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B’nai Brith Denounces Canada’s Reported Restoration of UNRWA Funding

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Israeli soldiers patrolling near the UNWRA headquarters in Gaza (CBC News)

March 6, 2024

OTTAWA – B’nai Brith Canada is outraged by reports that the Federal Government has decided to restore funding to a United Nations (UN) agency while it remains under investigation for infiltration by Hamas terrorists.

B’nai Brith has long advocated for the Government to reconsider supporting the UN Refugees Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). We have been especially alarmed by evidence that its educational programs contribute to the radicalization of Palestinian youths by featuring materials glorifying violence and promoting terrorism.

Our concerns have become even more serious since Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7, 2023, attacks on Israel. Hundreds of UNRWA staffers are accused of participating in the widespread mass murders, rapes and torture of about 1,200 innocent Israeli civilians. At least one teacher employed by the agency is accused of helping the terrorists abduct and conceal some of the hundreds of Israelis taken hostage during the onslaught.

The UN is still investigating these claims, making Canada’s decision both highly unusual and profoundly disconcerting.

“The Government of Canada’s reported decision to resume funding UNRWA despite substantial evidence linking its members to kidnapping and other nefarious activities, is outrageous and indefensible,” said David Granovsky, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Government Relations. “We would like to have asked many questions about this troubling about-face, but unfortunately, they abruptly cancelled the press conference.”

B’nai Brith is seeking answers and calling on Ahmed Hussein, Canada’s Minister of International Development, to provide a detailed explanation of the Government’s position on UNRWA.

“By channeling more funds to such a problematic and irresponsible entity, Canada would be actively undermining international efforts to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future for both Israelis and Palestinians,” said Richard Robertson, B’nai Brith Canada’s Director of Research and Advocacy. “If these reports are true, we strongly urge the Government to reverse course. Our leaders must not allow our hard-earned tax dollars to be misused or worse, fall into the hands of terrorists.

“It is essential that our foreign aid is used to advance human dignity and justice, and not to promote antisemitism and bigotry.”