Most recently, a constituent of Sen. James Risch (R-IDAHO), the chairman of the US Senate Near East Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked the GAO (Government Accountability Office) about the status of the GAO investigation of Palestinian Authority school books now used by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, texts which are now rife with war indoctrination. (1)

Senator Risch had ordered the GAO study after his Idaho constituent introduced the Senator to the findings of the Center for Near East Policy Research, which purchases, translates and evaluates all schoolbooks that Palestinian Arab children learn in all UNRWA schools.

In September 2017, the Center for Near East Policy Research brought Senator Risch a new study of the 2016 -2017 schoolbooks, financed in part by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and published by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. (2)

In February 2018, the Center for Near East Policy Research completed an updated study of the newest PA school books provided to UNRWA, and determined that the 2018 PA schoolbooks provided for UNRWA continued to prepare a new generation for war. (3)

Chuck Young, managing director of public affairs of the GAO provided the answer for Senator Risch: “I checked with our team doing the work on Palestinian textbooks that you inquired about… the State Department indicated the report will need to be classified and cannot be released publicly. GAO must follow such classification decisions so we do not expect to issue a public report at this point. It would be available only to those with the necessary secret security clearance and a need to know, such as Members of Congress”

This leads to several unanswered questions: Why would the US State Department not want to disclose what half a million students study in US funded UNRWA schools?  These schoolbooks reach half a million students of UNRWA and are publicly disseminated. Why should the content of schoolbooks paid for in part by the US government not be disclosed? After all, The US donates 30% of the $1.2 billion UNRWA budget. 54% of the UNRWA budget is allocated to UNRWA education.

On May 3, 2018, in official correspondence, Mr. Young of the GAO confirmed that their report on UNRWA education was completed. In the next sentence, Mr. Young affirmed that the US Government had classified the report and that it would not be shared with the public.

A theory: Since all indications are that the GAO will document that Palestinian Authority school books used by UNRWA indeed work against peace and reconciliation, publication of such an official GAO report will make it impossible for the US government to maintain its policy that the nascent Palestinian Authority constitutes a bona fide peace partner.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, issued a statement that  “We urge this decision be reversed,” he said. “UNRWA needs reform. Even UN Secretary General Guterres said so. The idea that a study about what the Palestinians teach their children in textbooks should be withheld from the public is unconscionable and unacceptable. When textbooks reflect a rejection of the reality of Israel and the legitimacy of Israel as a neighbor, we will see another generation offered up by their leaders as cannon fodder and unable to accept a peace offer.”


(1) http://israelbehindthenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Scope-of-Our-Work-UNRWA-Reform-Intiative-2003-2018.pdf

(2) http://israelbehindthenews.com/full-study-school-books-now-used-unrwa-palestinian-authority/16438/

(3) http://israelbehindthenews.com/israel-jews-peace-new-pa-textbooks-used-unrwa-schools-today-final-study/16903/

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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