I happened to sit next to someone from Trump’s transition team in December 2016 at a conference in Jerusalemn and had no idea who she was..
The background to this encounter speaks for itself
In January 2016, a senior official at the US State Department had called me a liar, to my face. He informed me that all the work that we had done on the Palestinian Authority textbooks used by UNRWA, using a professional Arabic translator, was one great fabrication, that the US government had checked out the PA textbooks used by UNRWA, and that they met the highest standards of peace education.
Six months later, the White House issued a statement in a similar vein to a colleague in DC: “While there is still work to be done, the Palestinian government has made significant progress in reducing inflammatory rhetoric and revising official textbooks. Over the past few years, the PA has helped improve the Palestinian curriculum, including textbooks that discuss human rights and the Holocaust, which has contributed to a better education for young Palestinians.”
To respond to this, I asked my staff to purchase all PA textbooks used by UNRWA and to translate all the books, so that we could hand the results to theUS Congress and to the Israeli Knesset.
One of the ironies is that USAID in Ramallah wrote to us, saying that the US “never examines the PA textbooks used by UNRWA”…despite the fact that the US donates $400 million each year to UNRWA – one third of the UNRWA budget.