Canada misled on UNRWA activities, human rights group launches petition

B’nai Brith Canada has launched a petition urging the Canadian government to freeze its support for UNRWA, which “misleads donors” about its activities and promotes terror against Israelis. 

By World Israel News Staff

B’nai Brith Canada is urging the Government of Canada to immediately freeze its support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) after fresh revelations about its school materials have proved that the  agency misled its donors, including Canadians.

In January, Karina Gould, Canada’s Minister for International Development, announced an investigation after discovering that UNRWA was using textbooks that promoted violence and erased Israel from the map, the Canadian human rights oganization noted. UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, claimed at the time that the materials were distributed “mistakenly” and “quickly replaced with content that adheres to UN values.”

A new report released by the IMPACT-se monitoring group, however, shows this to be untrue, B’nai Brith said in a press release. “In fact, UNRWA continues to use materials that erase Israel from its maps, describe cities such as Ramla in Israel proper as ‘occupied’ and ‘Palestinian,’ and encourage children to wage jihad against ‘the Occupation’ and ‘the Enemy.’”

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The students are not merely given false information, but are incited to commit acts of terror. Among their assignments are the conjugation of phrases such as “pieces of corpses,” “jihad is the road of glory” and “walking with a limp excuses its owner from jihad.”

“More disturbingly, some of the violent material was not adapted from Palestinian Authority textbooks, but created by UNRWA-trained educators and does not appear in textbooks issued by the PA,” B’nai Brith said. The organization “has repeatedly warned that this funding faces the possibility of misuse and that the onus is on Canada to ensure that this does not happen.”

The Government of Canada pledged $90 million in funding for UNRWA over three years in December of 2020.

“These fresh revelations demonstrate beyond all doubt that the most recent ‘lapses’ are not a one-time error and that UNRWA cannot be trusted to monitor its own materials,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “UNRWA is trying to take advantage of the Canadian government and Canadian taxpayers, and the only fitting response is to freeze funding.

“UNRWA has always said they have no choice but to teach the curriculum provided by the Palestinian Authority and has guardrails in place to ensure conformity with UN values. This is clearly not the case. No school in Canada would be permitted to use materials like these – so why should Canadians be asked to help finance such hatred abroad?”

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Already in 2016, Congress was demanding that the agency provide the actual number of Palestinian refugees. According to at the time, “UNRWA was established in 1948 to assist the 750,000 Palestinians who had left Israel. Since then, UNRWA has been a promoter of the Palestinian cause, funding as many as five million ‘refugees,’ the majority of whom never left the homes where they were born in the Gaza Strip, the ‘West Bank’ (Judea and Samaria), eastern Jerusalem, or other Arab countries, to the tune of $1.23 billion annually…

“UNRWA treats Palestinian refugees differently than other refugees around the world. The UN defines ‘Palestinian refugees’ to include all descendants of the original refugees from the year 1948 — the only exception to the legal definition of refugees in the world. The nearly-one million Jewish refugees in 1948, as well as their children and grandchildren, are not considered refugees by the UN and are not allowed to return to their homes in Arab lands.

“Additionally, unlike other refugees, only Palestinian refugees have their own UN Agency: UNRWA. Because the children born to the 1948 Palestinian Arab refugees are also considered refugees, Palestinians are the only refugees whose numbers are increasing exponentially from year to year.”

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B’nai Brith Canada has launched a petition urging the Canadian government to freeze its support for UNRWA in light of the fresh revelations about its school materials have proved that the United Nations agency misled its donors, including Canada.

“Unlike the UNHCR, UNRWA does not seek to solve the Palestinian refugee problem, but rather to perpetuate it as a political weapon against Israel by, among other things, insisting on a claim of the ‘right of return’ to the Jewish state for those uniquely designated as Palestinian refugees,” the organization said in a statement.