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March 9, 2018 9:57 am

UNRWA Textbooks Still Contain Endless Incitement

avatar by David Bedein


Palestinian students raise their hands in an UNRWA-run school. Photo: UN Photo / Shareef Sarhan.

In response to its critics, UNRWA reviewed its textbooks and teaching materials — and found that three percent of the total pages were inconsistent with the UN values of neutrality, gender equity and age-appropriateness.

To begin with, this three percent number is a total sham.

But second, regarding the offensive materials that it found — UNRWA didn’t actually remove them. Instead, UNRWA says that it issued some additional materials for teachers to supplement this offensive material.

In other words, the shocking textual paragraphs, pictures, maps, poems, exercises, etc. are still widely used in UNRWA schools — just as before.

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The same goes for other books that came out recently, which I just reviewed and included in my latest study of February 2018.

Below are examples of what can still be found in UNRWA teaching materials:

1. A terrorist attack on an Israeli civilian bus by molotov cocktails is described in a story as “a barbecue party” [haflat shiwaa in Arabic] — Arabic Language, Grade 9, Part 1 (2017) p. 61.

2. A verse in a poem describes the fate of the Jews following the predicted Palestinian liberation of Israel: “I swear! I will sacrifice my blood to water the land of the noble ones, to remove the usurper [code name for Israel] from my land and to exterminate the remnants of the foreigners…” — Our Beautiful Language, Grade 3, Part 2 (2017) p. 64.

3. A picture of Dalal al-Mughrabi, who led the terrorist attack on an Israeli bus on the Coastal Highway in 1978, in which more than 30 civilians — men, women and children — were murdered. The photo appears alongside a text describing her as a martyr who “painted with her struggle a picture of challenge and heroism which has made her memory eternal in our hearts and minds.” — Arabic Language, Grade 5, Part 2 (2017) p. 51.

4. Promises that Palestinian refugees will return to their former places of residence, which will be part of sovereign Palestine: “We shall return to hoist Palestine’s flag … on our green hills.” — Arabic Language, Grade 5, Part 1 (2017) p. 82.

5. A cartoon appears in one of the books showing an Israeli bulldozer digging beneath the mosque on the Temple Mount, thus explicitly accusing Israel of planning to destroy it — Social Studies, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) p. 64.

6. A poem describes Jews as the Devil’s aides, in the context of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem — Arabic Language, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) p. 66

7. Hebrew inscriptions are erased from a coin of the British Mandate period — Mathematics, Grade 6, Part 2 (2017) p. 63.

8. A paragraph denies the Jews’ share in Jerusalem’s history: “Jerusalem is an Arab city built by our Arab forefathers thousands of years ago. Jerusalem is a holy city for Muslims and Christians.” — National and Social Upbringing, Grade 3, Part 1 (2017) p. 28.

9. An assignment next to a map of the whole country — under the name “Palestine” — presents Israel’s pre-1967 territory as occupied Palestine: “We will distinguish between the Palestinian cities occupied by the Zionists in 1948 and the ones that they occupied in 1967.” — Social Studies, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) p. 56.

10. The whole country appears in one color with the name “Palestine” next to it, and with the Palestinian flag flown above — National and Social Upbringing, Grade 4, Part 1 (2017) p. 7.

And these are only a few examples.

There are also cases in which Israeli cities such as Ramleh are described as occupied Palestinian cities. Other passages exalt jihad and martyrdom in the Palestinian context.

Moreover, the whole attitude in the 2017 books used by UNRWA is war indoctrination “for the liberation of Palestine,” with almost complete avoidance of the use of the name “Israel” — and numerous demonizing descriptions using the term “Zionist occupation.”

This war indoctrination is intensified by inserting remarks about various aspects of the conflict into non-related school subjects, such as biology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, history and religion.

In short, UNRWA has not really addressed any of the problems in its education curriculum.

* Dr. Arnon Groiss, who holds a PHD in Islamic Studies from Princeton, researched these findings.

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