Swiss diplomat Phillipe Lazzarini, head of United Nations Relief and Works Agency will now face a torrent of  pressure from donor nations to conduct sweeping policy change in light of the war. 

This is especially true regarding  UNRWA schools, which for the past 25 years have used the Palestinian Authority curriculum to indoctrinate Palestinian Arab children to conquer all of Palestine by force of arms, a goal hardly appropriate to a UN agency.

Policies  which the UNRWA commissioner will have to cope with.

  1. UNRWA textbooks which do not match UN values of peaceful reconciliation. The agency has reintroduced a new schoolbook which features Dalal el Mugrabi – whose terror squad commandeered a bus and murdered 38 passengers, including 13 children – as a role model for UNRWA pupils. In the new UNRWA text, Dalal is portrayed in full terror garb, followed by a lesson plan which presents her life story for adulation and emulation. The  commissioner would have confiscate such textbooks.
  2. UNRWA contracts for exclusive use of Palestinian Authority schoolbooks in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza. Like all UN agencies, UNRWA is supposed to run schools based on the UN slogan “Peace Begins Here.” PA education, however, runs schools based on the ideology of the Palestine Liberation Organization: Conquest of Palestine by force of arms. The new commissioner must  cancel the UNRWA-PA contract.
  3. UNRWAschools are adorned with posters and murals of “martyrs” who died while murdering Jews. The new UNRWA commissioner can order the removal of all violent images in agency facilities.
  4. El Kutla youth clubs in UNRWA schools inspire pupils with the mantra of the armed struggle from a young age. The new UNRWA commissioner can order El Kutla clubs to cease and desist from violent incitement.
  5. Military parades frequent UNRWA premises. The new commissioner can order an end to military parades in any UNRWA facility.
  6. Hamas terror groups present candidates to lead the agency’s teachers and workers unions. The new UNRWA commissioner can demand that any agency employee who runs on a “Hamas ticket” be barred from the payroll. Even the UN defines Hamas as a terrorist organization.
  7. Nakba events are scheduled again for this May 15, the day when the PLO mourns the defeat of the Arab armies that invaded Israel in 1948. These rallies call for the  violent overthrow of the  Jewish state/. The new UNRWA commissioner can issue a directive to refrain from any call to violence at the Nakba ceremonies in UNRWA facilities.
  8. Popular Gazan singer Mohammad Assaf, claiming to be “UNRWA Youth Ambassador,” whips up crowds to violence. The new UNRWA Commissioner can issue a policy statement that the agency dissociates itself from Assaf and his message.
  9. Memorial Events for Arabs killed in the act of murder occur in UNRWA schools. The new UNRWA commissioner can cancel such ceremonies.
  10. Fiscal Transparency. With a flow of $1.6 billion in donations from 67 nations and 32 NGOs, much of which arrives in cash, the UNRWA commissioner must ensure that all funds and equipment are used for humanitarian needs – and not stolen, transferred to the hands of terror groups or sold on the open market. The time has come for the  UNRWA commissioner to put an end to cash payments, which makes donor transparency nearly impossible.
  11. Export of UNRWA school texts. Using the diplomatic pouch of donor nations, the agency exports schoolbooks promoting the “right of return” and the replacement of Israel with “Palestine.” The New UNRWA commissioner can put an end to this.
  12. Obfuscation of the UNRWA financial situation. At no time has UNRWA ever specified how it spends its budget. The new commissioner could immediately publicize an accounting of expenditures.
  13. Non-recognition of Israel on the map. UNRWA distributes world and regional maps which obliterate Israel and replace all Israeli locations with Arab names. Should Israel, a UN member in good standing, not appear on a map issued by a UN agency? The  UNRWA commissioner can now make it his business to ensure that all maps show all members of the UN, including 

14 . Arms training summer camps. For the past twenty years, thousands of UNRWA students aged 9-16 have participated in summer camps that feature arms training with live weapons. With summer now approaching, the new UNRWA commissioner can act to curb arms training of “child soldiers,” which flies in the face of UN resolutions that protect the health and well-being of children.

  1. 15. An end to the transformation of UNRWA schools into arsenals of weapons, ammunition and missiles, as witnessed during the current war. The time has come for an arms inspection of all UNRWA facilities, especially UNRWA schools in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, which were not overrun by the IDF.
  2. Organization of a systematic UNRWA emigration center, to help UNRWA residents to relocate and start their lives anew, to provide an alternative to the “right of return” as the only option for their future.    


A post script on US UNRWA policy


The US- UNRWA accord, signed by the US and UNRWA on July 14th, 2021was one  a most positive and constructive initiatives of US Middle East Foreign Policy US-UNRWA-Accord-reached-on-July-14th-2021-1.pdf

For the first time, a major donor nation set conditions to fund UNRWA These mandatory  conditions were such that UNRWA could only gain access to hundreds of millions of US aid dollars after UNRWA would agree to delete its war education curriculum. 

In August, 2021, our news and research agency asked the UNRWA spokeswoman if UNRWA would indeed change its curriculum in light  of the US-UNRWA accord . 

“Absolutely not” said the UNRWA spokesperson. 

As a result, the US-UNRWA accord was enforced, to the letter of the law. Since UNRWA would not delete its curriculum, d not a penny of allocated US aid flowed to UNRWA for the past two years.

This US-UNRWA accord was enforced, to the law.

Last week, as Israel examines  policies to implement after the current  was, I was invited to testify about the US-UNRWA accord at the Knesset parliamentary committee for security and foreign affairs. 

After I completed testimony about the enforcement of that accord, which meant no  UNRWA access to US funds for UNRWA until there will be a change in the UNRWA syllabus , a rep. of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs contradicted my reassurances and informed Knesset members that the US Congress that Israel had been informed that the US would no longer abide by the US-UNRWA accord. In other words, the US will now allow funds to flow to UNRWA, without any constraints.

A new era of UNRWA indoctrination to the right of return via the armed struggle will now ensue.



  • The writer is head of Israel Resource News Agency at the Center for Near East Policy Research, located at the Beit Agron Center in Jerusalem. He has provided hands on news coverage of UNRWA”” since December 1987, assisted by a team of Jewish and Arab journalists. as producing 24 short films shot on location, along with two books, GENESIS OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY  and UNRWA; ROADBLOCK TO PEACE, along  hundreds of news articles.