Last month Jason Kenney explained his government’s decision to cut off funds to the church aid group KAIROS thusly:
“Our government is working to dismantle the client relationship that existed between the government of Canada and organizations whose priority is seemingly to advocate for the legalization of banned terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as deny the Jewish people’s right to a homeland.”
Or, as Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda put it, “the program didn’t meet CIDA’s current priorities”.
Naturally enough, the churches comprising KAIROS –the United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops — did not much care for Kenney’s insinuations.
This month Oda doesn’t think the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency meets CIDA’s current priorities either:
“The government has quietly taken what many consider the first step to cutting ties with the UN agency responsible for supporting more than 4.67 million Palestinian refugees scattered throughout the Middle East.”
While not cutting the actual amount of the aid, funding of UNRWA is being shifted away from its traditional core funding for food, clothing, health services, and schools — to food aid only.
“Jewish organizations have long alleged that UNRWA has been infiltrated by groups like Hamas” and “that funds given to the UN agency are being diverted to the group”.
B’Nai Brith and the Canada-Israel Committee have both released statements applauding the government’s decision, while pro-Israel websites and media have reported widely on the change. Mr. Dimant said his organization had been advocating in favour of moving away from UNRWA for a long time”
Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada and a member of the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security at Public Safety Canada, is pleased the government has adopted his viewpoint:
“This is certainly a step in the right direction,” he said . . . . “I believe it’s a very progressive step forward. … I think that it is strange, to say the least, that there is a specific refugee agency just dedicated for the Palestinians and that all the millions of other refugees in the world are serviced in a different category.”
Oh, good one, Frank.
I’m willing to bet you do not think it at all strange, to say the least, that there is a Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism and that all the millions of other people in distinct minorities in Canada are not serviced by their own pet privately-funded parliamentary coalition.