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Canada responds to PMW's exposure of map exhibit erasing Israel, supported by CIDA
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Canada responds to PMW's exposure of map exhibit erasing Israel, supported by CIDA


Headline: CIDA denies funding children's PA map project

by Toby Trompeter

Palestinian Media Watch (PalWatch.org) wrote on Jan. 5 that the former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) – now Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) – along with the Norwegian People’s Aid organization, funded an exhibition of maps of ‘Palestine’ that obliterated Israel.

Included were pictures of the colourful wall-maps of ‘Palestine’ painted by a children’s scout troop in the South Lebanese Palestinian refugee camp of Al-Burj Al-Shamali.

Citing WAFA, the Palestine News Agency, Dec. 24: “The Atfal (Steadfast Children’s) Institute held a recent exhibit...to mark the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the ‘Palestinian revolution’ when Fatah, headed by Yasser Arafat, carried out its first terror attack against Israel.”

WAFA named the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) organization as exhibit funders. It is on the NPA’s website that PalWatch found CIDA mentioned as a donor for “development cooperation in Lebanon.”

The Tribune contacted Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for verification and comment.

Francois Lasalle, media spokesperson, said, “Canada did not provide funding for activities associated with this project/exhibit, and has not funded NPA projects since 2012. Previous Canadian funding for NPA has supported work on women’s political participation and facilitating school enrolment for refugee children.

Canada believes that Israel has every right to exist, as a free, democratic and distinctively Jewish state.

“Acts like this are the teachings of the new anti-Semitism. It targets the Jewish people by targeting Israel, questioning its very existence and attempts to make the old bigotry acceptable to a new generation.”

The Tribune wrote to the NPA, asking: “Why does the Norwegian People’s Aid organization support aspirations and an exhibition that clearly wipes Israel off the map?”

Håkon Ødegaard, director of NPA Communications, replied: “Cultural initiatives like this provides a much needed opportunity for the children to express…themselves. The drawings produced through this cultural initiative are the free expressions of Palestinian children. It is not NPA’s role to carry out censorship of children’s art.

“The Youth Can Do It project is part of a cooperation between NPA and the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (NUMGE). The project is funded 100 per cent by NUMGE.”

Itamar Marcus, director of PalWatch.org, said: “The NPA's response is outrageous. The organizations that fund Palestinian refugees should be trying to promote peace and not trying to further the conflict.”

[http://www.jewishtribune.ca/news/2015/01/19/cida-denies-funding-childrens-pa-map-project]


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