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Questionable Decision: Government to Provide up to $25-million to UNRWA

August 24, 2017

By Marty York
Chief Media Officer
B’nai Brith Canada

The Canadian Government announced Thursday that it will continue to supply support of up to $25-million to Palestinian refugees via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

B’nai Brith Canada continues to have serious concerns about UNRWA.

“Helping impoverished Palestinians in various Arab countries is certainly a positive, as many individuals do require assistance,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “However, according to a new report, UNWRA continues to facilitate antisemitism and the demonization of Israel. UNWRA’s highly-politicized environment actually obstructs the best possible service to the Palestinians.”

Mostyn said B’nai Brith will engage the Government on this issue. While he said the organization is pleased that the Government has introduced anti-terrorism provisions, he also said it remains concerned about the prevention of indoctrination and incitement, which frequently lead to violence.

Incitement has been one of the primary complaints the world has had in regards to UNRWA. There have been reports that financial aid from UNRWA in the past has been redirected to Hamas, a notorious terrorist organization determined to destroy Jews and Israel.

B’nai Brith has made its concerns known to the Government.

“While we appreciate the enhanced due-diligence process announced by the Government for UNRWA funding, we have yet to be convinced that this has led to neutrality within the agency and its operation,” Mostyn said.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, said in a statement that Canada’s support of up to $20-million will help meet the basic education, health and livelihood needs of millions of Palestinian refugees—especially women and children—as well as support the promotion of neutrality in the agency’s activities. She said the funding will also contribute to stability in the region by providing basic services to people whose needs would otherwise be unmet. She added that an additional $5-million will go to UNRWA’s Syria Emergency Appeal.