This position paper discusses how the Canadian government should handle Trump's decisions regarding Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.
Montreal, October 15th, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the Trudeau government’s decision to expand funding to the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Last Friday, Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Canada will provide $50 million in multi-year funding to Palestinian refugees through UNRWA, as well as $12.5 million to Right to Play International. While CJPME believes this is a healthy step toward bridging a funding gap for Palestinian refugees, Canada must work seriously toward a long-term solution for Palestinian refugees.Read more
Montreal, October 1st, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) calls on the Canadian government to take concrete action to renew its commitment to the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Late last week, the Vice-President of the European Union and several Foreign Ministers hosted a meeting in New York in response to the Trump administration’s cancellation of key funds to UNRWA. Thirty-four UN member-states and organizations were in attendance, raising $122 million in funds for the organization. Canada was notably absent from this meeting.Read more
Montreal, September 2, 2018 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) opposes US President Donald Trump’s decision to cease all funding to the UN aid agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). The Trump administration declared Friday that it was cutting all funding to UNRWA, calling the organization an “irredeemably flawed operation,” and seeking to reduce the number of Palestinians recognized as “refugees” under the UN system. Nevertheless, CJPME points out that it is the UN which defines which individuals are considered refugees, and that UNRWA adheres to international norms in defining the population of Palestinian refugees that it serves. “This is a sad ploy by Trump to further disempower Palestinians, to the political advantage of the US’ ally Israel,” declared Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME.Read more
Montreal, August 25, 2017 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the Canadian government’s decision this week to renew funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) – the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees. Thursday, Canada’s Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Canada would contribute $25 million total to support the organization’s work. “CJPME and other human rights organizations would prefer that Canada and the international community find a permanent solution for the five million registered Palestinian refugees. In the meantime, however, this funding is much needed by this vulnerable refugee population," declared Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME.Read more
CJPME Factsheet 202, published May 16, 2017: This factsheet addresses the recent criticism on Canada's funding of UNRWA. Most importantly, it discusses whether or not UNRWA has ties to Hamas, whether or not UNRWA allows Hamas to use its schools as weapons caches, and whether or not UNRWA incites hate against Israelis. Finally, CJPME suggests a way Canada should respond if ties to Hamas were found.Read more
Montreal, November 16, 2016 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) congratulates the Canadian government’s decision today to renew funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) – the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees. Earlier today, Canada’s Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Canada is contributing $25 million to support the organization’s work. “The Trudeau government has finally differentiated itself from the Harper government in regards to the Middle East,” declared Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME.Read more
We, the undersigned, wish to request that the Canadian government restore funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees. In your mandate letter as Minister of International Development, the Prime Minister has called you to focus “Canada’s development assistance on helping the poorest and most vulnerable, and supporting fragile states.” We believe that Palestinian refugees in the Middle East are among the world’s most vulnerable populations, and sorely need the aid that Canada has historically provided.
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CJPME Factsheet 125, published June, 2011: This factsheet looks at Canada’s continued defunding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides assistance, protection and advocacy to approximately 4.8 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. Until 2009, Canada had been one of the top 20 contributors to UNRWA’s core programs. While UNRWA’s funding grew consistently between 2000 and 2008, Canada was the only donor country to defund UNRWA’s core programs during this period.Read more