Hill Times Commentary Whitewashes UNRWA Ties To Hamas Terrorism

February 21, 2024

In their February 12 opinion column in The Hill Times, Naved Bakali, an “assistant professor of anti-racism education” at the University of Windsor, and Faisal Kutty, a lawyer, string together a hodgepodge of half-truths and overt falsehoods in an attempt to pressure the Trudeau government to fall into line.

Ghoulishly, both Bakali and Kutty have previously denied Israel’s right to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism.

Their column, “The Liberals no longer have unconditional Muslim support,” warns the Trudeau government that support for his administration from the Muslim community is “no longer a given” as a result of perceived wrongdoing, at least in the eyes of Bakali and Kutty.

Beyond the obvious implication, that prior to the current Hamas-Israel war,  the Muslim community was giving the Trudeau government its unconditional and unquestioned support – a decidedly unflattering description – the column then lays out the problems the authors see with Ottawa’s policies.

The pair write that Trudeau has faced criticism from Muslims in Canada, “particularly in light of the devastating killing of 30,000 Palestinian lives, an event the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and a United States court has suggested may constitute genocide.”

While Bakali and Kutty refer to “30,000 Palestinian lives,” they deliberately omit that the only source for that claim is Hamas, via its so-called “Gaza Ministry of Health.”

It hardly needs to be pointed out that Hamas is hardly a reputable source of honest casualty data, though the authors predictably censor any mention of the terrorist group at all.

Beyond Hamas being a genocidal Islamic terrorist organization, it is also a skilled propaganda disseminator, claiming that it never intended to kill innocent Israeli civilians on October 7 – despite extensive video footage showing terrorists targeting civilians, and peddled the lie that Israel was responsible for the bombing of a Gaza hospital, when it was another Gaza-based terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Moreover, even if the 30,000 claim was true, Hamas does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, nor those killed by Hamas or by Hamas themselves, in one of their thousands of errant rocket attacks. According to Israel, at least 12,000 Hamas fighters have been killed in the war, which does not include other legitimate targets in war.

In a subtle inclusion, the authors’ assertion that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague believes Israel’s counter-terrorism actions “may constitute genocide” is highly misleading.

Twice now, both in January and more recently in Februrrary, rejected a demand by South Africa to force Israel to end its operations against Hamas, a request the court surely would have accepted had it believed a genocide was occuring or imminent.

The court merely reminded Israel to continue to uphold its obligations to protect civilians in Gaza, steps Israel is indeed already taking, but unsurprisingly, Bakali and Kutty choose to not tell readers that the court also demanded Hamas return its hostages.

Bakali and Kutty also take issue with Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA, the United Nations agency serving Palestinians, along with a growing list of countries around the world.

The pair write that the suspension was based on “unverified Israeli claims that a minuscule fraction of UNRWA’s staff in Gaza were implicated in the attacks of Oct. 7, has sparked controversy.”

To characterize UNRWA’s ties to fanatical Islamic terrorism as a “miniscule fraction of UNRWA’s staff” is to stretch the truth to its breaking point.

For anyone interested to pay attention, UNRWA has long been accused of ties to Hamas, its “educational” resources such as school textbooks are dripping with incitement and hatred towards Jews and Israel, and as many as one-tenth of its Gaza staff have ties to terror groups.

Perhaps most scandalously, in early February, Israeli officials showed video footage of a huge tunnel system directly underneath UNRWA headquarters in Gaza, housing an advanced operations centre, the existence of which could not reasonably have been a secret to UNRWA.

But Bakali and Kutty, who evidently prefer to pretend such mountains of evidence simply do not exist, instead mislead readers into thinking that UNRWA is an innocent organization, falsely defamed by Israel for political reasons.

Naved Bakali and Faisal Kutty’s commentary in The Hill Times misleads readers on a number of key issues, both by omission and by misrepresentation of the facts.

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