David Bedein reports in the Philadelphia Bulletin:
Jerusalem — A senior Canadian government official has briefed officials in Israel and the Palestinian Authority with the news of Canada’s decision to defund the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) which administers 59 refugee camps for Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendents who left their homes in the wake of the 1948 war.
UNRWA maintains Palestinian Arab refugees in their facilities under the premise and promise of return to homes and villages from 1948 that no longer exist.
All other U.N. refugee camps around the world ascribe to the principles of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), which mandates that a refugee has a right to be resettled in new conditions.
Apparently the European Union commissioned a report on UNRWA which concluded that Hamas terrorists were administering UNRWA facilities. We’ve reported on Hamas’s domination of UNRWA before (here, for example) though not on the EU report. In October I posted on a bill in the House of Representatives to attempt to block UNRWA’s terror ties; the bill had been stalled in the Foreign Affairs Committee (chaired by Howard Berman, D-CA) since January 2009 and is still there a year after its introduction.
I guess Canada is way ahead of us here, as they have taken the only kind of action that counts in response to the EU report. Bedein concludes:
Canada heads the “Refugee Working Group (RWG),” a subgroup of the Middle East negotiation process which was established in the wake of the Madrid Middle East Summit in October 1991, to oversee Palestinian refugee policy for the 38 nations that contribute to UNRWA.
The fact that Canada has used its position as the head of the RWG to defund UNRWA will most likely not go unnoticed by the 38 countries that contribute to the half a billion-dollar UNRWA budget.
The U.S. under our current government no longer cares much about promoting human rights and fighting Islamic terrorism, so let’s hope some other countries gather up their courage to take our place until we can resume our leadership.