TEL AVIV – A leading Canadian Jewish group has expressed “concern” over the country’s recent announcement of up to $25 million in funding for a UN agency catering to Palestinian refugees that it deems “problematic and dangerous.”
“To turn over $25 million in aid to an agency that has supported the Palestinian Authority’s sustained campaign to rewrite Judeo-Christian history, incite violence and delegitimize the State of Israel shows a lack of accountability for Canadian taxpayer dollars,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, in response to Canada’s funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
B’nai Brith further demanded that the Canadian government “provide evidence” that the agency is no longer involved in incitement to terror.
Mostyn added that while “helping impoverished Palestinians in various Arab countries is certainly a positive, as many individuals do require assistance,” a new report showed that UNRWA “continues to facilitate anti-Semitism and the demonization of Israel. UNRWA’s highly politicized environment actually obstructs the best possible service to the Palestinians.”
Mostyn also said that the new government stipulation in which funds to any organizations that support terror activities would be suspended was commendable, but not enough.
“While the Government is introducing anti-terrorism provisions, which is commendable, there is no mention of preventing indoctrination and incitement, which frequently leads to violence. Incitement has been one of the primary complaints the world has had in regards to UNRWA, and it has not been addressed in Wednesday’s governmental announcement.”
The Canadian government said $20 million of the UNRWA funds will go towards supporting “education, health and livelihood” for Palestinian refugees, while the remaining $5 million will subsidize UNRWA’s Syria Emergency Appeal for Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon.
“Palestinian refugees deserve the right to be able to go to a school, receive proper health care and get other basic services,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s minister of international development. “Canada’s renewed engagement is part of our long-standing commitment to a more peaceful and stable region.”
Meanwhile, Breitbart Jerusalem reported on Sunday that President Donald Trump has pledged to retain the annual U.S. funding of $300 million to a UN agency for Palestinian refugees despite calls from Israel to shut it down, according to a recent report.
Palestinians categorized as refugees are the only refugees in the world who are able to pass their status on to their descendants – even if they are citizens of another country. This means that the original half million refugees now number five million. In addition, they are the only refugee group in the world to have a UN agency dedicated solely to them, with the rest of the world’s 65 million refugees coming under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Israel has called for UNRWA to be absorbed by the UNHCR after UNRWA discovered that underground terror tunnels built by Hamas were being dug beneath its schools in Gaza.
UNRWA has come under fire on many occasions both for spreading anti-Semitic hate in its schools and for employing members of terror organizations and supporters of terror. In February, UN Watch released an 130-page report exposing 40 UNRWA school employees in Gaza and elsewhere who engaged in incitement to terror against Israelis and expressed “anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.”
That month the agency also announced the suspension of an UNRWA employee suspected of having been elected a Hamas leader.
The UN itself released a report in 2015 that found Palestinian terror groups used three empty UN-run schools in Gaza as a weapons cache. Moreover, it said that in at least two cases terrorists “probably” fired rockets at Israel from the schools during the 50-day summer conflict in 2014 between Israel and Hamas.