At a time when news of renewed aid to UNRWA from the US, Canada, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Norway and Germany now dominate the headlines, the time has come  for a dispassionate perspective from the vantage point of a social work professional  who has studied UNRWA for more than 33 years, producing monographs, studies, articles and films, in cooperation with Jewish and Arab experts, advised by academics who hold PHD’s in Islamic studies.

UNRWA does not create policies on its own.

Meeting on six occasions with the staff of the United Nations Secretary General in New York, it has become clear that the pedagogic guidelines for UNRWA emanate only from  donor nations who mandate that text and teachers for UNRWA will be supplied by the “host governments”:.

UNRWA recognizes the  Palestine Liberation Organization as the host government  in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem , which oversees a school system run by the nascent Palestine Authority.

Having met with the head of the PA Ministry of Education. Dr. Nayim Abu Hummus, on the day that the new PA school books were issued, on August 1, 2000,  Dr.  Abu Hummus was proud to say that the PA would now supply UNRWA with PA school teachers and PA school books as the exclusive textbook source to be used in UNRWA schools which operate in the 59 UNRWA refugee facilities in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem, acting under the authority of COGAT, also known as the Israel Civil Administration of the Israel Defense Forces.

Today,  with continuing endorsement of the  Israel security establishment, UNRWA spends 58% of its 1.5 billion dollar budget on education, with donations that  emanate allocations from more than seventy diplomatic missions  and more than thirty international humanitarian organizations .

It would seem like a perfect logistical arrangement.

After all, the PA represents the first autonomous Palestinian Arab entity to produce its own school books and its own teachers, and the 321,000 students in these UNRWA educational facilities are assured free education, from nursery school until the tenth grade, with finance assured from a plethora of donor nations,.

Yet there is a fly in the ointment, like an elephant in the room which you cannot ignore:  PA  education does not adhere to peaceful principles of the United Nations,

With no objection raised  from the government of Israel, the PA has created a new school curriculum for UNRWA schools which indoctrinates the next generation to believe in  “right of return by force of arms”  to villages that existed before 1948.
Having commissioned academic examinations of all 1000  texts that the PA supplied to UNRWA, having directed 24 films on the premises of UNRWA schools which use PA teachers, the only conclusion that you can reach is that the powers that be in Israel must not allow unsupervised PA education to continue, even if continues under the aegis of a recognized UN agency.

UNRWA policies do not only represent an affront to Jews.

Speaking as a social work professional, is it y appropriate for a humanitarian agency to coerce millions of these descendants of Arab refugees from the 1948 war to live in the indignity of refugee facilities, under the false premise and promise that they will be one day be repatriated to  homes and villages that no longer exist.

The authority for the PA to control education rests with one country: Israel. With a new knesset and a new government in formation, the time has come for the citizens of Israel to stand up and be counted.

UNRWA  indoctrination of the next generation for war will continue so long as Israel allows the PA to run its schools without a veto from the COGAT and the government of Israel.

Full disclosure: After earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work forty years ago, my ambition was to work for UNRWA, to help Arab refugees to get on with their lives, instead of enduring the sentence of refugee life for perpetuity.

Solve the refugee issue, you take the fire out of the PLO.


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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: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.