering and injustice caused by war. In the case of Palestine refugees, this was caused by forced displacement, dispossession, loss of homes and livelihoods, as well as by statelessness and occupation. No matter how often attempts are made to minimize or delegitimize the individual and collective experiences of Palestine refugees, the undeniable fact remains that they have rights under international law and represent a community of 5.4 Million men, women and children who cannot simply be wished away”.

He assured the Palestine refugees: “We will not fail you. Our partnership with you is stronger than ever. Your Dignity is Priceless”.

Ranjan Solomon
For full text of UNRWA Chief’s letter:

Head of the Chechen Republic blasts US for halting Palestinian aid
US decision to end funding of the UN agency providing aid to Palestinians was proof that Washington did not care about ordinary people when it meddled in other nations’ affairs. “By imposing a ban on the support of the UNRWA [UN Relief and Works Agency] the US authorities have completely removed all masks and demonstrated that Washington is one of the participants of the Mideast conflict and not an unbiased intermediary working for Israel and Palestine,” the head of the Chechen Republic wrote in his Telegram messenger-blog. Ramzan Kadyrov emphasized that the part of the US State Department’s statement announcing that the money, previously used to help Palestinian refugees in many countries, will now be spent in accordance with the US national interests proved that Washington did not care about hunger, sickness and other disasters suffered by the Palestinian children. “How shall we understand the touching speeches in which American politicians mention humanism and human rights when at the same time Palestinian children lose the right for a decent life.”

Iran Raps US’ inhumane choice to cut funds for Palestine Refugees
A senior Iranian official has censured the US’ move to cut funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), saying the decision is yet another crime against the oppressed nation. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, an influential advisor to the Iranian Parliament Speaker, described the US move a “flagrant violation” of the rights of over five million Palestinian refugees. Amir-Abdollahian warned the US against the consequences its pro-Israel move will have for Palestinians, saying Washington must be held accountable for repercussions of the move which is against humanity and human rights.

The advisor said the US won’t be able to deny Palestinians their right to return to their homeland. “The US by no means is able to breach the Palestinian refugees’ right to return, which is a legitimate and well-known right, and the Palestinian nation will stand and resist until its legitimate right is restored,” he noted.

Venezuela rejects ‘despicable’ US decision
The government of Venezuela expressed, on Monday, their deep concern over the United States Trump administration’s decision to cut all funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The government of Venezuela issued a statement following the announcement by the US Trump administration saying that “such despicable measure may be the most biased and extreme ever taken by the United States since 1948 regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

“Far from contributing to the region’s stability, the US is jeopardizing millions of people by collectively punishing them, availing itself of its economic power…they show once again their contempt for the multilateral system and their commitment to unilateralism, which only guides us towards arbitrariness and the law of the strongest.” It went on to say: “Intending to oppress a worthy people through economic extortion they shall not defeat its desire for national liberation.”
UNRWA funding cut could close Palestinian schools within weeks
Except for a few anxious tears, the first day of class at Dheisheh Basic Girls School was an exuberant occasion. Teachers kissed each other on both cheeks. Teenagers in green-and-white striped smocks hugged. Younger girls — white rubber bands and bows keeping ponytails and braids tightly in place — held hands. Some of the smaller students looked set to topple over under the weight of shiny new “Frozen”-themed backpacks — clearly the favorite accessory in this refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But the future of the school and hundreds of others look uncertain from the end of this month.

Don’t befriend me for a day, and leave me a month. Don’t get close to me if you’re going to leave. Don’t say what you don’t do. Be close or get away.

 لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.

Mahmoud Darwish.