Masked Palestinians demonstrate against UNRWA. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90) (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)
Palestinians UNRWA demonstrate

The Palestinians are deeply distressed by the fact that UNRWA has revised it curriculum to a less anti-Israel and more truthful program.  

Palestinian factions in Gaza expressed consternation over the fact that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has revised its textbooks, a move they say undercuts “the Palestinian national identity.”

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official WAFA news agency reported this week that the Palestinians are complaining that the changes UNRWA introduced “weaken the students’ understanding of the Palestinian identity and culture.”

The new UNRWA curriculum is supposedly more sympathetic to Israel and more historically accurate and truthful, and replaces the previous curriculum which is fraught with incitement against Israel and teaches that the Jewish State lacks the right to exist.

The Palestinians called on UNRWA, which provides humanitarian assistance solely to so-called Palestinian refugees, “not to introduce anything in the schools it runs that would influence the student’s relationship to his land, identity and culture.”

They demanded that UNRWA “not meddle with the school curriculum of the host country and should teach it in its schools without any changes.”

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

A recent study into schoolbooks used by UNRWA-run schools found texts consistently delegitimize and demonize Israel. The schools do not teach Palestinian children to recognize Israel.

In the curriculum being replaced, Zionism is defined as a colonialist movement founded by European Jews to gather Jews worldwide and bring them to Palestine. No mention is made of the religious or historical connection of Jews to the Land of Israel or to Jerusalem. Instead, the textbooks teach Jewish holy sites such as the Western Wall, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are Muslim holy sites.

Hamas has refused to allow UNRWA schools to teach about the Holocaust.

Will UNRWA Succeed?

The Palestinians added that the replacement of these inciting texts by UNRWA “has created a conflict…under the guise of neutrality and enriching the student’s knowledge.”

The Palestinians are accusing Israel and its allies of pressuring the Palestinians and UNRWA to change the school curriculum “in a manner that would remove any reference to their history, particularly since the Israeli occupation of their land or struggle for independence.”

UNRWA has previously attempted to replace the hate-replete curriculum, but buckled under Palestinian pressure on the issue after they suspended their ties with the UN body.

The PA indoctrinates its children through poisonous textbooks that depict Jews as evil occupiers and land-thieves who build “racist walls” and demolish houses for no reason. They also teach the conflict with Israel is not over a two-state solution, but the “liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” which means the annihilation of Israel. The goal is for the students to believe Israel is one big “settlement” with no place in the Middle East.

Moreover, the PA continues inculcating Palestinian children with the idea they should look to terrorists who kill Jews as role models.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel 

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