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UNRWA class in Nablus. Photo: screenshot YouTube David Bedein

Canada-funded UN agency’s schoolbooks continue to fuel Palestinian hatred of Israel

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is funded by the Canadian government the tune of $25 million annually, continues to use textbooks in its schools that demonize and delegitimize Israel, and continue to foment Palestinian hatred towards Israel, according to a new report published in Israel.

UNRWA’s funding, which was cut by the previous Conservative government over its alleged links to Hamas – designated in Canada as a terrorist organization – was resumed by the Liberal government last November. At that time, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced that the funding will be used to “to support education, health and social services for millions of vulnerable Palestinian refugees, as well as urgent humanitarian assistance.”

Bibeau also attempted to placate UNRWA critics who expressed grave concerns that some of the money may be used to promote incitement to terrorism or be diverted to Hamas by saying that it “there will be enhanced due diligence applied to UNRWA funding. Today’s funding is accompanied by a very robust oversight and reporting framework, which includes regular site visits and strong anti-terrorism provisions.”

According to a brand new investigation from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, UNRWA continues to use textbooks in its schools which incite hatred and violence towards Israel. The books describe Zionism as a foreign “colonial movement” and deny the historical and religious connections between Jews and Israel.

Following the new revelation that UNRWA continues to use hate-filled schoolbooks, Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, slammed the organization. “This is just the latest example of anti-Israel incitement under the auspices of the United Nations,” Danon tweeted. “This is not how you make peace in the Middle East. This is how you raise another generation full of hatred and ready to use violence.”

Reacting to the January 8, 2016 terrorist attack in Jerusalem during which a Palestinian terrorist killed four IDF soldiers, including three females in their early 20’s, when he rammed a flatbed truck into a group of soldiers in a popular neighbourhood in Israel’s capital, member of Israeli Knesset Moti Yogev said that the roots of the problem are in the incitement in the Palestinian education system, which is calling to kill Jews.

Israel’s deputy foreign minister said that the terrorist who carried out the attack was exposed to incitement in the Palestinian education system. “The international community needs to demand complete halt of terrorism, and complete shutdown of the terror-education industry”, Tzipi Hatoveli was quoted in the Jerusalem Post. She added that Israel should revise its approach to education in East Jerusalem. “Make it under our control in the neighborhoods under our sovereignty, including UNRWA schools.”

In November, UN Watch – an independent NGO which monitors the United Nations – sent Prime Minister Trudeau the names of the UNRWA staffers and links to their Facebook pages showing posts that glorify Hitler. “The core issue is not what UNRWA teachers reveal online, but the fact that racists are being hired in the first place to teach children,” said Canadian-born executive director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer. “We’re not calling merely for hateful posts to be removed—we’re calling for every antisemitic teacher to be fired, and for the senior UNRWA officials who keep recruiting them to be fired too.”

“Because UNRWA is turning a blind eye to incitement that is pervasive and systematic, and which abuses the hearts and minds of vulnerable Palestinian children, we call on Prime Minister Trudeau to support an independent and international commission of inquiry, to investigate the culture of impunity for perpetrators of racism and incitement that pervades UNRWA,” Neuer added.

The Israeli government and pro-Israel activists have long accused UNRWA of anti-Israel bias and incitement.

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About Ilana Shneider

Ilana Shneider
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]

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