Israeli War Crimes and Canadian Hypocrisy

Matthew Gindin
3 min readJan 29, 2024


Over the last few days, at the same time that the International Court of Justice ruled that there were plausible grounds to believe that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza, Canada and a number of western countries cut funding to the UNRWA. The reason: 12 employees out of 13,000 acting independently as rogue agents have apparently aided and abetted in the horrific attack of Hamas on Oct 7.

What is the UNRWA? According to the Washington Post, “UNRWA was established in 1949 by a U.N. resolution to carry out direct relief for Palestinian refugees following the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. It provides education, health care, social services and other humanitarian aid to registered Palestinian refugees. It also runs schools for more than half a million students.”

Canada is among the groups that cut funding which also includes the US the UK and Australia. It’s hard to understand what this is all about. Sending a message to the UNRWA that they must ensure none of their staff work with Hamas militants? Ok, but right now, in the middle of a humanitarian catastrophe where Gaza is already choked of basic resources?

Further, how do we square this with Canada’s response to the actions of Israel?

For a summary reminder, Israel’s assault on Gaza, now past one hundred days in duration, has resulted in the torment of 2.3 million people- the displacement of more than 85% of them (perhaps two million), the destruction of 1/3 of their homes, the denial to them of free access to food, water, medicine and electricity while, according to EuroMed’s summary, 30,000 have likely been killed by Israel, most of them women and children. 60,000 have been wounded, many of them maimed for life.

More children have been killed in codename “Operation Iron Swords” so far than in all global conflicts in 2022, or 2021, or 2020, or 2019, and the proportion of civilian casualties- 61 – 71% in some current Israeli estimates – is higher than in any conflict in the 20th century.

More than 1,000 children had undergone leg amputations, sometimes more than once or on both legs, by the end of November, according to U.N. children’s agency. The number is higher by now. According to CNN, more than 10 children on average have lost one or both of their legs every day in Gaza since October 7, with many amputations being performed without anesthesia.

“Health services in Gaza are “decimated”, with medical staff exhausted after three months of war forced to extract shrapnel without adequate pain relief, conduct amputations without anaesthetics and watch children die of cancers because of a lack of facilities and medicine,” reports the Guardian.

Gaza’s entire 2.3 million population is facing crisis levels of hunger as the risk of famine increases each day, according to a report published by a UN-backed body.

All of the above is a direct result of the Israeli assault on Gaza, which has knowingly and deliberately both disregarded civilian safety and targeted hospitals, mosques, schools, and churches.

And yet the response of Canada — and some other Western “liberal” democracies — has been to continue to supply weapons, aid and diplomatic cover to Israel while cutting off funding to the UNRWA because they had a dozen employees who turned out to be terrorists.

One doesn’t know what to say about this, except that it is in effect, if not in intention, an act of collective punishment of a people group currently at risk of genocide, while with the other hand support and cover is given to war criminals.

Oh, Canada.