Welcome to UNRWA: STOP TEACHING HATE

On 18 March 2020, Mr Philippe Lazzarini was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Commissioner Lazzarini has emphasized that more than half of UNRWA’s budget is spent on education of the 500,000 Palestinian children who live in refugee camps run by UNRWA. The new commissioner has stated that there is no longer any glorification of martyrdom in UNRWA schools. In July 2020, he claimed that “we have zero tolerance for incitement or violence” and that hate and incitement are no longer part of the curriculum.
BUT – this film, produced by David Bedein and colleagues in August 2020 (as students were returning to school), at an UNRWA school in Gaza, tells a very different story. In a visit to a third grade class of girls there is a performance of a song – a popular hit – which states that “I shall sacrifice my blood for Palestine”. Even more damaging to Mr. Lazzarini’s claims is the phrase ”exterminate their scattered remains and remove the usurper from my country”. This latter is a clear call for the War of Return.
Near the school we see a group of teenagers launching fire balloons at Israel and, finally, young boys expressing their feelings with thoughts like “I wish Allah will burn the Jews”.
Clearly, Mr. Lazarini, who claims there is no glorification of martyrdom and no incitement, is not painting an accurate picture of what happens in the schools he runs. The incitement is extreme.
This film and others like it prove that the education provided will never create any peace partners with whom Israel could negotiate. UNRWA’s annual budget is around a billion US dollars more than half of which is spent on education. The current quality of the education makes it even more urgent that UNRWA aid, from wherever it comes, must be conditioned on UNRWA changing the content of the education provided and vetting the teachers to ensure the lessons are providing an education that will be free of hate and incitement.

News bulletin from Joan Lurie

David Bedein, Director of Israel Behind the News has been in the forefront of supporting research to expose the content of and damage done by UNRWA education. Now he has started a campaign to encourage current donor nations to stop paying without conditions on how the money is used. Since the overwhelming majority of UNRWA funds come from donor nations (and not directly from the UN) withdrawal of these funds or, better, conditioning continued funding on improving the education could be an effective strategy. This letter is being posted because we believe this is a necessary step especially since the Biden administration is going to restart US payments to UNRWA which had been cancelled by the Trump administration.


THE PATH TO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST BEGINS IN THE CLASSROOM…
BUT NOT IN THESE CLASSROOMS!

“OUR ULTIMATE GOALS ARE REFORMED TEXTBOOKS AND TEACHERS COMMITTED TO TOLERANCE AND PEACE.”

WHAT ARE PALESTINIAN CHILDREN
CURRENTLY EXPOSED TO IN THE CLASSROOM?

Incitement-filled books that encourage hatred and the killing of Jews, deny the existence of the Jewish State of Israel (a UN member state), claim that Jews have no historical connection to the land and glorify martyrs. Promoting martyrdom and jihad will not produce a generation of Palestinians inclined to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

EVEN IF UNRWA WERE TO BE DISSOLVED, THE HATE AND INCITEMENT IN THE EDUCATION WOULD STILL HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED.

WHO WE ARE

The mission of the UNRWA: STOP TEACHING HATE Caucus is to ensure that the UNRWA/Palestinian Authority curricula conform to standards of peace and tolerance required by United Nations principles and documents. It is immoral to use textbooks which teach Palestinian children to hate and kill Jews, to glorify martyrdom, to vilify and deny the existence of Israel, and to use maps on which Israel (a UN member state) does not appear.

Home

We respect your privacy. We do not sell or lend your data.