"Your use of the word “isolation” undermines Israel’s responsibility for the plight of people in Gaza and, therefore, the unemployment and poverty that you describe as high. It would also have been more appropriate to give exact figures to clearly illustrate the severity of the situation Israel inflicted."
February 1, 2024
Evan Dyer, Senior Reporter, CBC
Nancy Waugh, Sr. Manager, CBC
Dear Evan Dyer and Nancy Waugh,
I am writing to ask for corrections to the article: “How the UN’s aid agency for Palestinians works – and why it’s under fire now,” published on January 31 on CBC.
Foremost, I was disappointed that you left out the main people affected by this aid cut: Palestinians.
While you cite a lot of Israeli officials, you do not give voice to Palestinian voices, especially Gazans, who, as you stated, 95 % of them face catastrophic famine conditions.
Second, you’ve failed to properly position Israel’s responsibility for the overall situation.
You write: “Because of Gaza’s isolation, rates of unemployment and poverty are high.”
It would have been more appropriate to use the term occupation as Gaza is considered occupied by Israel under International Law, and Israel has responsibilities as an occupying power, such as allowing aid in.
Your use of the word “isolation” undermines Israel’s responsibility for the plight of people in Gaza and, therefore, the unemployment and poverty that you describe as high.
It would also have been more appropriate to give exact figures to clearly illustrate the severity of the situation Israel inflicted.
In that sense, you also do not mention Israel’s attacks on UNRWA employees and infrastructures, which constitute a violation of International Humanitarian Law. As of January 30, 2024, there are 1,700,000 internally displaced Palestinians in UNRWA installations, 372 have been killed while 1,335 have been injured. As of January 30, 2024, 152 UNRWA colleagues have been killed, while 146 UNRWA installations have been damaged.
Furthermore, you also do not mention ICJ’s ruling that Israel has to allow more aid into Gaza and that with these accusations, Israel might not comply with it.
I, therefore, ask CBC to add these essential elements of context to give an accurate, fair, and balanced picture of the repercussions of cutting funding to UNRWA amidst Israel’s bombardment campaign on Gaza.
Despite my valid critiques above, I do think the detailed explanations and background you provide on UNRWA were useful, and I believe your Canadian readership will benefit from the information on UNWRA that you’ve provided.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East