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Sunday, February 25, 2024

The government is not bothered that terrorism is funded with taxpayers’ money

By: Peter Jančič (Spletni časopis)

Our government has not joined practically all major Western countries that have temporarily suspended aid through UNRWA to Palestinians and those, like the EU, who demand explanations before continuing financing, on why employees of this institution participated in brutal terrorist attacks on Israel. On the contrary, Slovenia has joined the call of the UN leadership to continue paying for UNRWA’s activities. Our government does not even demand explanations. This is shameful. Citizens have not empowered it to transfer our money to pay for murders in Israel and the kidnapping of women and children there, as UNRWA employees have done, or to urge others to do so.

The financial decision of Prime Minister Robert Golob’s government, which sent €150,000 to UNRWA immediately after the terrorist attacks in Israel last year and publicly praised it, does not have a significant impact. If our government contributes, for example, a million annually, it is low in the overall halted budget, where hundreds of millions are at stake. However, the messages from our government are symbolic and indicate where we are heading: away from Western allies and closer to totalitarian dictatorships that do not help the Palestinians much.

Contributions to UNRWA from countries are voluntary. In 2022, the largest contributors for aid to Palestinians were the United States with €344 million, Germany with €202 million, the EU with €114 million, Sweden with €60 million, Norway with €34 million, Japan with €30 million, France with €29 million, and so on. All these countries, along with Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, have temporarily halted funding. The European Union has not stopped funding but demands explanations before continuing, and no transfers are planned in the near future.

The actions of our government, which does not demand explanations about how the money of Slovenian citizens has been used, shame us. Citizens have never agreed to fund the killing of girls in Israel, the kidnapping of babies, and the genocidal actions of Hamas, which were not successful only because they (still) did not have enough resources. We do not support the policies of Tanja Fajon and Robert Golob. On the contrary. This was not assistance to the Palestinians. The consequences for them are catastrophic. If money continues to be used for such purposes, it is not our government.

UNRWA provides assistance to Palestinian refugees in a broader region, not just in Gaza, and scandals regarding suspicions of funding entirely wrong activities have occurred in the past.

Slovenia publicly calls for continued funding of this agency, as otherwise, the lives of Palestinians would be endangered, explained the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The government has not yet decided on the contribution to UNRWA for this year.

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