HRC Op-Ed In Waterloo Record Rebuts Commentator’s Praise Of UNRWA Which Ignored Agency’s Ties To Palestinian Terrorism

A March 30 commentary in The Waterloo Record, written by local businessman Shawky Fahel, praised the Trudeau government for resuming funding to UNRWA, the disgraced United Nations agency with ties to Palestinian terrorism. Predictably, Fahel offered no context about why UNRWA is controversial, instead presenting it as a legitimate organization.

While Fahel offered a condemnation of Hamas’ October 7 massacre, he all but ignored the group’s genocidal ideology and Israel’s moral necessity in destroying the group so it can no longer be an imminent threat.

On April 4, HRC Assistant Director Robert Walker was granted space in the Record to point out that Fahel’s commentary ignored the depth of Hamas terrorism pervasive in UNRWA’s ranks.

Recent commentary on Israel and Palestine ignores depth of Hamas terrorism

In his March 30 opinion column in The Record, entitled “On Gaza, a disappointing resolution, but Canada moves forward,” Shawky Fahel expressed regret that Justin Trudeau’s government opposed an NDP opposition motion that sought to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state. The Liberals ultimately agreed to a watered-down version in Parliament that was perceived as anti-Israel, but which supported a negotiated two-state solution.

Fahel, a Waterloo businessperson, also uses his commentary to praise the Trudeau government for reinstating funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the disgraced agency with ties to Palestinian terrorism.

In his column, Fahel wrote that “finally, Canada moves forward. Not far enough. But it matters to all Canadians who are horrified by the vicious attack on Gaza, the arrogant refusal of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu to accept a Palestinian state and the dehumanization of Palestinians as their houses crumble, their hospitals lie in ruins and their dreams die.”

While Fahel praises the resumption of funding to UNRWA, he is strikingly quiet on the group’s ties to terrorism, including workers of the agency involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas massacres in Israel.

Israel asserted that upwards of one-tenth of UNRWA staff working inside the Gaza Strip are members of either Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and in the aftermath of Oct. 7, the UN educators’ social media channel, with 3,000 members, called for the execution of the hostages and celebrated the massacre and rapes committed.

Incredibly, Hamas’s command centre ran communication cables through the floor of UNRWA’s headquarters. Yet not once did Fahel ever give a full picture of UNRWA, instead presenting a sanitized and ultimately fictional alternative.

Fahel, either wilfully or ignorantly, showed that he apparently does not understand the basic nature of the Israel-Hamas war. Hamas’s doctrine is rabidly antisemitic. Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. They call for its utter destruction and Hamas’s leader has openly said he intends to repeat the Oct. 7 massacre. Hamas initiated the war and refuses to end it.

The stories of human suffering coming out of Gaza are tragic indeed. But Hamas is their calculated oppressor, not Israel. In al-Shifa hospital, Hamas fighters recently fired mortars from the emergency and maternity wards. Hamas terrorists regularly hide in hospitals and schools, promote the use of human shields, and deliberately provide their people with no bomb shelter protection. Hamas has caused the Palestinian people’s “dreams to die” and yet, by brazenly publicizing the victims they create, they gain supporters.

Fahel’s article is a contradiction in terms. He agrees with condemnation of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, but not of Canada’s initial support to destroy Hamas and delegitimize Hamas’s United Nations supporters. He professes horror at the situation for Gaza’s inhabitants, but makes no mention of the Israelis still held by terrorists. He paints Israel as the enemy — obscuring that Hamas has forced it into a fight for its own survival.

In his obtuse and tacit call for the Canadian government to do more to support Hamas, including calling for it to be the first G7 country to reward it with Palestinian statehood, Fahel called for Canada to join forces with terrorism, enabling Hamas’s continued reign of terror on its own people and Israel.

Robert Walker,
Assistant Director,
HonestReporting Canada


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