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Canada can stop funding Jew-hate in Palestinian schools

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Despite mountains of evidence, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to underwrite unquestionably antisemitic activities and teachings by a UN agency to Palestinian children. (Photo: Marty Gold)

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In response to the resumption of American foreign aid to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency by President Biden, the Republicans in Congress have introduced “The UNRWA Accountability and Transparency Act” which aims at preventing funds from being sent to the agency unless prior  to providing  the aid the U.S State Department certifies that:

a. no UNRWA employee is a member of a terrorist organization such as Hamas, Hezbollah;

b. UNRWA does not promote terrorist activity or propagate anti-American, anti-Israeli or antisemitic rhetoric;

c. no UNRWA infrastructure or resource is being used by a terrorist organization;

d. it is subjected to a comprehensive financial audit and implements a system that insures that the funds are not diverted to a terrorist organization system;

e. no UNRWA school or facility uses textbooks  or other educational materials that spread anti-American, anti-Israel or antisemitic rhetoric and

f. UNRWA has no affiliation with financial institutions that the U.S deems and believes to be complicit in financing terrorism.

I believe that the foregoing pre-conditions are a good start but need to be supplemented as follows.

With respect to condition (a), UNRWA schools

(a1) employ exclusively teachers committed to perform their job in accordance with the requirements and standards prescribed by UNESCO  and other internationally recognised requirements and standards and that full compliance with this requirement is properly documented;

(a2) forbid and enforce the prohibition not to let Hamas personnel or members of other terrorist groups, whether located in or out of Gaza, or other people acting covertly on behalf of such organisations, to use school curriculum time; time reserved for extra-curricular activities during the students’ free time and vacations to engage them in objectionable activities, such as military training;

 With respect to condition (b) UNRWA buildings, facilities and their outdoor extension,  

(b1) do not display terrorist exhibits, posters, slogans, poems and memorials of terrorists, pictures of “martyrs” and any other related materials

(b2) are not used to host entertainment or political ceremonies of any kind which are designed to sanctify or laud terrorism, indoctrinate the students with anti-U.S, anti-Israel and antisemitic, a pro-terrorist mind set

With respect to condition (c) 

(c1) Hamas facilities use for the storage of  weapons, ammunitions and other explosive materials and structures reserved for Hamas personnel and operations, are not located anywhere if the explosion  or bombing of any one or more facilities  and structures  can potentially affect adversely  the safety and security of the UNRWA students, teachers, employees and/or its infrastructure;

(c2) Hamas does not have war tunnels under or near the school buildings and facilities. 

With respect to condition (e): UNRWA

(e1) uses exclusively textbooks  and  all other school materials that  comply strictly with the U.S, UNESCO  and other internationally recognised requirements and standards prescribed for school materials, and

(e2) does not directly or indirectly distribute or sell the impugned textbooks and materials to foreign countries and to the educational and related institutions in foreign countries.

Given the complexities of U.S. politics, it is difficult to predict the fate of this legislative proposal

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Be that as it may, in Canada there is no valid reason or argument for the Trudeau government to decline to enact the proposed legislation.

Quite to the contrary, it will enable it to substantiate its verbally asserted compliance with the requisite common sense requirements such as the ones enumerated for the proposed legislation. 

In the meantime, UN Watch, an independent human rights group based in Geneva published a report titled “Beyond the Textbooks” which uncovers recent cases  of UNRWA staff incitement  which clearly violates the agencies own rules as well as its proclaimed values of zero tolerance for racism, discrimination and antisemitism. 

More than 100 employees of UNRWA agency have posted content on social media that spreads hatred against Israel and Israelis, encourages anti-Semitism and supports terrorism. Among them:

1. Gaza math teacher Nahed Sharawi shared a video of Hitler with inspirational quotes to “enrich and enlighten your thoughts and minds”

2. A PA teacher posted an antisemitic conspiracy theories according to which Jews control the world, created Coronavirus, and seek to destroy Islam,

3. Gaza Project Engineer Shady Shehada celebrated the Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.

“The report contains 113 cases captured from UNRWA employee’s public pages alone, all celebrating and promoting violence even among young children.”  In response, an investigation of sorts was launched but the agency claimed “that (only) 10 of the 22 persons mentioned in the report are UNRWA personnel”.

UN Watch reported: “Were UNRWA itself to examine its employees, on and off Facebook, it can reasonably be estimated that thousands of UNRWA employees would be implicated” in spreading antisemitic hate and inciting violence. (Image: UN Watch)

The report examined only a sample of Facebook users who publicly identified as UNRWA employees and estimates that the actual number of UNRWA staff who incited violence and hatred includes many more of the agency’s 30,000 staff.

The report states, “Were UNRWA itself to examine its employees, on and off Facebook, it can reasonably be estimated that thousands of UNRWA employees would be implicated.”

The report further does not reveal that despite its numerous prior requests and submissions of detailed evidence, UNRWA has failed to fire teachers who incite to racism and terrorism, nor has it taken any other meaningful action.

Watch’s Director Hillel Neuer stated that “around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed, yet UNRWA, knowingly and systematically employs purveyors of terror and anti-Jewish hate.” (From, Aryeh Savir, UNRWA-Paid Teachers Celebrate Deaths of Israelis, Support Terrorism, Tazpit News Agency, August 2, 2021)

The ongoing Canadian financial support  of the educational component of UNRWA , regardless of the political, religious and social diseases that afflict this component tells us one thing: Trudeau government concerns with and condemnation of antisemitism in Canada, do not extend to UNRWA.

Doğan D. Akman is an independent researcher and commentator. He holds a B.Sc. in sociology, an M.A. in sociology/criminology and an LL.B in law. He held academic appointments in sociology, criminology and social policy; served as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and occupied the positions of Crown Counsel in criminal prosecutions and in civil litigation at the Federal Department of Justice. His academic work is published in peer-reviewed professional journals, while his opinion pieces and other writings are to be found in various publications and in blogs.  

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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