American politicians question whether Palestinian refugees are even refugees

Yet more evidence that the American Congress is a) divorced from Middle East reality and b) damn keen to do the bidding of the most extreme Zionist and racist ideas by the Israel lobby (via The Cable):

Thirty U.S. senators… will vote today over whether there really are 5 million Palestinian “refugees” or just around 30,000 — a hot-button issue that has already become the subject of a vigorous international debate involving Israel and its Arab neighbors.

When the Senate Appropriations Committee takes up the fiscal 2013 State Department and foreign operations appropriations bill today, senators will vote on an amendment crafted by Sen.… Mark Kirk… (R-IL) that would require the State Department to report on how many of the millions of people currently supported by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) are actually people who were physically displaced from their homes in Israel or the occupied territories, and how many are descendants of original refugees.

The amendment is just a reporting requirement and doesn’t change the way the United States classifies refugees or how it gives more than $250 million annually to UNRWA, about a quarter of the agency’s budget. But a battle is already raging behind the scenes over what it might mean if the State Department started separating original Palestinian refugees from their descendants, and opponents of the Kirk amendment fear the end goal is to cut off U.N. aid to millions of Palestinians.

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