A Knesset briefing to discuss the funding of UNRWA by donor nations, including Australia & New Zealand, which fuels ongoing hate education and incitement, was held this week in Jerusalem.
Chaired by Member of Knesset, Yehudah Glick, this briefing was attended by diplomatic representatives of several countries (not including Australia or NZ), as well as interested individuals from the media, people engaged in Israel advocacy and university students from USA & UK doing summer internships in Israel.
Opening the briefing, MK Yehudah Glick, stressed the vital importance of donor nations insisting on accountability by UNRWA as to how the funds were being utilized. In addition he denounced the scandalous situation whereby the Palestinian Arab refugees were continuing to be kept in miserable conditions. Instead of giving them hope for a better life, they were being fed illusions, brainwashed by hate and denied any chance for a peaceful future. All this thanks to an international community which prefers to ignore reality and a Palestinian Authority which has a vested interest with UNRWA in perpetuating the problem.
Bassem Eid, a Palestinian Arab human rights activist and a former resident of the Shuafat refugee camp, gave an impassioned speech in which he accused the UN and the PA of being complicit in using the refugees as political hostages to condemn Israel and squeeze more money out of a gullible international community. He outlined how he has spoken to many Governmental and private groups overseas in order to bring to their attention the true situation. So far there has been a reluctance to acknowledge that there is anything amiss.
Dr. Arnon Groiss, a member of the advisory council on Israeli-Palestinian Arab textbook research project, presented his findings on the latest batch of textbooks used in schools under the control of UNRWA. In Gaza, Hamas has taken over the UNRWA schools and the teachers and textbooks reflect an uncompromising desire to murder Jews. Using imagery and texts lifted straight from the pages of the Third Reich, the next generation of Palestinian Arabs is being educated to hate and murder Jews and Israelis. All this, funded by donor nations led by the largest donor, the USA.
Massad Abu Toameh, a Palestinian Arab journalist, addressed the briefing and shared his own personal experiences of how a PA corrupt leadership has a vested interest in keeping the millions of dollars flowing from donor countries. He admitted how disgusted he was when upon examining the textbooks his child in first grade was using he discovered incitement and hate. Having visited Arab refugee camps in various countries he has seen for himself how rotten and corrupt the problem has become.
It is apparent that unless and until donor nations insist on not only accountability by UNRWA but demand its total reform there will never be a resolution to this humanitarian scandal.