More Than 25 Celebrities Slam Trump Decision to Cut UNRWA Funding
Read HOPING’s statement in support of United Nations Relief and Works Agency @UNRWA signed by over 20 film-makers, artists, musicians and footballers https://t.co/65gKF3v9UD pic.twitter.com/Xp1e7xrVQC
— HOPING Foundation (@HopingPalestine) January 25, 2018
By: Emiliya Stahilova/Arab America Contributing Writer
Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Olivia Wilde are only a few of the celebrities who released a petition against the U.S. suspension of payments to UNRWA–the UN agency that provides education, healthcare and other social services to over 5 million Palestinian refugees. The statement signed by famous public personalities was published by the Hoping Foundation, a London-based group that assists Palestinian children.
Actor Hugh Grant was one of the signatories.
The foundation position is explicit: “We stand for dignity for the most vulnerable, and we stand with Palestinian refugees who are facing a terrible moment. We call on the UN Secretary-General to immediately convene a conference that can establish a stable funding system in order to protect UNRWA’s vital work. Peoples across the world have always supported the Palestinian struggle for freedom, and understand that Palestinian refugees – the most vulnerable – are the key to hope, and to any chance of a peaceful future.” The whole letter can be found here.
Signatories included: Andrew O’Hagan; Antony Gormley; Bella Freud; Brian Eno; David Morrissey; Emma Thompson; Eric Cantona; Esther Freud; Gary Lineker; Gillian Anderson; Hanif Kureishi; Hugh Grant; James Fox; Jemima Khan; Karma Nabulsi; Ken Loach; Laura Bailey; Mary McCartney; Olivia Wilde; Paul Laverty; Peter Kosminsky; Stephen Frears; Steve Coogan; Tilda Swinton; Tracey Emin; Viggo Mortensen; Will Self.
Actress Emma Thompson was also listed as a signatory.
Simultaneously, 21 aid organizations also wrote a letter, addressed to Trump’s administration warning about the “dire consequences” the withdrawal of contributions to UNRWA would cause.
The U.S. decision on UNRWA was announced in mid-January after President Donald Trump had made numerous remarks about Palestinians being “ungrateful”:
It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018