To all the Members of Parliament
Canadian leadership and commitment to our values of democracy and human rights for all is generally supported across all parties in our federal government.
This letter is concerned about a festering situation that exists in the Middle East, and that must not be ignored if peace is ever to be established between Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs under the governing bodies of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
When Peter Kent and Marty Morantz recently raised the issue of Canada’s funding of UNRWA’s hate-promoting educational tools, the “go-to” response, that there are “vulnerable Palestinians,” was repeated. Being pro-Israel does not inherently mean being anti-Palestinian Arab, but being pro-UNRWA does mean being Anti-Israel and endangers the lives of millions of Jews.
For over seventy years, millions of Canadian dollars have poured into UNWRA for the “Palestinian cause” yet millions of Palestinian Arabs remain in refugee camps into the FIFTH generation due to the lack of effectiveness of UNRWA, its intransigence in not recognizing Israel as the Jewish state, and because Western powers like Canada have not demanded that host countries absorb and settle these refugees, and because there is an enormous, inexplicable discrepancy between defining an Arab refugee from the former Mandate for Palestine and the millions of real refugees who have fled war, pestilence, natural disaster and persecution. Obviously the lifestyle of Palestinian Arabs has not been raised a notch as UNRWA has become a bloated self-serving bureaucracy, and it is long overdue for Canada to re-evaluate its commitment to this agency to which it has already poured in millions of dollars yearly. The time to revisit the history and reality of this issue is NOW.
Of course with all the rhetoric regarding funds for children, schools and health, it may be difficult to abruptly cut funds so we ask that you commit to put funds on hold.
This will give every MP time to become informed; to evaluate the information and documentation provided on the incitement content of UNRWA texts and teacher training materials. No MP should judge the facts without historically accurate knowledge. To do nothing is to leave the festering situation to reach a breaking point that will yet again cost lives among the many vulnerable children in the area, both Palestinian Arab and Israeli-Jewish and Arab children.
Why is it so important NOW and why is it up to Canada? Because Canada holds the chair of the UN’s Refugee Working Group and must now take the lead. Canada must act on our human rights values and our democratic structures. Canada must call a meeting of the RWG and begin the process of reviewing the status of all refugees and the definition that is being applied, both by UNRWA and the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
We demand that Canada withhold UNWRA funds until a review of UNRWA educational materials is complete; we note that a report with much information has been made available to the government by the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Bedein Center for Near East Research. The latter organization translated every single text from Arabic and provided evidence of the duplicity and danger inherent in UNRWA’s texts. This is a first step.
All Canadians need be aware that our taxpayer money is promoting a type of indoctrination that bears a resemblance to the Hitler Youth program, a form of child abuse, raising children as weapons for evil political goals. Is Canada helping Palestinian Arabs by allowing UNRWA to teach hate and the demonization of Israel and the Jewish people?
We demand the use of the words “occupied” and “settlements” be slashed from material produced or supported by our government because these are discriminatory and false words to describe the legal towns and cities of the disputed territories, especially of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish nation. Such language contributes to Jew hatred.
Teaching children to hate and preaching false historical narratives are both political tools connected historically to antisemitism. Whether it was antisemitism fueled by the Christian church, by communist Russia or facist Germany, the result is always the same—deadly antisemitism. This issue, regarding teaching material is the tip of a much larger issue involving UNRWA but a place where Canada can start, simply stop funding this egregious activity and demand accountability from UNRWA, and call an RWG meeting.
The following are samples of information that is available to you, illustrating the immediacy of the situation that calls for your action NOW. We demand more oversight of Canadian foreign spending, and the requirement that the recipient of our funds, in this case UNRWA, provide evidence of compliance with the UN’s own values, and with Canadian values. We don’t want Canada to be complicit in delivering hostile antisemitic propaganda, indoctrination or radicalization.
A study to ensure reporting and overview of educational material. See GAO Report to the Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate Study June 2019 available online. Note page 5
Article January 16, 2021 UNRWA ‘mistakenly’ gave Palestinian kids textbooks calling for jihad. By Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA
The United Nations aid agency for Palestinians said it is “taking steps” to address the glorification of “martyrs” and calls for “jihad in books…”
Jerusalem-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School IMPACT-se has found current examples in many current texts.
Recent material used in UNRWA schools mislabel Israel as “Palestine” or erase the country from maps of the Middle East. One poem states, “A raging fire awaits the Occupation.” What occupation? There was an OSLO treaty that has been repeatedly ignored by the Palestinian leaders. See attached webinar with maps.
Recently, UNRWA spokeswoman Tamara Alrifai told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that disclosed texts were “not in line with U.N. values”. They are certainly not in line with Canadian values either.
TOI Staff, January 14, 2021 states “materials distributed for distance- learning during pandemic are ‘rife with hate’. The watchdog found that children were asked to do mathematics problems using martyrs to calculate equations and told to “defend the motherland with blood,” and pushed the claim that Israel dumps radioactive and toxic waste in the West Bank.
IMPACT-SE (director Marcus Sheff) “Israel is omitted from maps in the UNRWA-produced materials, with the entire territory being labeled as a modern-day Palestine with no demarcation lines. When it is mentioned, Israel is referred to mostly as “The Enemy” or the “Zionist Occupation.”
U.S. study of material: https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/699477.pdf
Standing in the way of peace.
Teacher’s Guides: https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/app/uploads/2020/02/E_021_20.pdf
We look forward to your response regarding the immediate withholding of funds to UNRWA in light of its use of inappropriate teaching material.
Furthermore, we remind you that UNRWA was created to resolve a refugee problem that actually ceased to exist many decades ago and that agency has become a refugee-generating industry with its own definition of “refugee”, even applying it to people settled in a third land. Canada is funding both incitement and the perpetuation of a lie and the growth of a problem, not the solution.
We remind you that Canada recognized the 800,000 refugee Jews from Arab lands that flowed into Israel, settled and made the country prosper, while UNRWA ensured that hundreds of thousands of Arabs were never settled, but have been rewarded, held as pawns in a seemingly unresolvable conflict. Funding UNRWA will keep the conflict going for decades more.
The Center for New East Policy: https://www.cfnepr.com/205640/Movies
The REAL land grab: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBYCxExNiRo
The importance of San Remo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlHDJn3XYmo
UNRWA's history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9C0Iju82ik
We submit this letter in hopes that the Government of Canada will act on its commitment to fight antisemitism, and uphold Canadian values.
Anita Bromberg, President