Expressing the sense of Congress that the United Nations should take immediate steps to improve the transparency and accountability of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in the Near East to ensure that it...

January 28, 2009
January 28, 2009
Referred to House (sub)committee

31 cosponsors.

Urges the secy. of state to “take all necessary measures” to certify that UNRWA operates in full compliance with the Foreign Assistance Act and “therefore, no American taxpayer dollars are being directed to terrorists or to further terrorist propaganda.” Calls on UNRWA to publish online all educational materials used in UNRWA-administered schools. Urges UNRWA to implement screening procedures “that would help to ensure that UNRWA staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries are neither terrorists themselves, nor affiliated with known terrorist organizations.”

“UNRWA transparency” along with sanctions against Iran, and restricting U.S. aid to the Palestinians, was a major priority of the Zionist Organization of America’s 26 March 2009 “Mission to Washington, DC” lobbying effort. Addressing hundreds of ZOA activists taking part in the mission, Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) said of this resolution that she “was delighted when my colleagues Mark Kirk and Steve Rothman introduced it – but first I called Mort [Klein, ZOA National President] to make sure it was strong enough before I signed on” as one of the resolution’s 31 cosponsors.

See also: related measures H.R. 557 of 1/15/09 and H.R. 2475 of 5/19/09 for efforts to restrict U.S. contributions to UNRWA; and H.R. 2346 of 5/12/09 and H.R. 3288 of 7/22/09 for requirements for the secy. of state to report on UNRWA activities.

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