Simon Wiesenthal Center calls on Canada to freeze funding to UNRWA

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center calls on Canada to freeze funding to UNRWA over textbooks inciting against Israel.

Elad Benari ,

Canadian Parliament
Canadian Parliament
iStock

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) on Monday called on the Canadian government to freeze its funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) following a new study finding that that new educational materials promoting hate and violence against Israel have been produced and distributed to Palestinian Arab children by the agency.

The study by IMPACT-se found that textbooks and classroom materials produced and distributed by UNRWA to Palestinian Arab children in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria throughout 2020 encourage students to “defend the motherland with blood”, portray terrorists as heroes and role models, and refer to Israel as “The Enemy.”

A grammar textbook includes phrases like “Jihad is one of the doors to Paradise” and “The Palestinians are lions in fighting the enemies.”

In a statement released last week, UNRWA said the textbooks were "mistakenly" produced and distributed to Palestinian children and that the texts were “not in line with UN values.”

“Canada and its allies at the United Nations must show leadership by undertaking a review of the current UNRWA mandate and identifying alternative methods of delivering core education to Palestinians that do not violate the principle of UN neutrality and do not incite violence in the region,” said Michael Levitt, President and CEO of FSWC.

“It is imperative that Canadian aid dollars be used to empower those in need with quality education that fosters the universal values of tolerance and peace, and not to indoctrinate children into hateful ideologies,” he added.

Canada announced last month it will provide some US$70 million in financing to UNRWA.

The aid, amounting to CAN$90 million, will be distributed over three years and comes after the agency's chief warned it was facing its "worst financial crisis" ever.

The US, which was previously UNRWA's largest contributor, cut a full $300 million in funding to the agency in 2018, leaving it and asking other countries to help fill the gap.

Created in 1949, UNRWA supplies aid to more than three million of the five million registered “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and territories assigned to the Palestinian Authority.

However, it is also notorious for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government stopped the funding to UNRWA, but Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in 2016 he would restore the funding.

In 2017, the Trudeau government announced a $20 million aid package to UNRWA, the bulk of which was meant to help UNRWA provide basic education, health and livelihood needs for millions of Palestinian refugees, particularly women and children.

In late 2018, after the US cut its funding to UNRWA, Canada announced $50 million in funding for the organization.



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