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Israel Institute welcomes NZ decision to pause UNRWA funding

Co-director of the Israel Institute of New Zealand, Dr David Cumin, has welcomed New Zealand’s pause in funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), following evidence that staff participated in, actively supported, and cheered on the October 07 massacre.

“Mere days after the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, and other countries announced they will suspend funding to UNRWA, New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the same. It’s great that he has not followed the advice of ex-PM and ex-UN administrator, Helen Clark, or that of New Zealand Labour who wanted to effectively fund a deeply flawed organisation.”

Recent evidence has shown that at least one dozen UNRWA employees participated in the Hamas-led attacks of October 07, 2023, in which 1,200 Israelis were murdered, raped, tortured, and mutilated. The Wall Street Journal has also reported intelligence details that suggest approximately 10% of the UNRWA staff in Gaza are linked to militants. However, Dr Cumin says the issues are deeper than that:

“The links to terror and participation in barbaric atrocities is just the tip of the iceberg. For decades, UNRWA has run schools that teach children to glorify the murder of Jews and indoctrinates them to believe Israel should not exist. We cannot claim to be an ‘honest broker’ or fully support a peaceful two-state solution when our tax dollars undermine prospects for peace like this.”

Prime Minister Luxon has said New Zealand’s $1m annual funding to UNRWA will be paused until Foreign Minister Winston Peters is satisfied it was appropriate to continue contributions. Dr Cumin is urging Minister Peters to find alternate means to help the Arab Palestinians.

“There are myriad ways to support the needy people of Gaza without funding an organisation that teaches children to be racist. All other people in need around the world are served by agencies that do not entrench conflict or work against peace. New Zealand must stop supporting hate. The Arab Palestinians deserve more than an agency that perpetuates their suffering and works with terror organisations.”


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