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U.N.-Run Schools In Palestine Demonize And Deny Israel

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Tensions between the State of Israel and the United Nations continue to run high following a landmark resolution passed by the Security Council in December. Now, reports are resurfacing that United Nations-run schools in the West Bank and Gaza use textbooks denying and demonizing Israel.

According to YNet, researchers Dr. Arnon Gross and Dr. Ronni Shaked translated textbooks used by students in UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools operating in the West Bank and Gaza. They allege the material does not teach the students to recognize Israel, and defines Zionism as a colonist movement started by European Jews to force Arabs from their land.

According to the Center for Near East Policy Research, a poem from one of the textbooks writes about Israeli Jews:

How would you respond if an alien person attacked your family – / Having been dazzled by his weapon he bared a wolf’s fang ...How would you respond if he claimed that the date palm grove / And the orange orchard and your Arab olive tree / And yourself, and your wife Salma and your decent sons / Are war spoils and seized possessions…

The textbooks, however, were not written by UNRWA but by the Palestinian Ministry of Education.

CNEPR adds that Sweden is one of the largest financiers of the UNRWA schools, donating some $35 million U.S. annually to the program.

“There is a lot of incitement,” said Dr. Gross, who helped to translate the nearly 250 textbooks used by the Palestinian students. “UNRWA is presumably trying to set up an educational system, by they’re not. In classes there are teachers belonging to groups like Hamas and Fatah who call for the ‘liberation of Palestine’ and to murder Jews.”

Fatah has been a political party in Palestine since 1965. In 2006, Hamas became the ruling political party in Gaza. Both groups, however, are recognized by the international community as terrorist groups.

“When education is focused on blaming Israel, that needs to shock people,” David Bedein, head of CNERP, added. “There is no oversight of educational content. ... For the first time we’ve had the textbooks translated. Only a year ago, the US representatives said they’re fine … [but they’re] not fine. ... Our job is to blow away the myth that there’s been a change in education.”

Sources: YNet, Center For Near East Policy Research (23) / Photo credit: Rushdi al-Sarraj/UNRWA

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