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Why has Envoy Irwin Cotler remained silent while Canada continues to finance antisemitic education by UNRWA?

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UNRWA textbooks under P.A. rule deny the existence of Jewish holy places in Israel, including the Western Wall in Jerusalem, cropping a photograph to exclude the Jews who pray there. Students are taught: “The Al-Buraq Wall is part of the western wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Mosque, including the wall, is a Palestinian land and an exclusive right of the Muslims.” (Photo: File)

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The Trudeau government continues to demonstrate its antisemitism in the Middle East by financing the antisemitic textbooks used in UNRWA’s school system, written and published by the Palestinian Authority. I documented this fact in some detail in the May 26, June 3 and 10 and August 11, 2021 issues of this publication.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, the first Liberal minister in charge of administering the financial aid provided to UNRWA, ultimately justified the financing of these loathsome books by pointing out that it is much better for the Palestinian students to be in school learning than for them to run around in the streets. Obviously, she could not conceive that school books that meet the international standards set by UNICEF can keep the students in school.

She was followed by in the post by Karina Gould who defended the government’s decision to contribute to the financing of the UNRWA school system on the ground that the schools were providing a very valuable service to about 500,000 Palestinian students.

She obviously did not have time to consider the question as to which parties most benefitted from the alleged valuable service rendered with the help of antisemitic school books at the expense of the pupils.

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In the meantime, the European Union started to repeatedly demand the Palestinian Authority to stop producing and using antisemitic textbooks. After repeated attempts, the EU finally decided to set a deadline by which the Authority had to comply with the demand.

In January of this year the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (“IMPACT-se”) produced its report on the matter and submitted its findings to the members of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Committee in a series of meetings.

A piece published by the Jerusalem Post Staff on April 2, 2022 provides a tightly drafted report on the matter. Thus, inter-alia, the article reads: “The IMPACT-se report went over thousands of pages of new teaching materials produced by the P.A. which was found to be worse than current and previous Palestinian textbooks by P.A. civil servants-whose salaries are funded by the EU-that directly call for violence against Jews and Israel and promote antisemitism.”

Based on the report, “The European Parliament’s Budgetary Committee passed a motion condemning the Palestinian Authority for creating new school textbooks containing violent and hateful material using funding provided by the EU.” 

The motion is part of the union’s annual budgetary procedure that examines how European taxpayer funds have been spent on projects it carries out. This motion effectively froze EU funding to the P.A. during its deliberation, while funding conditionality is being examined.”

Currently, the issue on the continued funding suspension and conditionality of funding is being addressed by the President of the EU Commission and its College of Commissioners.

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In the meantime, Canadian government has been and continues to sit on its hands on the continuing use of Canadian taxpayers’ money to finance antisemitic textbooks in the UNRWA school system.

The Trudeau administration still adheres to the morose two-nations peace solution while the P.A. insists in continuing to publish antisemitic school books at any and all cost; finance terrorism by providing stipends for the “martyrs of Allah”, not to mention the issue of providing financial aid to at least one Middle-Eastern NGO with unsavoury connections and behaviour.

In this connection I refer the reader to the Petition to the House of Commons e-3858 where “the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to ensure that the Government of Canada deny public funding or assistance to any domestic and foreign non-governmental organizations who promote or engage in antisemitism, as defined in the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.”

Special Envoy on Antisemitism Irwin Cotler recently appeared on CBC-TV to denounce Russia’s violence against Ukraine. Cotler has, however, remained silent on the instigation of antisemitic violence provoked by the UNRWA which is funded by the Canadian government. (Screencap: CBC)

The foregoing matters lead the writer to the office of Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism at home and abroad. Mr. Cotler is tasked to play a critical role in advancing our work on combatting antisemitism at home and abroad.

This in turn leads the writer to raise the following two questions:
First, in light of his mandate and the critical role he is tasked to play, why has the Envoy remained silent about the incontrovertible fact that Canada has been and continues to finance the antisemitic education provided by UNRWA?

Second, why did the Envoy fail to:

A) Publicly declare that by so doing, the government has been and continues to be derelict of its duty to fight antisemitism abroad, and
B) Issue an Order to demand the government to cease and desist from providing UNRWA funds specifically earmarked for its educational system?

A demoralizing and infuriating state of affairs, this has been and continues to be.

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.

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