Enforcement of the right on international territory is tedious, but persistence is bearing fruit. The US House of Representatives unanimously passed the “Law for Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education” (HR 2343). Washington complains that Palestinian children, high school and college students are being encouraged to hate and violence against Jews and Israel in educational institutions. The new US law is intended to stop payments to the PLO in the West Bank and to UNRWA in Gaza internationally.
Democrats and Republicans – otherwise at odds – have been pulling together on this issue for a long time. Brad Sherman (California Democrat) and Lee Zeldin (New York Republican) seek to financially dry up educational institutions that glorify war and violence. In the crosshairs stands the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
The school books were redesigned in 2016/17, the House of Representatives notes, but the new curricula in the PA do not meet the international standard for peace and tolerance. The textbooks still state that a Palestinian state can only be achieved through violence. The school books used by PA and UNRWA still call for violence, anti-Semitism, hatred and intolerance against states and ethnic groups.
The resolution is based on a report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), which monitors Middle East countries such as Tunisia, Saudi Arabia as well as Israel and the PA. In the future, Washington intends to use this to continuously report whether taxpayers’ money is used directly or indirectly for textbooks that violate international standards.
MP Scott Perry (Pennsylvania Republican) described it as a delusion that UNRWA uses textbooks that do not contain words such as “Israel” or “Judaism”. Textbook maps would exclude the “State of Israel” geographically. It was unacceptable that textbooks considered “Israel” as non-existent and that the Jewish people would be demonized. Such teaching materials would promote the next generation of hatred, Perry complains.
Olympic massacre “a blow to Zionist interests abroad”
In a textbook for the 11th grade, the massacre at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes, was described as “a blow to Zionist interests abroad”. A 7th grade learns in social studies that Zionists tried to burn down the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in 1969. In fact, the perpetrator was a Christian extremist from Australia who set the fire at the time.
Current US efforts also support the longstanding research of the Center for Middle East Policy in Jerusalem, led by historian David Bedein. He has been studying the content of Palestinian textbooks, teaching materials for the Gaza Strip, and schools in the West Bank for 17 years. In the documents of the research institute there is an original school book for children in the 5th grade. In it, a convicted murderer is sold to the Palestinian children as a heroine.
According to Bedein, it says literally: “This is a woman named Dalal al-Mughrabi who killed 38 people in a bus in a terrorist attack, including 13 children. The pupils are taught that once you grow up, you have to become like them. ”
The Cologne publicist and Audiatur-Online author Alex Feuerherdt criticized in his book published in 2018, “United Nations against Israel: how the UN delegitimizes the Jewish state“The inglorious role of the United Nations in the Palestinian education system. The UN, Germany and the EU annually funded the Palestinian aid agency UNRWA with 1.3 billion euros and thus the political indoctrination of the children. The PLO leadership has received billions of aid payments from European taxpayers for decades – without asking for anything in return. The money only reaches the Palestinian people in fractions. Feuerherdt emphasizes that the large sums of money got stuck with a few corrupt leadership families who have been indifferent to the fate of their own people for half a century.
Switzerland announced in summer 2019 that it would cease payments to UNRWA until the incidents against UNRWA management were cleared up. As it turned out these days, Switzerland had already paid the regular contribution of CHF 22.3 million for 2019 before the payment freeze in July and added a further CHF 700,000 for new projects. The Tages-Anzeiger reports. 169 UN countries have now extended UNRWA’s mandate by a further three years. Only the United States and Israel voted against, nine member states abstained. The topic of the “hate textbooks” was not on the agenda.