A senior public relations official of UNRWA met with our agency in Washington, DC on March 5, 2013 and viewed the film A CLASSROOM IN UNRWA,http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=5382&q=1 and voiced comments that deserve a rebuttal.

Ten talking points to help respond to the UNRWA official:

1. The UNRWA official asserted that institutions built inside the UNRWA camps are not UNRWA’s responsibility and are not under the aegis of UNRWA. The UNRWA official explained that one of the schools in the UNRWA camp of Deheishe, near Bethlehem, where the film interviewed students and teachers, was registered as an Artas school. Artas is an Arab village several kilometers south of Deheishe. Yet in an on-the- record interview with our agency in 1991, Sandro Tucci, then head of UNRWA’s Public Information Office, claimed that all property in the UNRWA camps belonged to UNRWA and was under the aegis of UNRWA. See:http://www.israelbehindthenews.com/library/pdfs/UNWRAReport.pdf

2. The UNRWA official’s claim that UNRWA school children are only identified as UNRWA pupils if they are wearing UNRWA uniforms is simply not accurate. Our agency has provided news coverage on UNRWA for the past 24 years, in cooperation with major news media such as NBC and BBC and PBS. Sometimes we have seen UNRWA students in uniform and sometimes they are not in uniform.

3. The UNRWA official claims that UNRWA “must” use school books from the host entity. However, UNRWA, whose PR theme to the world is PEACE BEGINS HERE, does not have to use texts from the host entities if the texts support Jihad to liberate all of Palestine, texts that emulate people who blow themselves up on buses, and texts that advocate the “right of return” through armed struggle. The UNRWA official said that he would not examine Dr. Arnon Groiss’s study of how the right of return through the armed struggle is preached in the UNRWA schools. See Dr. Groiss’s translations of PA school books, which show that they do nit fit the UNRWA motto of PEACE BEGINS HERE:http://israelbehindthenews.com/library/pdfs/RightofReturninUNRWASchools.pdf ,http://israelbehindthenews.com/library/pdfs/PA-schoolbooks.pdf ,http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=4648&q=1

4. The UNRWA official asserted that the PA school books had been vetted by Prof. Nathan Brown, yet neglected to say that Brown remains a longstanding advocate for the PLO.See: http://www.mei.edu/profile/nathan-brown , http://pomed.org/about-us/board-of-advisors/ , http://electronicintifada.net/content/myth-incitement-palestinian-textbooks/5626
5. The UNRWA official asserted that the PA school books had been given an endorsement by the recent commission headed by Prof. Bruce Wexler, without noting that the commission members who had actually reviewed the PA school books were ignored by Prof. Wexler and issued dissenting reports which showed that Wexler purposely ignored heir findings.

See: http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=5329&q=1 ,http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=5331&q=1 ,http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=5347&q=1 ,http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=5332&q=1 .

6. The UNRWA official asserted that the teachers in the UNRWA schools whom we interviewed are not really UNRWA teachers. That would imply that the film’s production team turned to actors from Palestinian Universal Studios who were hired to act as teachers for these films.7. The UNRWA official claimed that Suhail al-Hindi, the Hamas UNRWA Union leader who featured in the film was removed by UNRWA. Except that Suhail al-Hindi was only suspended for a few day, and then reinstated in his position, after he appeared in a previous UNRWA film that was screened at the US Congress in September 2011.8. The UNRWA official claimed that UNRWA wanted to introduce “holocaust education” in their schools, a claim which is simply not true. The head of the executive office of UNRWA sent a letter to our agency, which asserted that there never was any intention to insert holocaust education in their schools. The notion of an UNRWA proposition to insert holocaust education was used to gain sympathy and funds in the Jewish world for UNRWA. Please review the letter at: http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=4310&q=19. The UNRWA official claimed that UNRWA has a introduced a human rights curriculum. Our agency conducted a review of that human rights curriculum on behalf of the Norwegian media which shows that the UNRWA concept of a human rights curriculum, makes no mention whatsoever of human rights for Jews or any religion except for Islam. See: http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=4420&q=110. The UNRWA official responded to the statements of UNRWA students that they are learning to kill Jews in their education by saying that the students who said such things in the movie were manipulated by TV crews to say such a thing. As the head of a humanitarian agency, should the spokesman of UNRWA not at least flinch at the sight of young people who endorse the murder of others?

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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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