OTTAWA – NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Alexa McDonough (Halifax) today issued the following statement:
"The federal government has cut direct funding to the Palestinian Authority. The NDP recognizes the serious dilemma facing Canada and all donor countries that the Palestinian Authority has a President who remains committed to official recognition of the State of Israel and to the Road Map to peace, while his cabinet is composed of Hamas members whose party calls for the destruction of Israel.
The NDP supports a peaceful resolution to this conflict that has cost too many innocent lives on both sides of the border. The NDP believes that we must continue to condemn all acts of terror against innocent people, be they Israeli or Palestinian, and that Canada has a moral responsibility to play a meaningful role in advancing peace, through diplomatic and financial means.
It is important to note that direct Canadian assistance has included financial support for judicial reform, housing initiatives, capacity building, education, improving living conditions for refugees and economic development in the Palestinian Authority.
The NDP demands to know how Canada can reconcile its stated goals of supporting and building democracy in Palestine with suspension of direct aid for these important initiatives.
The NDP therefore calls on the federal government to ensure that all direct assistance funding these important programs that are now suspended, be redirected to organizations directly involved in delivery of humanitarian aid and democracy building in the Palestinian Authority. Any net reduction in aid to the Palestinian people is shortsighted and counterproductive."