As many others have pointed out, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency should not exist nearly sixty years after it was brought into existence. A refugee organization specifically for Palestinians, it alone of its type has perpetuated a problem that should have disappeared. As I showed in "[UNRWA:] The Refugee Curse," the definition of a refugee differs for a Palestinian. Here is the UNRWA website on the topic of "Who Is a Palestine Refugee?":
Under UNRWA's operational definition, Palestine refugees are persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. UNRWA's services are available to all those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. UNRWA's definition of a refugee also covers the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948. The number of registered Palestine refugees has subsequently grown from 914,000 in 1950 to more than four million in 2002, and continues to rise due to natural population growth.
The part in bold is what separates Palestinian refugees from all others around the world.
For this and many other reasons, I believe that UNRWA has to be dismantled, and the quicker the better. This blog follows efforts to achieve that goal, starting with a PowerPoint presentation by Martin Sherman, "UNRWA vs UNHCR: The Tale of Two Organizations." In 37 slides, it makes a succinct case to close down this fetid institution. (March 1, 2008)
May 19, 2008 update: Asaf Romirowsky usefully argues to "Defund UNRWA" in the Washington Times today.