With what the world now knows, there is no way that a single Canadian tax dollar should ever go to UNRWA again. Over the last few days, countries around the world have been putting their donations to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency on hold.
In truth, all of those donations should be cancelled and UNRWA should be dismantled, thrown on the dustbin of history.
There have been claims of close ties to Hamas and terrorism over the years, but over the last few days, proof has emerged that 12 employees of the group took part in the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks. According to the Wall Street Journal, 12,000 UNRWA employees have a direct link to either Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
As the watchdog group U.N. Watch has documented, there is a Telegram channel where 3,000 UNRWA teachers expressed open support for the Oct. 7 terror attacks and spread full on hatred of Israel and Jews.
This is the group that the Trudeau government has given more than $200 million to since resuming funding of the group in 2016. The Harper government had cut funding to UNRWA, directing aid elsewhere, citing terrorism connections, but the Trudeau government insisted that those concerns were dealt with, that they had special oversight mechanisms in place.
We know that to be a lie now.
It’s not just the 12 employees who took part in the terrorist attacks, the 3,000 cheering them on via Telegram or the 12,000 with direct connections to Hamas and PIJ, the links go on. As the Israeli Defense Forces moved through Gaza, they found tunnels under UNRWA schools, and machinery to make rockets in buildings adjacent to schools.
The use of schools and health facilities — often run by UNRWA to hide weaponry or launch attacks — has long been documented, but was always explained away by supporters of the rotten and corrupted aid group.
“How can Canada fund UNRWA when one of its own employees held an Israeli citizen hostage in Gaza?” Independent MP Kevin Vuong asked the Trudeau government on Dec. 14, as more information about UNRWA became public.
“In these crucial times, trusted agencies, like UNRWA, must receive more support, not less,” responded International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen.
On Monday, Hussen truck a different chord.
“These allegations are extremely disturbing, and we take them very seriously,” Hussen said.
Also disturbing is that Hussen’s answer came in response to NDP MP Heather McPherson, who demanded the government ignore evidence of UNRWA being involved in terrorism and support them anyway. It’s amazing that the NDP hasn’t demanded the government fund Hamas directly, instead of indirectly, which is what we have been doing these last eight years.
The Trudeau government only paused Canada’s funding of UNRWA because the Biden administration in Washington did, and European allies were following suit. If they had listened to people on the ground in Israel, as I did last week, they would have heard that this was a group that should not be getting any funding because they aren’t just part of the problem, they are the heart of the problem.
“Hamas is UNRWA and UNRWA is Hamas,” Einat Wilf told me last week in Tel Aviv.
Wilf is a former Labour member of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. In 2020, she co-authored the book The War of Return, which detailed UNRWA’s role in perpetuating the conflict in Israel and how well-meaning Western countries have sent billions in aid through this group thinking it would help. However, that money did the opposite; it funded the conflict.
UNRWA has promised an investigation into the claims now levied against it, but the European Commission is demanding that EU auditors be the ones in charge.
Only if that happens, and the rot is fully exposed, will the world see that everyone, Palestinians included, will be better off without UNRWA.
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