NEW YORK – Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic themes in textbooks used by schools run by the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA have only worsened in recent years, the Algemeiner reported.
A recent 261-page report by Dr. Aaron Groiss reviewed 77 books issued by the Palestinian Authority in 2016 and 2017 that are used by United Nations Relief and Works Agency-run schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The study, which was published in cooperation with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Center for Near East Policy Research, and the Middle East Forum, noted that “the attitude toward Israel and Jews has gotten worse.”
The books show that, regarding Jews and Israel, Palestinian children are educated with ideals of “delegitimization, demonization and indoctrination to violent struggle instead of peace.”
In addition, the report found, “Jewish holy places, such as the Wailing [Western] Wall in Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are not recognized as such. Rather, they are presented in the books as Muslim holy places usurped by the Jews.”
Israel “is not recognized as a sovereign state and its name does not appear on maps, except for one case in which it is depicted as an occupying entity since 1948,” the report said. “Israel is sometimes replaced by Palestine as the sovereign state in the region both in text and on maps, and the latter is supposed to cover all of Israel’s territories after their liberation from occupation.”
Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Algemeiner, “It’s a war curriculum, not a peace curriculum.”
“Based on what is now being taught, for the next generation of Palestinian kids there is no Israel, it doesn’t exist,” Cooper added. “There’s absolutely nothing in these books that sets the stage for any breakthrough that would bring true peace between the two peoples.”
Last week, Cooper was joined by Groiss and two other Middle East experts to present the findings of the study on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and at UN headquarters in New York City.
“The UN, through UNRWA especially, is part of the problem, and it has the leverage, if it exercises it from the top, to send a signal to the Palestinians,” Cooper said.
“This is not a right or left issue,” he said. “This is a study that everybody, across the full political and social spectrum, everywhere, needs to read.”
Last month, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Israel is stepping up pressure on American legislators to dismantle UNRWA in its current form.
Also, Breitbart Jerusalem chief Aaron Klein recently published a piece titled, “Six Reasons Trump Should Stop Funding the UN’s Palestinian ‘Refugee’ Agency.”