UNRWA uses the school textbooks of the Palestinian Authority in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza.

That policy in itself raises a serious ethical problem, since the PA books contain crude anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic expressions  – clearly contradicting UNRWA’s defined neutral  character as a UN organization

Since UNRWA uses the PA schoolbooks with no omissions or amendments, it actually becomes full partner of the PA anti-Israeli and, sometimes, anti-Semitic indoctrination.  The Center for Near East Policy Research, of which I am the director, has taken upon itself to check attitudes to war and peace which appear in the Palestinian Authority schoolbooks used by UNRWA, ever since the PA issued its new school books in the August 2000, when we met with the PA minister of Education and received the first set of new PA schoolbooks to be used in the UNRWA schools. The Center for Near East Policy Research  has  acquired  new PA schoolbooks ever since, and now have access to the entire PA curriculum, which the Center for Near East Policy Research  publishes through the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, located at the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC).

The Center commissioned the study of new PA schoolbooks used by UNRWA  to Dr.  Arnon Groiss, a scholar of Middle Eastern studies who holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Princeton University, as well as an MPA degree from Harvard University, who worked as a journalist for 42 years at the Voice of Israel Arabic Language Service until his recent  retirement. Over the last 19 years  Dr. Groiss  has analyzed all  ​364 ​schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority and compared them to their Israeli parallels.

These 364 schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority for Grades 1-12 in various school subjects that were published in the years 2013-2018 were thoroughly checked and were found to be devoid of any hint of  education for peace and co-existence with Israel.

Now  a  new element has been introduced into PA school books  – the call for an armed struggle for the liberation of the whole of “Palestine,” including Israel’s  pre-1967 territory. A textbook for Grade 3 features a poem that mentions the necessity of exterminating the foreigners and the “ scattered remnants”, namely, the country’s Jewish inhabitants, following the removal of Israel (the “ usurper” is the terminology used for Israel in PA textbooks ).  Another book, for Grade 5, presents the terrorist Dalal al- Mughrabi, who led the terrorist attack on a civilian bus on Israel, Coastal Highway in 1978, as a role model for the students.
These two books were published in 2017 and both are used in all Palestinian schools today, including all UNRWA schools. It is obvious that this kind of education  is actually war indoctrination which must be changed if any semblance of peace between the two peoples is to be achieved. Instead, UNRWA schoolbooks are characterized by…

  • De-legitimization of Israel & the presence of Jews in the country.
  • Denial of the existence of any place are sacred to Jews
  • Demonization of Jews
  • In the latest UNRWA texts, Israel, a member of he UN, no longer exists – it is only referred to as a Zionist entity.

In addition, the Center for Near East Policy Research has been publishing studies ever since 2003 which have documented the takeover of the UNRWA workers union and UNRWA teachers union by Hamas. To verify facts on the ground, the  Center for Near East Policy Research has produced 24 short films which document the reality of UNRWA indoctrination towards the “right of return by force of arms”.

 

*David Bedein is a community organization social work professional and journalist who launched the Israel Resource News Agency in 1987 and who became the director of the Center for Near East Policy Research in 2005. Both entities work with the media and diplomatic corps in Israel to provide in-depth news and research coverage of The Middle East. David, whose web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com,  has produced more than 3000 news stories, 18 short films and two books: Genesis of the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA: Road Block to Peace.

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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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