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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The Near East and Africa
(1951)

The Near and Middle East: multilateral relations,   pp. 1-342 PDF (132.2 MB)


Page 63


     GENERAL U.S. POLICIES IN THE NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST         63
atmosphere in their own interest and to the immediate benefit of ref-
ugees concerned, by settling a recognized obligation with little actual
sacrifice on their part.
  4. Arab-Israeli negotiations, either directly or through the Palestine
Conciliation Commission, for settlement of other outstanding ques-
tions cannot be expected before there has been some evident progress
toward solution of the refugee problem, with reasonable assurance of
continuance of effective efforts toward its final settlement.
   United Nations Relief & Works Agency for Palestine Refugees9
   5. The hard core of approximately 800,000 refugees, on relief and.
 in temporary shelter, constitutes a serious threat to stability, and an
 important impediment to peace between the Arab states and Israel.
 On a minimum basis, these refugees cost the international community
 $25 million a year for relief.
   6. Reintegration of 800,000 refugees is a major economic enterprise
 of the order of several hundred million dollars of economic invest-
 ment over a period of perhaps five years. The Agency can spearhead
 the task through direct reintegration, especially in rural areas, financed
 by international funds. Many refugees of urban background and spe-
 cial skills should be picked up in a program of general economic
 development financed through other funds.
   7. The United Nations has endorsed a program of reintegration,
 and the Arab states, notably Syria, finally have agreed to cooperate.
 However, the capacity of the Near Eastern countries to contribute
 to such a program is limited, and they desire some indication of ade-
 quate and sustained financial assistance.
   8. Reintegration should be approached as an economic undertaking
 and service to the refugees, and political issues should be kept to a
 minimum. There is great need to prepare the minds of 600,000 refugees
 to move from present locations near Palestine to new countries, new
 climates and new economies, and to encourage their acceptance by the
 public of the countries to which they must move.
 B. Recommendations
   Palestine Conciliation Commission
   1. The Commission should direct its efforts through its new office
   and its compensation committee toward clarification of the attitude
   of the Government of Israel as regards repatriation, and toward de-
   termination of a reasonable compensation total and a proposal of the
   basis and procedure for compensation payments. The Commission
   should make every effort to get Israel to make maximum concessions
   in both of these respects. These efforts should be expedited to provide
   9 For further documentation on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
   for Palestinian Refugees, see pp. 559 if.


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