This paper updates a report titled “UNRWA’s Problematic Educational Role in the Middle East Conflict”. The said report, issued in September 2017, reviewed UNRWA’s role in perpetuating the Middle East conflict, having used for decades textbooks that delegitimize the State of Israel and the very presence of its Jewish citizens in the country, demonize both Israel and Jews in various contexts and advocate a violent struggle against it instead of peace and coexistence. The said report covered the last four years of UNRWA activity and relied on some 150 textbooks published between 2013 and 2017. In the meantime, the PA has started in 2016 a new project of textbook publishing (and some of the 2016 books were republished with some changes in 2017). UNRWA spokespersons then claimed that the said report was “inaccurate and misleading”, having included old books that were not in use in UNRWA schools at the time of its appearance. The problem with this claim is that it ignores UNRWA’s active cooperation with the PA’s war indoctrination throughout the years before the latter’s initiation of the current textbook publishing operation. Nevertheless, just to meet the challenge, this updated paper includes only textbooks currently in use in UNRWA schools. Some of these books are scheduled to be replaced in January 2018, which will necessitate further updating of this paper in due course.
UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the refugees of the 1948 Palestine war – began its operations in 1950 and since then it has been present in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the territories of the West Bank (including Israeli East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. Unlike its parallel UNHCR organization that aims at resettling all other world refugees, UNRWA has extended the refugee status of the original refugees to include their descendants of four generations so far, while keeping them in makeshift camps under poor conditions and nourishing within them the false hope of their eventual return to their former places of residence in pre-1967 Israel. Thus, from a 700 thousand-strong population in 1948, the number of these socalled Palestinian refugees has by now exceeded 5 million.