CIAC Co-Chair Rep. Lamborn Calls for Declassification of Obama Era UNWRA Report

Congressional Israel Allies Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Doug Lamborn and Member Rep. Jeff Duncan sent a letter to President Trump requesting declassification of an Obama era report on US aid to UNRWA, the UN Agency that was created to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees. The letter states in part, "America has provided $1 billion to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) over the last four fiscal years, and nearly $6 billion since UNRWA’s inception in 1950. We remain deeply concerned that hard-earned American taxpayer dollars are not being used properly."

The letter continues:
"The issue of the so-called Palestinian “right of return” of 5.3 million refugees to Israel as part of any “peace deal” is an unrealistic demand, and we do not believe it accurately reflects the number of actual Palestinian refugees."

Press Release:

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) led a letter with over 20 Members of Congress calling on President Trump to declassify a report to Congress detailing the “approximate number of people who...have received United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) services. These services include those whose place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948 and who were displaced as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict and those who are descendants of these individuals.” In 2015, the Obama State Department delivered the mandated report to Congress in a classified form despite zero risk to our national security.

Congressman Lamborn issued the following statement:

“I am grateful for Rep. Duncan's work with me on this important issue. American taxpayers deserve access to this important information so that they can make informed decisions. This is a political over-classification of information by State Department bureaucrats which has nothing to do with national security but may expose some embarrassing truths about one of their pet issues. That is why I am calling on President Trump to declassify a report from the Obama Administration on the number of displaced Palestinians during the Arab-Israeli conflict. The so-called ‘Palestinian right to return’ is not a necessary precursor for any peace deal. The President, through the Abraham Accords, has made historic strides for peace in the Middle East without pandering to this irrational Palestinian demand. I thank him for his commitment to reforming UNRWA and urge him to declassify this report. I am confident President Trump will make the right decision. He has been the most pro-Israel president in the history of either nation, and this declassification will only strengthen that legacy.”

Congressman Duncan issued the following statement:

“American taxpayers have a right to know where their money is going, particularly if it’s being used for fraud and corruption. I applaud President Trump for his work to support our great friend and ally, Israel, and for his efforts to withhold funds from UNWRA and expose institutionalized corruption at the United Nations. It’s now time to declassify this report so the American people are granted full transparency.”

Read the full letter here.