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Report reveals UNRWA continues anti-Semitic hate, incitement in schools

It found that an “exercise describes ‘pieces of corpses’ being dispersed throughout city streets to teach grade-nine spelling”; and Israel, a U.N. member state, “is solely referred to as ‘the Enemy’ or ‘the Occupation’ and is erased from maps of the region.”

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) building in the southern Gaza Strip on July 26, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) building in the southern Gaza Strip on July 26, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

School material distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) continues to glorify Islamic jihad and incite violence in 2021 despite promises by UNRWA that the hateful content would be removed by last November, revealed a report published on Wednesday.

The report was released by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), an Israeli non-governmental organization, and highlighted UNRWA-distributed material dated from November 2020 to January 2021.

It found that “a spelling exercise created by UNRWA condemns peace and normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states”; “another exercise describes ‘pieces of corpses’ being dispersed throughout city streets to teach grade-nine spelling”; and Israel, a U.N. member state, “is solely referred to as ‘the Enemy’ or ‘the Occupation’ and is erased from maps of the region.”

IMPACT-se first published a report in January about the existence of this material, which “egregiously violated U.N. values, UNESCO standards, and UNRWA’s stated principles,” stated the organization. The material covered by the original report was distributed from March 2020 to September 2020.

UNRWA confirmed the existence of “inappropriate” material distributed to Palestinian students, though claimed that all instances of hate and incitement have been removed by November 2020, a period of eight months during which the material was taught.

UNRWA’s assertion about the removal of hateful content was echoed by government figures from countries donating to UNRWA. However, IMPACT-se’s new report proves UNRWA’s claim to be false.

“UNRWA promised that it had removed all the hateful content that its teachers had written. Sadly, as this research shows, this is simply not the case,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff. “It does not appear that the organization is institutionally capable of fulfilling its basic duty of care to the children in its schools. Donor countries need to start asking much more pointed questions of UNRWA if they want to stop financing this ongoing hate-teaching.”

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