Our office was the first entity to acquire new Palestinian Authority textbooks in 2000.

We acquired the new PA schoolbooks – through direct contact with Arafat.

I had asked Arafat as to when he would express support for peace in the Arabic language.

Arafat’s response was that there would be new Palestinian Authority textbooks, and he gave  a letter of authorization to meet with his minister of education, to receive the new schoolbooks and to peruse them. Perhaps Arafat thought that he was calling his bluff.

However, The Arafat letter came in useful to meet with his PA Minister of Education, Nayim Abu Humus, on August 1, 2000 in Ramallah and then went on to purchase all new PA schoolbooks from the PA as they were issued in stages over a period of six years.

Our office became a resource as to whether PA schoolbooks are a source of peace advocacy.

Our experts who combed through the PA schoolbooks were PhD’s in Islamic studies who researched new PA schoolbooks, which educate 492,000 school children in 699 UNRWA schools, many of which were built by US AID.

The printing and evaluation of new PA schoolbooks were left to the nations that sponsored these books: Holland, Ireland, Belgium, Finland and Italy.

Italy closed the door on the PA schoolbook publication project after the Vatican issued a report that the new PA/UNRWA schoolbooks read like war manuals. Our office had supplied the Vatican’s ambassador in Jerusalem, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, with a set of the new PA schoolbooks, who had asked to see the new PA schoolbooks at the directive of Pope John Paul II.

We also dispatched experts on PA/UNRWA education to meet with staffers of the US Congress in August 2004 to discuss the war education that was inherent in the new PA/UNRWA curriculum. Following that meeting, US AID sent a letter on Sept. 8, 2004 to our office to clarify that US AID builds UNRWA schools but does not evaluate, review or vet the textbooks taught in the UNRWA schools.

However, over the past year, the US government issued official memos to the media and to the US Congress that the US does indeed vet the PA school books taught in the UNRWA schools and that they pass   standards of acceptable peace education curriculum that would be appropriate to any UN educational institution.  A high ranking official of the US State Department who supervises US AID personally met with us a year ago and gave clear assurances the new school books used by UNRWA had been vetted by the US government.

For that reason, our office went to the expense of purchasing and translating the new PA/UNWRA books, and found them to be worse than ever before. US Tel Aviv embassy staff met with our staff in January and made it clear that they were impressed with our research on the PA/UNRWA schoolbooks.

However, when we arrived in DC in March with experts on PA/UNRWA education to meet with staff of the Middle East Subcommittee, the US government issued a new stinging memo, declaring that the US was pleased with the current PA curriculum, adding false information that the PA had introduced Holocaust studies.

Last week, our staff met  US AID officials in Ramallah who reiterated what US AID had written to our agency in 2004, which is that the US does not vet the PA/UNRWA school books.

In the words of a senior US AID official in Ramallah:

“WE DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE PALESTINIAN  CURRICULUM”

It would seem that a war education curriculum hardly fits in with the hope that a Palestinian state   would coexist in peace with Israel. The US administration also called our bluff and thought that we would not check the new PA school books and that we would not verify their statements with the US AID office in Ramallah.

Sources:

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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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. But, it get’s even worse.
    Some Israeli politician has been corrupted by some means.
    IDF has a new policiy of shaving off the beards of religious soldiers.

    A clear violation of Jewish Torah law.

    But, wait, that’s not making sense.
    How can the Jewish State of Israel force Jewish observant soldiers to shave off their beards?
    What Jewish politician would succumb to such a suicidal policy?
    That brings into question the whole notion that Israel is a Jewish state.
    Otherwise…..hmmm, maybe it’s posing as a Jewish state, but actually it’s a secular state.
    Wait, that doesn’t make sense, if it’s a secular state, then there’s no point to insist on Jerusalem be it’s capital of the Jewish state.
    Does that make sense?
    So, what the hell is going on here?

    Hmmmm only a Jewish politician that’s been “compromised” would suddenly become intolerant of observant Jewish soldiers, (while super tolerant of LGBT pride parades, and Arab participation in Israeli politics).

    Hmm…ooo ya, yet another disasterous fiasco about to become unveiled to splat egg back on the face of the Flim-Flam man.

    So lets recap how July and August has gone so far.
    The Turkish coup flopped, now a nuclear armed Nato ally Turkey, is besties with Putin.
    The $400 Milllion Iran ransom, that wasn’t a ransom, but everyone knows is a ransom….leaves Iran good.
    Then we have Mr.Pollard, 63 years old, convicted “spy” (who actually saved America from tangling Saddam Hussein with nukes) was release on parole, but, is not allowed to remove his electronic ankle bracelet, therefore is unable to observe the shabbat properly.
    Technically is forced to violate the Gd given command to ‘rest on the 7th day”.
    Still not enough….
    BLM now proponents of killing cops and white people allied with the Palestinian cause, is praised by the potus.

    And…..this latest ridiculous IDF “beard” shaving story, silly as it sounds, it’s deadly serious to the fools who thought it up.
    Can you picture how this is going?
    I think it’s fair to say, opening up Long positions on the VIX make a lot of sense.

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