Statement: Teachers and Community Shocked in OSSTF Allocation to UNRWA
06/28/21: Ontario Teachers and community members are shocked and disappointed by the announcement (on Twitter) that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation/FEESO said it is allocating $5000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). An additional $5000 is being allocated to the International Development and Relief Foundation.
Ontario educator, Dr. Neil Orlowsky said: "At a time when UNRWA has been put under the microscope following recent finding that some of their teaching materials (textbooks, maps, and manuals ) have been, erasing the State of Israel from teaching and learning materials, inciting hate, violence, and antisemitism, and celebrating “martyrs” who sacrificed themselves in the name of Palestinian resistance, I am disheartened to know that my union has donated our $5,000 of our union dues to UNRWA when our dues are earmarked for professional development, collective bargaining rights, and improve the educational environment for students and teachers in Ontario".
Human Rights Advocate, Avi Benlolo said: "In May, the European Parliament passed a resolution rebuking UNRWA for preaching hatred of Israel in its school textbooks and called for conditional aid on removing such curricula. The EP further rapped UNRWA for "inciting hate and violence in its textbooks". Given this important information, the OSSTF should take a second look at its allocation to UNRWA. Moreover, as many Jewish teachers are feeling maligned by what they say is a spike in anti-Israel sentiment, its incumbent on everyone to seek out a collaborative environment".
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ABOUT: Avi Abraham Benlolo has been described as the nation's most prominent and noted expert in Holocaust studies, in countering Antisemitism and promoting human rights. He has dedicated nearly three decades in executive capacities, was founding President and CEO of a major organization in the Jewish community, has raised over $150 million for charities and is a leading voice in Canada. His academic research, graduate degree, Ph.D. coursework and nearly three decades of professional work has focused on these arenas in addition to peace and security in the Middle East. He has published hundreds of articles in these areas. In recognition of his national and international leadership in this area, he has received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate from a prestigious Israeli university for his work in Holocaust studies and combating antisemitism; an Order of Vaughan for his distinguished contribution to anti-racism, equity and diversity; the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to Canada and a race relations award for best practice, based on distinguished service in promoting human rights.