FSWC Encourages Canada to Self-Direct $50 million Allocation to Palestinians

Avi Benlolo is a Canadian human rights activist and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies.

Toronto – July 30, 2018 – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is encouraging the Canadian government to ensure new $50 million in funding for Palestinians is managed and implemented directly by Canadian officials on the ground.

This follows an announcement by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development who concluded her visit to Israel and the West Bank. A statement by the minister’s office advises that over $50 million in new support for Palestinians will focus on “urgent humanitarian needs and on economic growth that works for everyone.”

“At a time of greater international focus on corruption in the Palestinian territories and Gaza, including the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to cease payments to terrorists who murder and injure Israelis, it is imperative for Canadian tax payers to know that their money will not be diverted to supporting terrorism,” said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. Global Affairs further advises that the allocation includes Gaza, a territory under control of Hamas.

FSWC has raised concern before about Canadian money flowing through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Recently, the Simon Wiesenthal Center funded a study of 150 Palestinian textbooks used in the West Bank and in Gaza exposing indoctrination, violence, denial and demonization of the Jewish people. UNRWA is not one of the recipient agencies mentioned in this grant, but does receive Canadian funds. Recipients include the United Nations Population Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund and others.

According to Global Affairs, “for all humanitarian and development assistance funding for Palestinians, Canada exercises enhanced due diligence. This includes ongoing oversight, regular site visits, a systematic screening process, and strong anti-terrorism provisions in funding agreements. These measures are in place to ensure that funds are not misused or diverted to terrorist groups.”

“While we sympathize with the people of Gaza and the West Bank and wish for their well being, greater scrutiny of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is necessary for their usage of international aid to support terrorist activity,” said Benlolo. FSWC will continue monitoring this recent announcement and speaking to Canadian leaders to ensure oversight and encourage management of Canadian funds.”

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