UNRWA inciting violence with U.S. funding , study shows

IMPACT-se study of learning material published by the UN body shows includes inciting violence and is anti-Semitism; appears in school books distributed in dozens of schools despite earlier commitments, crossing what U.S. envoy says are 'red lines'
Itamar Eichner|
A new IMPACT-se study which analyzed hundreds of pages of the new United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school books, shows the agency continues to incite violence as well erase Israel’s existence from maps.
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  • The new study materials for 2022 were not uploaded to UNRWA’s online study portal, where the agency claims all materials it produces can be found after meticulous editing that comply with the UN values such as peace and tolerance.
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       An UNRWA school books reviewed in the  IMPACT-se study
       An UNRWA school books reviewed in the  IMPACT-se study
    An UNRWA school books reviewed in the IMPACT-se study
    The materials reviewed in the study conducted by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), was produced, edited and approved by UNRWA and released to thousands of students, teachers and staff in over 30 schools.
    Lessons in the curriculum includes calls to free Jerusalem with blood. Arabic spelling and vocabulary exercises which include words like “Jihad fighters” against the “Occupiers” and an obligation to “free” Palestine.
    Arabic is taught through poem that teach the “hobby” of killing Israelis and dying as a martyr in the holy war, and that peace is an unwanted sign of weakness.
    In eight grade school books, female students are taught about women who sacrificed themselves and their children for Islam and earned fame as role models to follow, in Palestinian society.
    Antisemitic materials are also included in the updated school books published by UNRWA, who had committed not publish any more inciting materials.
    In those books, Jews and Jewish traits are described as impure and treacherous and anti-Islam and Muslims. The books teach that Israel was an anti-Arab plan of European colonization set to divide the Arab world.
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    פיליפ לזריני מנהל אונר"א
    פיליפ לזריני מנהל אונר"א
    UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini
    (Photo" Reuters)
    Israel, which is part of the UN, is wiped from all records in the agency’s maps, presenting Palestine instead and asking students to name cities in areas under Israeli control.
    The study showed that content produced previously by UNRWA, which it claims teachers were told to avoid, are still present in the new materials published as well.
    IMPACT-se representatives met with UNRWA head, Philippe Lazzarini, in May and said they were worried about the covert production of new materials and their absence from online presence . The study was brought to Lazzarini last week before it was published.
    UNRWA committed in 2021 to removing material inciting hate and violence that it produced, as well as to deal harshly with any who may try to teach such content.
    The agency had to announce its employees produceג and distributed “in error”, “unfit” material which goes against UN guidelines. Their online portal was created shortly after.
    In a discussion in the UN congress over the UNRWA study materials in June, U.S. ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the topic is “A red line to all of us.”
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    שגרירת ארה"ב ב או"ם לינדה תומאס גרינפלד
    שגרירת ארה"ב ב או"ם לינדה תומאס גרינפלד
    U.S. ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield
    (Photo: AFP)
    She claimed the agency is acting for the removal of such material and that the American government is working “very closely” with it and “overseeing their work.” The U.S. donated close to 400 million dollars to UNRWA since President Joe Biden became president.
    UNRWA stated it was reviewing the study in detail.
    “After a similar occurrence last years, UNRWA promised to remove any inciteful material it produced. Marcus Sheff, IMPACT-se CEO said. "It seems the agency took this as a removal from the website where such material can be seen but had not removed it entirely," he said
    "The organization was made aware of our concerns two months ago. Unfortunately, it is clear that hateful teaching in UNRWA schools is increasing with the resumption of U.S. funding. No doubt enforcing policies is a possibility, considering American red lines are crossed so clearly,” Sheff said.
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