September 24, 2020

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State Department found that @UNRWA was still inciting hate in classrooms – and hid that fact in report to Congress

In 2017, UNRWA issued this memo in response to a report on how UNRWA schools in the West Bank and Gaza used PA textbooks that included hate.

23 of the books reviewed in the report are being used in our schools and we have reviewed them rigorously under our curriculum framework, which aims to ensure that our curriculum is in line with UN values. In the small number of instances where issues of concern were found, we have created enriched complementary materials for use in our classrooms and we will be rolling out training on this to our teachers in the coming months. UNRWA’s condemnation of all forms of racism is a matter of public record.

Now that a GAO report on how the State Department report on UNRWA curricula was inaccurate   has been made public, we can see what the truth is.

It is true that UNRWA created supplementary material for the classrooms. But they were never distributed to teachers!

I have a copy of the report (without the tables and illustrations, unfortunately) and it says that when UNRWA attempted to train teachers on these supplementary materials, either they opposed using the materials or boycotted training.

A normal organization would fire employees who refuse to do what they are told. But UNRWA caved – if the teachers want to teach hate for Jews, then that’s OK.

Worse, Congress was falsely told that the supplementary materials were being taught when they weren’t:

The State Department seems to have found that UNRWA was still teaching incitement – and it didn’t tell Congress!

Beyond that, the report doesn’t address whether problematic parts of the textbooks found by independent NGOs were considered to be violations of UN guidelines for UNRWA. If UNRWA doesn’t consider certain problematic texts to be hate – a good example would be materials that praise the concept of martyrdom – then the UNRWA review is close to useless anyway.

(h/t /Miriam Elman)

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