UNRWA: “Peace Starts Here” website

Posted: October 25, 2010 by Rex Brynen in UNRWA

UNRWA has just launched a new information and fund-raising website, Peace Starts Here, which will feature “Fifteen lives. Fifteen refugee camps. Fifteen stories.” At the moment, four of the stories are available, from Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon. Each is told through short video clips. The videos are also available via UNRWA’s YouTube channel.

In addition to the website link above, you’ll find further information on the project here, and the first of the videos below.

  1. Danya Cohen says:

    Hi, Thanks for your informative posts. Can you address claims that UNRWA actually perpetuates the Palestinian refugee status within the Palestinain territories instead of helping to resolve it? I’m interested to hear your perspective on this. Thanks, Danya

  2. Rex Brynen says:


    I think the effects of UNRWA on “perpetuating” refugee status are marginal at best: refugees don’t need UN services to feel an injustice was done to them and their families in 1948. As evidence of this, refugees who don’t receive UNRWA services or who aren’t registered with UNRWA (such as those in Egypt, the Gulf, or the West) have similar attitudes to those who do fall under the Agency. Indeed, polls suggest that not only do refugees and non-refugees have broadly similar political views, but so to Palestinians in Israel (who have never had anything to do with the Agency, yet who overwhelming support refugee rights).

    Given that Israel itself was established on the basis of a historic claim of forced displacement that stretched back millennia, it doesn’t seem so surprising that Palestinian regard themselves as a displaced and dispossessed population after a mere 62 years….

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