JLTV will premiere a stunning new documentary that portrays the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as an organization dedicated to inciting Palestinian militancy through its educational curriculum and staff in schools and refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza. “Palestinian Refugee Policy: From Despair to Hope,” a 30-minute film, will air on Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. on Comcast’s Channel 196 and on DIRECT TV’s Channel 366.
“The Palestinian curriculum taught at UNRWA schools is not a curriculum of peace. It is rather a curriculum of delayed war against Israel,” said David Bedein, producer of the film, who also serves as president of the Center for Near East Policy Research in Jerusalem.
Bedein lived in Philadelphia as a child before moving to Israel in the 1970s, and has reported on alleged mismanagement of the UNRWA for decades. UNRWA – a United Nations relief agency dedicated solely to aid Palestinian refugees – has grown significantly over the last 60 years and now has a $1billion annual budget. Each year the US contributes several hundred million to UNRWA and since 1950 it has been the largest single donor – contributing approximately 4 billion dollars to UNRWA.
The film goes behind the scenes in West Bank and Gaza schools and refugee camps, and includes interviews with UNRWA teachers, students and Palestinian education ministers who endorse UNRWA’s curriculum. That curriculum consistently reinforces Palestinian ideology that calls for the destruction of Israel.
The film reveals the UNRWA-Hamas connection in Gaza, where UNRWA’s 10,000-member teacher’s union is controlled by Hamas members. Featured in the film is former UNRWA teachers and Hamas Minister of Interior and Civil Affairs Said Seyem, who oversaw mortar and rocket attacks on Israel. Also featured is a eulogy conducted at a Gaza UNRWA school for former UNRWA headmaster Awad al-Keek, who also led Hamas attacks on Israel. In addition, the film details an educational forum at a Gaza school, where Hamas union leader Suhil al-Hinde, and Hamas founder Sheik Yassin lectured abut the merits of suicide bombing. Al-hinde told students: “The road to Palestine runs through the blood of our martyrs”
The film also displays students singing revolutionary songs. Under the watchful eyes of teachers at UNRWA’s Rimal Beach Elementary School in Gaza, students sing: “Glory to a liberated and an Arab Palestine… Glory and eternal life for the martyrs and the righteous… We will liberate Jerusalem. Jerusalem is ours, ours, ours!”
Besides UNRWA teachers and students, the film features UNRWA Director of Gaza Operations John Ging, Hamas Education Minister Mohammed Askoul, Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group Founder Bassam Eid, Palestinian Authority Education Minister Lamis al-Alami.
The film also shows the affect the teaching has had on students. Over the years, 41 former UNRWA students went on to become suicide bombers. They killed 83 people and wounded another 436. Included in the film is in an interview with Wafa al-Bas, who was badly burned in 2005 and then treated in a Beersheba hospital for several months. On her way to a return checkup at the hospital, she was arrested with a suicide belt that she planned to detonate in her doctor’s office.
“I was very relaxed when the belt was on my body, because I had the intention to kill as many Jews as I possibly could,” she says in an interview in the film.