UNRWA molding impressionable young minds. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
UNRWA school in Gaza

The PA is upset the UNRWA is making changes to its curriculum to make it more sympathetic to Israel and more historically accurate and truthful.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced Thursday it is suspending ties with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) over changes that make the agency’s school curriculum more sympathetic to Israel and more historically accurate and truthful.

The PA’s Education Ministry called the changes an “affront to the Palestinian people, its history and struggles,” and vowed the suspension will not change until UNRWA reverses the changes.

UNRWA schools serve more than 312,000 Palestinian children, including 262,000 students in Gaza as well as 50,000 in the Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem.

While UNRWA has not listed any changes to its curriculum, the Times of Israel—citing Arab media—reported the changes include “revisions to maps of Palestine to exclude references to cities inside Israel as Palestinian cities, a practice that numerous studies of Palestinian textbooks have labeled as ‘incitement.’ Other changes were reportedly planned to tone down praise for Palestinian prisoners and improve Israel’s image.”

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement that the agency’s policy is “to review, and where appropriate enrich the official PA textbooks, curricula and other learning materials used in UNRWA schools to ensure compliance with U.N. values and principles.”

UNRWA was founded in 1950 in order to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees who fled Israel during the War of Independence, many at the urging of Arab governments or propelled by false rumors of Jewish violence. With the exception of Jordan, the Arab countries that took them in have refused to provide them with citizenship and keep them confined to refugee camps. Palestinian citizens of Jordan are also denied many privileges, including access to jobs in the government and military.

The number of Palestinian refugees has been vastly inflated by the fact that refugee status is passed on to succeeding generations and is unaffected by citizenship from other countries, in contrast to every other refugee population in the world.

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff