Teachers and staff working at Palestinian schools funded by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) regularly incite antisemitism, terrorism, and hate on social media, according to a new report released Tuesday by Impact-se and UN Watch, two nonprofits that research educational content in the Palestinian Territories.
The report, titled “UNRWA Education: Reform or Regression,” cited over 200 examples of UNRWA teachers promoting hateful content on social media, including an Syrian math teacher’s praising a March 2022 terrorist attack in Israel that claimed four lives, a Lebanon teacher’s calling the architect of several attacks a “martyr” and “noblest of souls,” and a Syrian UNRWA employee’s sharing on social media a photograph of Hitler, which she captioned, “there are still some people you need to burn.”
The problem exists alongside incitement in UNRWA school curriculum, the report continued, showing photographs of a school in Gaza teaching students that Dalal Mughrabi, who coordinated in 1978 the Coastal Road Massacre, which killed 38 Israelis, including thirteen children, is a “hero” and “the fighting leader.”
It also cited an UNRWA textbook used in the Al-Maghazi Middle School for Boys in Gaza that contains fictional stories of Israelis murdering Palestinians. In what Impact-se and UN Watch described as a “graphic text,” a Palestinian boy watches a “fountain of blood bursting” from his father’s chest after he is shot by an IDF officer for “being late to shore.” Fifth graders at Al-Maghazi are also taught that martyrdom and jihad represent “the most important meanings of life.”
The Algemeiner asked UNRWA to comment on the report’s findings, but it did not immediately respond.
The agency, established by the United Nations in 1949, according to its website, has a “zero tolerance” policy on “hate speech and incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” and has repeatedly denied claims to the contrary. It receives over a billion dollars from donor states across the world, with the United States and the European Union (EU) alone contributing $511.5 million in 2021, a sum that, lawmakers across the Atlantic have said, is essentially awarded without any guarantee that UNRWA will expunge antisemitism in its curricula and bring its schools in line with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s standards.
In the report’s conclusion, Impact-se and UN Watch called on the UNRWA donor states to demand enforcement of the agency’s zero tolerance policy, independently investigate evidence outlined in their report, and determine whether UNRWA still employs individuals identified as distributors of antisemitic social media content.
“UNRWA might be the most heavily funded educational undertaking in the history of international aid, and yet our report today demonstrates how UNRWA has consistently breached its duty of care to the children attending its schools,” Impact-se CEO Marcus Sheff said ahead of the group’s presentation. “UNRWA is obsessed by public relations spin and fundraising, but disinterested in the extremism of its educational network. If UNRWA had wanted to stop the hate-teaching, it would have done so years ago.”
Impact-Se and UN Watch will on Tuesday report their findings to the US Congress, which is considering the “Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act,” a bill, coauthored by U.S. Congressmen Brian Mast (R-FL) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), aimed at preventing US tax dollars from funding antisemitic education materials in schools in the Gaza Strip.
In September, Sherman stressed that US support for Palestinians “is not a blank check” and argued that curricula in schools administered by the Palestinian Authority and UNWRA are antithetical to US values of “tolerance and peacebuilding.”
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said on Tuesday that UNRWA must be held accountable and is “complicit” in its staff members’ behavior.
“Around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed,” he continued. “Yet UNRWA, despite proclaiming ‘zero tolerance’ for incitement, systematically employs preachers of anti-Jewish hate and terrorism. Let us be clear: the problem is not social media posts, but rather the employment of teachers who preach antisemitism and terror.”
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.
The post ‘There Are Still Some People You Need to Burn’: UN Teachers in Gaza Praise Terrorists, Hitler on Social Media, New Report Says first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
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Author: Dion J. Pierre
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