In mid-January, President Trump announced the United States will withhold $65 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Welfare Agency (UNRWA). Last Wednesday, the European Union (EU) pledged $52.8 million to the Palestinian relief agency.
Among the objectives of the United Nations is to provide humanitarian aid to nations in need. In fact, they established the United Nations Relief Agency to assist refugees just after World War I. But, a new relief organization, UNRWA, was created specifically for “Palestinian refugees” in 1949. (Today, 5 million Palestinians claim “refugee” status. Interesting, since there are far fewer Palestinians than that in Israel!) The Palestinians are the only people group with a UN relief agency dedicated specifically to them.
Through the years, billions of dollars have been funneled through UNRWA for the purpose of providing humanitarian aid (food, schools, hospitals, etc) to the Palestinian people. Relatively little of it reaches them because corruption within the Palestinian Authority diverts those funds to things such as weaponry and terror tunnels.
In addition, Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have gone on for decades, focusing on a “two-state solution.” Yet, peace talks have stalled each time when Palestinian negotiators consistently refuse to recognize or acknowledge a Jewish state, begging the question: do they really want a two-state solution, or do they want the entire state to themselves?
While Israel has consistently committed to peace negotiations, and even to conceding land, the Palestinians have refused on at least seven occasions, going instead to the world media to convince the world how mistreated they are.
It was for those reasons that President Trump authorized withholding of funds to UNRWA, in an attempt to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. By contrast, Europe, which has bought into the Palestinian narrative, has stepped in to become the PA’s knight in shining armor. They will step up to fill the gap left by the Americans…and will further enable the Palestinians to continue stealing from their own citizens to perpetuate terror from the Gaza Strip.
Understand, dear Christian friends, that the Palestinians are people just like you and me. Furthermore, God created them in His image, just as He did us, and He died for their sins, just as He did ours. In fact, did you know they (and other Arab people) were present at Pentecost? Thus, the entire scenario is very complicated. Let’s pray for the Palestinian people. It doesn’t mean we agree or condone the PA sucking the life out of their people. The PA needs to be held accountable…perhaps even by withholding funds. But prayers for the people tug at the heart of God, and He is unlimited in ways to pour out His love and grace. So let’s stand in the gap for those who are suffering in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, asking the Lord to provide in ways only He can so they come to see Him as the One True God!