A World Without UNRWA?
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Israeli calls to withdraw funds to the Agency or even dismantle it should cause concern. Sadly, today the Palestinian leadership no longer has the unity and therefore the clout it had in earlier times, when it could both hold UNRWA accountable and defend it from external assaults. It is distracted by its diplomatic activities and the schism between Hamas and Fatah that shows no signs of abating.
What would the world do, if Israel or indeed any of the Arab countries were to dismantle UNRWA? Refugees have come to regard it as the symbol of their rights; it is also a source of livelihood for many of the most impoverished among them. Palestinians should safeguard this legacy to ensure that the Agency, its identity and mission, will not be hijacked by those who caused their displacement.
Randa Farah is a policy advisor of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, and an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario who has written widely on Palestinian, Sahrawi, and other refugee communities.