By: Kate Anderson, Daily Caller News Foundation
A new report released Tuesday found 82 United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) “educators and staff” that have “glorified terrorists” and pushed anti-Israel beliefs in more than 30 Palestinian schools.
UNRWA has been criticized in the past for not using thorough screening checks when giving aid to different schools and organizations in the West Bank after many were found to have ties to terrorism and promoted hateful anti-Israel rhetoric, according to the Times of Israel. The UN Watch, an independent human rights organization, and the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), a research and policy institute, released a joint report Tuesday arguing that UNRWA has continued to give funding to dozens of programs and individuals that “glorify terrorism.”
The 54-page report gives 10 specific examples of 133 educators employed by UNRWA that have pushed “conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the world; prais[ed] Hitler; glorif[ied] terrorists … and celebrat[ed] other terrorists belonging to Hamas [and] Palestinian Islamic Jihad” on their social media. The second part of the report details 25 examples of curriculum used in over 30 UNRWA Palestinian schools that teach children to “admire” terrorists, “encourage martyrdom” and claim that Israel is the occupier that stole the land from Palestinians.
In one example, students are taught about Dalal Al-Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist that carried out the “1978 Coastal Road Massacre in which 38 Israeli civilians were killed, including 13 children,” according to the report. Students were encouraged to refer to Al-Mughrabi as the “fallen leader” despite the UNRWA claiming in 2021 that it had told schools to stop teaching about her.
At the Al-Maghazi Prep B Boys School, students discussed a firebombing attack on a Jewish bus by the West Bank, referring to it as a “barbecue party,” according to the report. Other schools used curriculum that encouraged children to become martyrs, calling the Islamic jihad the “most important meanings of life.”
The information was largely gathered through social media accounts and telegram group chats affiliated with UNRWA schools and educators, according to the report.
“This content proves that the Facebook posts by UNRWA teachers and other staff exposed in Part I of this report, and teaching materials in Part II of this report, are just the tip of the iceberg—and that UNRWA itself repeatedly violates neutrality in the classroom, despite its insistence to the contrary,” the report read.
U.S. funding to UNRWA is currently the subject of a bill presented by Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and Sen. James Risch of Idaho who co-sponsored a bill titled “The United Nations Relief and Works Agency Accountability and Transparency Act” earlier this year. The act would halt U.S. funding to UNRWA until the agency submits to regular audits and protocols to ensure that U.S. funding is not being used to promote terrorism against Israel.
The report was presented to members of Congress Tuesday and Risch wrote on his Twitter account that the report “emphasizes the need” for his and Roy’s bill.
Roy tweeted a similar response after learning about the report and said the findings “should completely disqualify” the UNRWA from U.S. aid.
Marcus Sheff, the CEO of IMPACT-se, said in a press release that if UNRWA had “wanted to stop the hate-teaching, [it] would have done so years ago.”
“With a budget of $1.6 billion, nearly 60% of which goes to education, and a staff of 30,000, the UN agency might be the most heavily funded educational undertaking in the history of international aid,” Sheff said. “And yet our report today demonstrates how UNRWA has consistently breached its duty of care to the children attending its schools.”
UNRWA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.